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Young dancers put best foot forward to raise money for Katie

November 04, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

SMITHSBURG ? Within about 30 minutes on Saturday, girls at Lezlee L. Sabo's dance studio had learned a new routine to the tune of Jack falling down a hill and Jill tumbling down after.

The girls chanted along to the nursery rhyme lyrics as they moved this way and that in front of a mirrored wall, then applauded their own efforts.

The occasion was a fundraiser for one of the studio's dancers. Sabo, the director of My Dance Studio near Smithsburg, said Katie McCracken was diagnosed with leukemia just before a recital last year.

Katie recently turned 8, Sabo said.

When dancers want to accomplish something, they dance, Sabo figured, so she set up Saturday's event.

"We're not bakers. We're not spaghetti salers. We're not runners," she said. "We wanted to use our feet to help her."

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Sabo said dancers came to the studio in groups. The 3- and 4-year-olds had one time slot; 5- and 6-year-olds had another; 7- to 10-year-olds were last.

Their families donated money so the girls could stay long enough to learn a new dance and sign a card for Katie.

Girls stood on a long, white sheet of paper to have their feet traced. Each girl signed her name inside the outline of her feet.

"We are a smaller community, so we normally all band together," said Angie Sheaffer, whose 13-year-old daughter, Breanna, was one of the teacher's helpers.

Among the group of 5- and 6-year-olds, some dancers knew Katie, but more knew her younger sister, Addie.

After the dance sessions, Sabo said, the teacher's helpers were scheduled to stay at the studio for a "movie lock-in."

They were to have dinner together and watch "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

Panache Events & Entertainment of Hagerstown provided an 8-foot movie screen.

Your Country Store, near Hagerstown, donated food.

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