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April 30, 2011

The Rock School 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit

Rock-Curtis Collaboration Tonight you will be the first to see a new ballet, choreographed by Jennifer Wheat, Ballet Mistress at The Rock School, and set to an original score by the 2011 recipient of The Curtis Institute’s Milton L. Rock Fellowship, Gabriella Smith. Performed by Rock School dancers and Curtis Institute musicians, this premiere is made possible through a generous gift from Dr. and Mrs. Milton Rock. The Rock School is pleased to announce that The Milton Rock Challenge Grant is more than half way to its $250,000 goal. We thank those who have contributed and we are grateful to Dr. Rock for his vision for The Rock School.

Cover: Jeanette Kakareka by Alexander Spassoff

April 30, 2011

Benefit Committee Committee Chairs Phyllis and Howard Fischer

Margo and Daniel Polett

Liza Herzog* and Paul Curci

Caro and Bob Rock*

Annmarie and Mark Naples

Benefit Planning Committee Susan Stewart and Robert Abramowitz* Susanna Lachs Adler Linda Alle-Murphy Peter and Maria Archer Krista Bard* Constance Benoliel-Rock* Barbara Black Leslie and Al Boris Diane and Jack Breckenridge* Nancy and George Brodie* Deborah and Bob Chiumento* Michael DeLuca* Kimberly Dula* Elizabeth and Ed Ellers* Louis Eni*

Jennifer and Chris Franklin*

Marjorie K. Shiekman*

Barbara and Richard Gilbert

Jackie and Stan Silverman

Bill and Nancy Giles

Donna and Jerry Slipakoff*

Donna Gregor

Martha McGeary Snider

John Hyman*

Linda Soukup

Leroy Kean*

Tracey and Shanin Specter

Warren and Margaret Kuo*

Rebecca Thomas*

Robert F. McCadden*

Jood and Tim Thompson

Suzanne and Ronald Naples*

Lissa Thompson

Marianne and Russ Raphaely*

Margaret and Michael Tierney

Diana and John Regan

Catherine Ulozas*

Suzanne Schoch Rehl*

Sherry and David Varrelman*

T.J. Reilly*

Robin Williams*

Susan Rock*

Randi Zemsky* and Bob Lane

Kathy and Henry Sawin Jeanne Scandura*

* Rock School Board of Trustees

Honorary Committee Peter Boal

Benjamin Millepied

Rasta Thomas

Joaquin De Luz

Mikko Nissinen

Helgi Tomasson

Isaac Hernandez

Christine Shevchenko

Violette Verdy

John McFall

Taylor Stanley

Edward Villella

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 1

Board of Trustees Caro U. Rock, Board Chair Robert L. Abramowitz, Esq.

Liza Herzog

Jeanne Scandura

Krista Bard

John Hyman

Marjorie K. Shiekman

Constance W. Benoliel-

Leroy Kean, Secretary

Donna Slipakoff

Rock, Chairman Emeritus Diane Breckenridge, PhD Nancy S. Brodie, Treasurer Deborah L. Chiumento Michael DeLuca Kimberly Dula Elizabeth Wallace Ellers Louis Eni Howard Fischer, Emeritus Trustee Jennifer Franklin

Warren Kuo

Bojan Spassoff,

Carol Clark Lawrence,

Director & President

Emeritus Trustee

Stephanie Wolf Spassoff,

Phyllis Marshall


Robert F. McCadden

Rebecca Thomas

Ronald J. Naples

Catherine Ulozas

Marianne C. Raphaely

Sherry Varrelman

Suzanne Schoch Rehl, Esq.

Robin Williams

T.J. Reilly, Jr.

Randi Zemsky

Robert Rock, Vice Chairman Susan Rock Howard D. Ross, Emeritus Trustee

2 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

Welcome from Caro U. Rock | Chair, Board of Trustees Thank you for joining us tonight for our

knowing the sacrifices they make, should energize us all. If

20th Annual Scholarship Benefit:

we could harness the energy you will see on stage tonight,

Dancing with the Rock Stars! The

we would electrify downtown Philadelphia! Also during the

Hollywood/Celebrity theme pays

evening, be sure to take time to bid on our wonderful silent

homage to our many students who,

auction items, which will be available for bidding during

since 1963, have come to us to train from

cocktails and dinner. The trips and vacation homes are most

all over the world and go on to become celebrities themselves

extraordinary, and we are very grateful to all the donors.

in dance companies, theater groups, and even the movies!

The Rock School’s contributions to the field of dance

We are grateful to you, our supporters, who ensure that we

continue to flourish through its high-quality training program

continue to make their dreams come true.

and extensive community outreach. I am extremely proud

I would also like to extend a special thank you to Dr.

of the accomplishments of our alumni and current students.

Milton L. Rock for establishing The Milton L. Rock Challenge

Taylor Stanley, alumnus, and now a member of the corps de

Grant. Over the next year (until December 31, 2011), Dr.

ballet at New York City Ballet was featured in several ballets

Rock will match every new dollar raised, up to $250,000.

this year with outstanding reviews in The New York Times.

Dr. Rock’s efforts have been instrumental in recognizing the

Isaac Hernandez, alumnus, danced his first principal role as

importance of The Rock School, and its place as one of

Franz in Coppelia for San Francisco Ballet this past March.

Philadelphia’s most important performing arts institutions.

Alston Macgill, a current Rock student who charmed

I am pleased to announce that we are more than half way

audiences with her performance as Abby in Nutcracker 1776,

to our goal, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s generosity

was the Grand Prix Winner in the Junior Age Division during

in helping us accomplish this milestone.

the Regional Youth American Grand Prix competition, the

Our dedicated benefit committee has created an elegant,

world’s largest ballet competition. And fifteen year old Lauren

festive evening featuring a unique collaboration between

Carfolite, a Rock School student for ten years, danced

The Rock School and The Curtis Institute. The Rock-Curtis

exquisitely at The Youth American Grand Prix competition

Collaboration is made possible through the generosity of

making it to the exclusive final round in New York City.

Dr. and Mrs. Milton L. Rock, who endowed the composition

This past December, The Rock School continued its fantastic

chair at the Curtis Institute of Music. Renowned American

holiday tradition of the Nutcracker 1776, a fun-filled, children’s

composer, Jennifer Higdon, the Rock Chair and 2010 Pulitzer

dance production with a cast of nearly 150 Rock School students.

Prize Winner, has selected Curtis student, Gabriella Smith

The extraordinary talent, colorful costumes, and blend of classic

to compose a score for a new ballet choreographed by

Nutcracker and Colonial Philadelphia, brought down the house

Jennifer Wheat, Ballet Mistress at The Rock School. This

at each performance both in the city and the suburbs. This

premiere will showcase the talent of both Rock School

family experience is open to the public, so please mark your

dancers and Curtis Institute musicians. In its third year, The

calendars for next December 2011 at the Merriam Theater in

Rock-Curtis Collaboration celebrates a meaningful

Philadelphia and at our suburban location, The Haverford School.

partnership between two cultural gems of Philadelphia.

Our dancers’ personal achievements and the success of The

A special thanks to our wonderful co-chairs: Phyllis and

Schools important programming are made possible through

Howard Fischer, Liza Herzog and Paul Curci, Annmarie and

your generosity. On behalf of the entire board and staff, thank

Mark Naples, Margo and Dan Polett and my husband, Bob,

you for being here tonight and thank you for choosing to support

for all of their hard work in making this event a success. Over

The Rock School for Dance Education. Now, please enjoy the

the past twenty years, The Rock School Scholarship Benefit

performance and dance up a storm at the after party!

has established itself as a standout among fundraisers because of the special performance by our talented young

- Caro U. Rock, Chair

dancers. Seeing what these young people accomplish, and

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 3

Contributors A very special thank you to our sponsors

Executive Producer Margo and Dan Polett Mrs. Constance BenolielRock and Dr. Milton Rock


Robin and Jerry Williams

Cinematographer Gretchen and Stephen Burke Jaimie and David Field

Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc.

Marjorie and Jeffery Honickman

Drinker Biddle and Reath, LLP

Leroy Kean

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Elaine Levitt and Joel Gershman

Philadelphia City Paper

The Lubert Family Foundation

Quaker Chemical Corporation

The Lurie Family Foundation

Caro and Bob Rock

Rosalind and Roy Neff

Director Barbara and Todd Albert

Suzanne and Ralph Roberts

Amy Branch and Jeff Benoliel

Sue Rock and Michael Phillips

Burke Family Foundation

Tracey and Shanin Specter

Phyllis and Howard Fischer


Andrea and Warren Kantor Fran and Steve Katz Philadelphia Management and EBRM Marianne and Russ Raphaely Krista Reichard TJ and Ann Reilly

Costume Designer Morton Amsterdam Ellen and Winston Churchill Barbara Eberlein Leslie Benoliel and Alex Hamilton Geraldine and Richard Fox Barbara and Richard Gilbert Hadia Lefavre and Jay Tolson

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

Robert Abramowitz and Susan Stewart

Charles and Linda Schelke

Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest

Barbara and Mickey Black

Marjorie Shiekman

ParenteBeard LLC

Debbie and Bob Chiumento

Stacey Spector and Ira Brind

Clay Hamlin III

Rebecca Thomas and Andrew Jaquith

Jane and James Stern Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust

4 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

Liza Herzog and Paul Curci

Martha McGeary Snider

Evie and Vern Wheat (as of April 6, 2011)

Silent Auction Donors Thank you to all of our Silent Auction Donors Arden Theatre Company

Four Seasons Hotel

Audrey Claire

Liza Herzog and Paul Curci

Ballet X The Barnes Foundation Constance Benoliel-Rock

JNA Institute of Culinary Arts

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe Philadelphia Museum of Art The Prime Rib R2L

Bolle Design Inc.

Lisa Kabnick and John McFadden

Amy Branch and Jeff Benoliel

The Make Up Bar

Steven John Jackson Ravert

Morgan Lewis

Caro and Bob Rock

Suzanne and Ron Naples

Rose Tattoo Cafe

Neiman Marcus

Supper Restaurant

Nicole Miller Philadelphia

Twenty Manning

Opera Company of Philadelphia

Vespa Philadelphia

Dan Brody Photography Children’s Boutique Cirillo Cosmetic Dermatology Spa DanceSport Academy D’Angelos Deme DiBruno Bros. Fork Restaurant

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

Vertex Fitness


(as of April 6, 2011)

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 5

Program The Continent’s End World Premiere 2011 Rock-Curtis Collaboration Composer:



Jennifer Wheat

Gabriella Smith Musicians Yue Chu, piano; Yekwon Sunwoo, piano; Ted Babcock, percussion; Michael Sparhuber, percussion

Dancers Takashi Abe, Natalie Berry, Samantha Bristow, Austin Butler, Andrew Czerkawski, Luis Delcid, Derek Dunn, James Floyd, Alexandra Gallo, Ellie Grohoske Alexandra Hartnett, Shi Hang Huang, Kelia Ideishi, Polina Kadiyska, Hikari Leon, Maho Mashimo, Isabel Montague, Regina Montgomery, Miho Morita, Tory Muth, Nicholas Peregrino, Promise Smith, Hannah Sterling, Hannes Van Wassenhoven, Maria Vicuna. Gabriella Smith’s composition is inspired by Robinson Jeffers’ poem Continent’s End and its vivid imagery and dramatic movement. The poem is a celebration of the natural world, specifically the land and seascapes of the Northern California coast (the “immense breadth of the continent,” the power and beauty of land and sea, and the extraordinary violence and rock-eating, continent-shifting force it took to create such a landscape) as well as a lament that, though we have our origins in the ocean and in this bleak and rugged landscape, we have since lost our connection to nature. At Continent’s End is in six short movements, each inspired by a phrase from the poem.

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New Work


Dancer: Beckanne Sisk, Rock School alumnus, Ballet West

Composer: Olafur Arnalds Choreogrpaher: Ashley Canterna-Hardy Derek Dunn

Diane & Acteon Composer: Richard Drigo Choreographer: After Marius Petipa Takashi Abe

Composer: Max Richter Choreographer: Justin Allen Takashi Abe, Samantha Bristow, Andrew Czerkawski, Luis Delcid, Derek Dunn, Alexandra Gallo, Alexandra Hartnett, Hikari Leon, Regina Montgomery, Miho Morita, Tory Muth, Hannah Sterling, James Floyd

Canon in D Composer: Johann Pachelbel Choreographer: Danielle Bower Samantha Bristow

Diane & Acteon

Jeunes Danseurs Heureux

Composer: Richard Drigo

Composer: Johann Strauss

Choreographer: After Marius Petipa Regina Montgomery

Choreographer: Mariaelena Ruiz Selected younger students

Flames of Paris

Dancing With The Rock Stars

Composer: Boris Asafiev Choreographer: Vasily Vainonen Andrew Czerkawski


Music: Theme Song Choreographers: Mariaelena Ruiz, Justin Allen Rock School Dancers

Esmeralda Composer: Cesare Pugni Choreographer: Marius Petipa Alexandra Hartnett

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 7

Message from the Directors Welcome to The Rock School’s Annual Scholarship Benefit! We are thrilled that you could join us for a truly wonderful performance this evening by the exceptionally talented artists of The Rock School and the Curtis Institute of Music. Rock School students have come to Philadelphia from throughout the region and the world. The strength of our faculty, breadth of our programs, success of our students in major international competitions, as well as placement in prestigious companies world wide, has brought amazing talent to our city. The competitions include Youth America Grand Prix, the largest ballet competition in the world, TanzOlymp, Berlin, Havana International Competition, the Moscow and USA International Dance Competitions. The companies include New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Dutch National Ballet, Broadway shows and much more. This success has grown from our ability to anticipate and respond to the needs of our 1,000 plus students in the ever-changing field of dance. Our goal has always been to nurture, train and inspire those entrusted to our care, regardless of their ultimate careers; the results have been extraordinary. We are thrilled to be sharing this evening’s performance with the Curtis Institute of Music. Thanks to a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Milton L. Rock, we are here to celebrate the world premiere of The Continent’s End: the continuation of an extraordinary and dynamic relationship; the third of five collaborations. Rock School “artistic athletes” are fiercely and passionately dedicated to an art form that allows us to believe the transcending and transforming possibilities of the human form and spirit. You and your support make this possible. Our most sincere thanks. Bo and Stephanie Spassoff

8 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

The Rock School At the urging of George Balanchine, Barbara Weis-

in dance. Along with students from Philadelphia and across

berger established the Pennsylvania Ballet School in 1963.

the country, The School hosts students from China,

The School became an independent institution in 1992 and

Thailand, Japan, France, Spain, Columbia, Bulgaria, England,

was renamed The Rock School for Dance Education in 1999.

and Mexico. Rock School alumni dance at major companies

The School is one of the nation’s premier institutions for

around the world including The New York City Ballet, Boston

classical ballet training with a $4.5 million budget and an

Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, The Pennsylvania Ballet,

annual enrollment of more than 1,000 students. Appoint-

American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal

ed director in 1986, Bojan Spassoff has led The School for

Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and on Broadway.

over twenty-five years. With the artistic guidance of Mr.

Making dance accessible to underserved youth is

Spassoff’s dedicated co-director Stephanie Wolf Spassoff,

another priority at The Rock School. RockReach, The

the reputation of The School has grown from a small re-

School’s multifaceted outreach program, has grown over

gional ballet school into the internationally acclaimed Rock

the past twelve years and now provides dance classes,

School for Dance Education.

scholarships, and performances to over 10,000 inner city

The Rock School is located at the southern entry of

youth annually.

the Avenue of the Arts, providing a 40,000 square foot,

Each year, Rock School dancers have the opportunity

state-of-the-art facility on Philadelphia’s cultural corridor.

to participate in The Youth American Grand Prix, the largest

The Rock School’s faculty includes renowned instructors

ballet competition in the world. The Rock School and its

and choreographers, as well as current and former dancers

students have won numerous awards at this annual

from major dance companies worldwide. Violette Verdy,

competition including the ‘Outstanding School Award’ at

Artistic Advisor, is one of the many distinguished teachers

Regionals for an unprecedented sixth year in a row. The

who instructs students at The Rock School each year.

Directors stress that although this is a competition, the

The Rock School is celebrated for its comprehensive,

prize is in the process, and they are extremely proud of the

high quality training for young dancers. The School offers

improvements they see in students who prepare for this

classes for students of all ages including a residency


program for gifted students who want to pursue a career

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 9

Programs Ongoing Programs The Rock School offers dance classes to 1,000 plus students of all ages. Classes are taught six days a week throughout the school year with a focus on classical ballet.

Summer Intensive

“Enrolling our daughter, Alexandra, in the Rock School’s RAPA program has been one of the best decisions we could have made for her. This unique program is the only one of its kind in the United States, with the most knowledgeable and supportive, educational faculty. The RAPA program has allowed Alex the ability to follow her dream of training and dancing at a professional level, all the while receiving a quality education—an education that has ultimately earned her entrance into some of the best universities in the country.” - Christina Hartnett, RAPA parent

Approximately 1,500 students audition to participate in The

Rock Reach

School’s intensive summer session where students train in

RockReach, The School’s multifaceted outreach program,

different styles of dance, participate in master classes,

makes dance accessible to underserved urban youth in the

lectures, and receive wonderful performing opportunities.

greater Philadelphia community. RockReach is designed to

Guest teachers include Daniel Ulbrecht, Principal Dancer at

make a significant, long lasting impact on a student’s social,

New York City Ballet, Benjamin Millepied, Principal Dancer

artistic, and academic life. The majority of RockReach

at New York City Ballet, Joquin de Luz, Principal at New York

participants are in the Title 1 program for economically

City Ballet, Michelle Wiles, Principal Dancer at American

disadvantaged youth. Classical ballet is not something these

Ballet Theater, Isaac Hernandez, Soloist at San-Francisco

students would experience if it were not for RockReach.

Ballet and a Rock School alumnus.

There are three program components within RockReach:

Residency Program

In-School Residencies, which include 28 weeks of weekly

The Rock School offers a pre-professional training program for promising young dancers. The School hosts some of the most talented students in the world who receive partial to full scholarships for their dance training, housing, and academics. In addition to the demanding training program, residency students receive private coaching from senior faculty and represent the core of The Rock School’s performing ensemble. This program attracts young talent from around the world who want to develop their talent here in Philadelphia. The Rock School Residency Program provides a supportive, nurturing environment, allowing talented students to dedicate themselves to their dance training at an early age.

Rock Academic Program Alliance (RAPA©)

dance instruction as part of the elementary school curriculum; Dynamics of Dance, an interactive performance by Rock School conservatory students at participating schools; and City Dance, a long-term full scholarship program for students from low-income families to take classes at The Rock School. “The Rock School program is a cornerstone of (my) school’s success. Students have a greater sense of pride in their school because of the availability of this special program.” - Jim Otto, Principal, Isaac Sheppard School partner for twelve years

Performances Performing gives young students an opportunity to showcase their hard work and prepare for life as a professional dancer. In 2010, Rock School students performed at The Mann

The Rock Academic Program Alliance (RAPA) is a unique,

Center, The Philadelphia Flower Show, Please Touch

college preparatory program designed exclusively for

Museum, Longwood Gardens, and The Four Seasons Hotel.

students in The Rock School’s pre-professional residency

Many students dance each year in The Rock School’s

program. RAPA provides individualized academic plans under

production of Nutcracker 1776 and all students take the stage

the guidance of a full time dean and a full time assistant dean

for the annual Rock School Showcase, both at The Merriam

to help students achieve a successful balance between their

Theatre on The Avenue of the Arts. Rock School students

academics and intensive dance training. “As a graduating senior from the RAPA program, I am extremely grateful for the number of doors that have been opened to me. By attending a program where I can balance my time in the studio and academic classroom, RAPA has enabled me to grow as a dancer and student. Individualized tutoring, personalized schedules, and rigorous classes have fully prepared me for future academic pursuits.” - Tory Muth, RAPA student

perform perform in Dynamics of Dance lecture demonstra-

10 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

tions for thousands of youth at inner-city schools.

Artistic Advisor Violette Verdy “I take great pleasure in working with The Rock School, one of the foremost schools of its kind in the country. The School represents my lifelong interests and passions in students, education, international exchanges, and the pursuit of excellence.” Ms. Verdy is the former, and first female, Artistic Director of the famed Paris Opera Ballet, as well as the former Artistic Director of the Boston Ballet. She was a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet, as well as a guest star with the leading ballet companies of Europe. For New York City Ballet, she danced more than 25 principal roles. George Balanchine created roles for her in such ballets as Liebeslieder Waltzer, Jewels, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, second act Midsummer Night’s Dream, and others. She is the recipient of numerous international awards. Ms. Verdy was invited by President Ford to dance at the White House on three separate occasions. Ms. Verdy was recently named a Chevalier (Knight) in France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor. The Order, which is France’s highest decoration was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. French President M. Nicolas Sarkozy presented the medal to Ms. Verdy in Paris in June, 2009.

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 11

Alumni The Rock School is so delighted with the accomplishments of its many talented alumni. James Ady – American Ballet Theater, Principal Pennsylvania Ballet Devon Alberda – New York City Ballet Tamara Allison – Child Lead NY Radio City Christmas Spectacular Valerie Amiss – Soloist Pennsylvania Ballet Alexandra Ansenelli – Principal New York City Ballet Robert Arold – Houston Ballet Allyson Ashley – Dance Theater of Harlem Eilza Barbic - Eugene Ballet Melissa Bartusch - City Ballet of San Diego Allison Basford - Pacific Northwest Ballet Maximilien Baud - Pennsylvania Ballet Katie Berry - Child Lead NY Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Madeline Deavenport – North Carolina Dance Theater Yosbel Delgado – Pennsylvania Ballet Gregory Dominiak – Paris Opera Ballet Matthew Donnell – Kansas City Ballet Tina Egan – American Repertory Ballet Damir Emeric - Ballet San Jose Katchiri Feys - Ballet Arkansas Molly Flippen - Los Angeles Ballet Nick Fonseca – Orlando Ballet Jessica Gatinella – Pennsylvania Ballet Joseph Gatti – Principal, Cincinnati Ballet Ellen Green – New York City Ballet Kara Hanretty - Ballet Arizona Reggie Harris – Austin Ballet

Laura Bowman – Pennsylvania Ballet

Isaac Hernandez – Soloist, San Francisco Ballet

Laura Breckenridge – Broadway shows, film, Lead WB’s Related

Kyra Homeres - Miami City Ballet

Bobbie Briscoe – Joffrey Ballet

James Ihde - Soloist Pennsylvania Ballet

Kacey Burke – Roxy Ballet

Jenn Jansma – Carolina Ballet

Rachel Butler - Pennsylvania Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet

Damian Johnson – New York City Ballet

Frabrice Calmels – Principal, Joffrey Ballet Tim Cannon - Dance Alive! Nick Carter – Louisville Ballet Martha Chamberlain – Principal, Pennsylvania Ballet Elizabeth Chapman - Georgia Ballet Emily Corney – Lead in Fame Christine Cox – Pennsylvania Ballet and Artistic Director, Ballet X Karel Cruz – Principal, Pacific Northwest Ballet Kyle Davis - Pacific Northwest Ballet Michael Davis - Kansas City Ballet

12 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

Ian Hussey – Pennsylvania Ballet

Erik Johnson - Rochester City Ballet Rachael Jones - Nashville Ballet Robert Jummonville - Carnival Cruises Liz Keller – Miami City Ballet Rebecca King - Miami City Ballet Ashley Knapp – New York City Ballet Kristie Latham - Ballet Met Andrea Long – Principal Dance Theater of Harlem Skyler Lubin - Miami City Ballet Veronica Lynn – Soloist American Ballet Theater Callie Manning – Miami City Ballet

Abdul Manzano –Dance Theater of Harlem Janey McGeary – Pennsylvania Ballet and New York City Ballet Katie Meeusen - Ballet West Sara Michelle Murawski - Dresden Semper Opera Ballet Elizabeth Murphy - Ballet West Taryn Oliveri - Ballet Memphis Tempe Ostergren – Boston Ballet Eric Otto - New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, lead Movin’ Out on Broadway Nikkia Parrish – Washington Ballet Colby Parsons - American Ballet Theatre Jaime Polovcak – Orlando Ballet

Hitomi Takeda - Houston Ballet

Amar Ramasar - Soloist New York City Ballet Giovanni Ravelo – Roxy Ballet

Margaret Tappan – Berlin Ballet, National Ballet of Holland

Joshua Reynolds – Atlanta Ballet

Lindsey Tatum – Tulsa Ballet

Lawrence Rines - Boston Ballet

Michelle Thieme – Ballet West

Shayna Rudd - Philadanco

Kyle Thomas – Topeka Ballet

Ashley Ruhl – Ballet West

Mariah Thomas – Austin Ballet

Catherine Russell – Kansas City Ballet Jennita Russo – Hubbard Street Dance Company

Lisl Vaillant – Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Broadway Phantom of the Opera

Erica Sabatini – Carolina Ballet

Luis Valdez – Cincinnati Ballet

Jennifer Savelli – Pennsylvania Ballet, Broadway: Fosse, Boy From Oz, Chicago the Movie, Dirty Dancing

Andrew Veyette – Principal, New York City Ballet

Tyler Savoie - Pennsylvania Ballet

Kyohei Yoshida - Grand Rapids Ballet

Andrew Scordato – New York City Ballet

Michael Wardlow – Soloist Cincinnati Ballet

Kristen Segin – Child Lead NY Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Jodi Weiner - Georgia Ballet

Christopher Sellers – Soloist, Ballet West Jose Serrano – South Carolina Ilir Shtylla – Ballet Arizona Beckanne Sisk – Ballet West Jennifer Smith, Pennsylvania Ballet Kate Spauldin – Louisville Ballet Nicole Stalker - Miami City Ballet

Francis Veyette – Pennsylvania Ballet

Jessica Weisner – Carnival Cruises Alison Whitaker - Louisville Ballet Katherine Whitlock – Washington Ballet Paris Wilcox – Principal, Kansas City Ballet Lateef Williams – Kansas City Ballet Lori Wilson - St Louis Ballet Gabriella Yudenich – Pennsylvania Ballet Roman Zavarov - Boston Ballet

Taylor Stanley - New York City Ballet

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 13

Dote on a Dancer Make a Dream Come True At The Rock School, we train some of the most gifted dance prodigies. Often far away from their homes and families, they pursue their passions. The children of The Rock School need our support to realize their dreams. They need us to dote on them! The average cost to train, academically educate and house a gifted pre-professional residency student at The Rock School is $45,000 per year. Attracting and training the most talented students remains a goal of The Rock School. This requires substantial scholarship funding. Contributions to the Dote on a Dancer program in 2010 helped talented young dancers continue to build on their dreams to become professional dancers. We are extremely grateful to those who supported the Dote on a Dancer program in 2010. Here are some updates from last year’s dancers: Ka’imina’auao Cambern our Hawaiian student with a love for all arts moved on from The Rock School this year to pursue his dance training at The Ellenson School in New York City. Ka’imina’auao wanted to live in New York City to continue his dance training while also pursuing painting and drawing. We look forward to seeing where Ka’imina’auao ends up next as his talent and dedication for the arts is clear. Derek Dunn continues to improve his technique and artistry here at The Rock School. Derek is an extremely gifted student and spent this past summer on full scholarship at The School of American Ballet, the official school of The New York City Ballet. Most recently, Derek was asked to perform at The Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of their Works and Process program. Jeanette Kakareka’s dream has always been to dance with The San Francisco Ballet. After spending this past summer at the San Francisco Ballet School, Jeanette was invited to stay for the year as a full scholarship student. After 13 years of training at The Rock School, we are sad to see her go, but so proud of what she has accomplished and will accomplish in the years ahead. Oliver Oguma,a student at The Rock School for four years and a competitor at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition, also made the leap to study at The San Fransisco Ballet School this year. Oliver remains dedicated to exploring many different types of dance and still loves freestyle break-dancing in his spare time! Zhao Wan Ting, from Bejing, China, was one of the most gifted students The School has ever trained. Her amazing ability and artistic maturity assure her a long career in the dance world. Wan Ting left in September to study on a full scholarship at The San Franciso Ballet School and is now a member of the corps de ballet at The San Francisco Ballet. We hope you will Dote on our Dancers again this year by making a contribution in support of one or more of our gifted scholarship students. While each student’s financial profile is different, the overall cost of a year at The Rock School, is as follows:

Ballet Training ........................................................................................... $5,800 Academic Education (RAPA©) ........................................................... $10,000 Room and Board ....................................................................................... $19,500 Competition, Costume and Pointe Shoe Fees ................................. $3,000 - $10,000 Help make a young dancer’s dream come true! If you are interested in making a contribution to Dote on a Dancer please visit the silent auction or contact Deborah Crocker, Community Relations Director, at 215-551-7010 ext 1108 or

14 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

Meet our 2011 Dote on a Dancer students Alston Macgill - 13 years old, from Savannah, GA

- 2011 Youth American Grand Prix

- Enjoys writing poems, painting, &

Semi-Finals, Junior Division:

riding horses

Grand Prix Winner, Classical - Dreams of dancing with the New York City Ballet

Luis Delcid - 16 years old, from Los Angeles, CA

- Wants to travel the world as a dancer,

- Has only been dancing for four years

blogging about his adventures

- Choreographed own solo piece for 2011 Youth America Grand Prix

Derek Dunn - 16 years old, from Glen Burnie, MD

- Was a guest performer at The Guggen-

- Dreams of being a principal dancer at

heim in NYC, during the Works and

American Ballet Theater Company in NYC Process Program, How Judges Judge - 2010 Youth American Grand Prix Finals, Junior Division: Gold Medal

Regina Montgomery - 16 years old, from Los Angeles, CA

- Dreams of dancing in an international

- Was adopted as an infant from China

company in Europe or Australia

Yukihiro Tamura - 18 years old, from Japan

- Dreams of inspiring audiences

- Has been training at The Rock School

and dancing in a professional

for three years

ballet company

Izjanae Williams - 12 years old, from Philadelphia, PA

- Nutcracker 1776 and Rock School

- Loves to sketch and draw when not

Showcase dancer


- 1st Honor Roll Student of the Month

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 15

Rock-Curtis Collaboration, Choreographer Jennifer Wheat Jennifer Wheat is a Ballet Mistress for the Rock School for Dance Education and a Principal Ballet Teacher for The Rock School West. Originally from Michigan, Ms. Wheat trained with the Contemporary Civic Ballet Company and was a scholarship student at The School of the Pennsylvania Ballet where she studied under the direction of Lupe Serrono. Ms. Wheat spent her summers on scholarship at The Boston Ballet summer program with Violette Verdy and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Ms. Wheat also studied Jazz at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and The Lou Conte School of Dance in Chicago before becoming an apprentice with Hubbard Street Dance Company. Returning to Philadelphia, Ms. Wheat danced with Astral Theatrical Dance Company, Philadanco, and as guest artist with Dancefusion. Ms. Wheat has been on faculty at The Maywood Academy of Dance, The Pennsylvania Centre for Ballet, and The Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center where she worked with Jacques D’Amboise and The National Dance Institute. In 1985 Ms. Wheat became the Founding Director/ choreographer for Fusion2 Dance Company a training ground for young dancers. She has also been a guest teacher and choreographer at The University of Pennsylvania, The Johnson City Ballet Company and Florida’s Atlantic Arts Academy.

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Rock-Curtis Collaboration, Composer Gabriella Smith Gabriella Smith is a young composer from the San Francisco Bay Area who entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2009 and studies with David Ludwig. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Smith is the Milton L. Rock Composition Fellow. In 2009 Ms. Smith was named a winner in the 2009 ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Competition, and she received first place in the 2009 Pacific Musical Society Composition Competition and honorable mention in the 2009 New York Art Ensemble Young Composer Competition. She is a member of American Composers Forum and Society of Composers Incorporated. Ms. Smith began composing when she was eight years old. At eleven, she began studying composition with pianistcomposer Arkadi Serper of the Crowden School in Berkeley. Her first full-length chamber composition, Sonata for Violin and Piano, was performed in concert in Berkeley two years later. Her first composition for orchestra, Dances of the Isuan Interval, was introduced by conductor Kent Nagano and performed by George Thomson and the Berkeley Symphony at their 2006 Under Construction concert. Ms. Smith’s compositions have since been performed in concert numerous times, including her Somniballare for cello, piano, and percussion, by the new-music ensemble ADORNO on its 2008-09 ScoreXchange program. In 2008 she entered the John Adams Young Composers Program, where she studied with Yiorgos Vassilandonakis and John Adams of the University of California Berkeley. She attended the Young Artists Program at Yellow Barn in Putney, Vt., in 2009. Ms. Smith is also an active pianist and violinist. She has played in an improvising string quartet called the Super Delegates, the Formerly Known as Classical contemporary music ensemble, and the first violin section of Young People’s Symphony Orchestra.

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The Milton L. Rock Challenge The Rock School extends a special thank you to those who have made contributions to The Milton Rock Challenge Grant. Robert Abramowitz and Susan Stewart Barbara and Todd Albert Leslie Benoliel Constance Benoliel-Rock Peter Benoliel Carol Bernick Jennifer Bognar Cary Bok Robert Booth Madeleine Boyer and Richard Adler Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Caplan Steven Carey The Churchill Foundation Joseph Cox Cozen O’Connor Dale DeWitt Jennifer Diabo Kathryn Levy Feldman James Floyd Joel Gershman

Colin and Christina Hartnett

Bernard and Delphine Poussot

John and Christina Iannotti

Donald Rasner

Lisa Kabnick and John McFadden

Anna K. Reimann

Steven Katz

Richard and Deborah Rein

David and Jane Kim

Gioia Riccio

Elizabeth Knighton

Bob and Caro Rock

Kevin and Ada Koch

Linda and Charles Schelke

Bong Lee

Roy Seibel

Gerry Lenfest

Joan Siegel

Charisse Lillie

Stanley Silverman

William Loeb

Jeffrey Sheehan

Wendy and Solomon Luo

Jeanne Sigler

Leon Malmud

Catherine Smith

James and Betty Matarese

Barbara Spector

Ricki Mandeloff

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Starbuck

Bob McCadden

Robert Toborowsky

Frank and Susan Mechura

Leslie Tolles

The Mendell Foundation

Philip Turberg

J. Brien Murphy

The Uhlmann Family Fund

Nancy Newman

The Victory Foundation

The William Penn Foundation

RJ Wallner

L. Pirolli

Penelope Watkins

Dan and Margo Polett (as of April 7, 2011)

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to The Milton Rock Challenge please contact Deborah Crocker, Community Relations Director, at at or at 215-551-7010 ext. 1108. You can also send a contribution to The Rock School, att. Milton Rock Challenge, 1101 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147. All proceeds benefit The Rock School’s scholarship program and RockReach.

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2010-2011 Rock School Supporters The following corporate sponsors, foundations and government agencies provide The Rock School for Dance Education with valuable support for general operations, programs, and specific productions. The School is extremely grateful for their generosity. Alberto-Culver Company


The Bank of America Foundation

The Memton Fund

The Barra Foundation

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

The Connelly Foundation

The Pogo Family Foundation

The Department of Community and

The Jerome Robbins Foundation

Economic Development

The Suzanne Roberts Cultural

T. James Kavanagh Foundation

Development Fund

The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation

The Lawrence Saunders Fund

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

The US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Program

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 19

Faculty and Staff Bojan Spassoff,



President & Director

Dean of Academics

Jody Anderson Miller

The Rock School West

Dr. Mark Franek

Gina Angelucci-Grace

Assistant Director

Sarah Cooper

Nicole Harmon

Stephanie Wolf Spassoff, Director Violette Verdy, Artistic Advisor

Dean of Students Nicole DiGironimo

Finance Financial Consultant

Gabriele T. Tesfa Guma Maiqui Manosa Meghan Meehan Christina Patchell


Marie Therese Piccioni

Operations Manager

Associate, Your

Jenna Hassinger

Part-Time Controller

General Manager


Kelly Sheppard

Brian McCole

Jonelle Kelly

Elizabeth Simmons

Administrator Mary Ann Baldwin Bookkeeper

Matthew Powell

Caren Griffin

Mariaelena Ruiz

Principal Ballet Teacher

Katharine Savage

Jennifer Wheat

Bo Spassoff

Artistic Coordinator Kimberly Forbes Camacho

Assistant to the

Residence Life


Residence Director

Eva Szabo

Ballet Coordinator

Elizabeth Simmons

Holly Monsen

Jennifer Wheat

Donna Cherry


Marine Club Residence

Natasha Zeiger

Early Dance Coordinator

Joanne Smith


Retail Manager

Bridget Irelan

Kelly Sheppard


Stephanie Spassoff

Permanent Guest Faculty Joaquin de Luz

Karen DeFrancesco Faculty Danielle Bower Kristin Brown

Photographer &

Community Outreach


William Glassman


Tiffany Yoon

Benjamin Millipied

Sarah Cooper

Phillip M. Otto


RockReach Faculty

Richard Rein

Community Relations

Megan Braun

Jennifer Savelli


Gabrielle T. Tesfa Guma

Daniel Ulbricht

Deborah Crocker

Gina Angelucci Grace

Yaxshaan Medan

Christina Pastras

Sergio Torrado



Vince Johnson

Development Intern


Valentina Slutsky

Jody Anderson

Megan Koch

Artistic Advisor

Noah Farber

Christina Pastras

John Levis


Ray Lindsey

Jennifer Wheat

Development Associate Colby Accola

Violette Verdy Ballet Mistress

Jeff Story

Mariaelena Ruiz

Rosario Mills

Music Coordinator Asya Haykin

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Kim Camacho Donna Cherry Karen DeFrancesco Rose Dowlin Crystal Frazier Ruth Freeberg Gina Angelucci Grace Nicole Harmon

Ballet Master Mariaelena Ruiz Mariaelena Ruiz has been a faculty member and rehearsal coach at The Rock School for Dance Education since 2000. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mariaelena began her early studies at the “Academia Ballet Clasico Nina Novak.” At 14, she became the youngest member of the Ballet Nacional de Caracas, under the direction of Vicente Nebrada, with whom she toured South America and Europe, dancing soloist and principal roles. At 15, she won 3rd place at The USA International Ballet Competition, junior division, in Jackson, and received a full scholarship to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet. She also won 3rd place and “Best Couple Award” at the Varna International Ballet Competition, and the Prix Volinine in Paris, France. She has danced principal roles with Bay Ballet Theater, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Carolina Ballet Theater, Ballet Hispanico, and has been a guest artist for many companies in the US and abroad. Mariaelena has been a member of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet since 2001, where she performs Balanchine repertoire and has also assisted with staging and rehearsals. She has been a judge and guest teacher for Youth America Grand Prix and is also very involved with the New York International Ballet Competition.

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 21

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The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 23

Caro and Bob Rock congratulate all of the

students and faculty of The Rock School for their exceptional work ethic, drive and determination. Keep up the good work! We are proud of your achievements!

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We are so proud to support Rock School dancers like Derek Dunn.

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 25

WILKIE LEXUS is proud to support the many stars of The Rock School for Dance Education.

Margo and Dan Polett

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The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 27

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Aqua is proud to support The Rock School for Dance Education.

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 29 - 877.WTR.AQUA

The Lurie Family Foundation PROUDLY SUPPORTS The Rock

School for Dance Education.

The Lurie Family Foundation

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One Nova Care Way Philadelphia PA 19145

Telephone 215 463 8865 Fax 215 468 0390

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 31

Dreams can come true when you have a great foundation Penn Mutual is proud to support The Rock School for Dance Education The Rock School builds a foundation that nurtures artistic excellence in its students, just as Penn Mutual helps clients plan so they can achieve all of life’s possibilities. We believe that purchasing life insurance is the most protective, responsible and rewarding action you can take to help you live more confidently today, and create a brighter future for generations to come.

Š 2011 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA 19172

32 | Dancing with the Rock Stars A1JC-0329-03

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 33

DID YOU KNOW? • RAPA is celebrating its 10th Anniversary during the 2011-2012 school year! • You can find RAPA in the Library of Congress. Our unique learning model was copyrighted in 2004. • Our current students hail from 11 states and 2 countries! • This year’s graduating seniors had an overall average SAT grade of 1825. That’s over 300 points higher than the national average for a 2010 college- bound senior. • Our students contribute to the RAPA blog at: • RAPA offers three in-house high school courses: - Career Development - Dance History - Philadelphia: 1681-1930 • Students enrolled in these courses earn high school credits that go towards graduation.

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to all the students at The Rock School for another extraordinary year! Keep up the great work!

Dr. and Mrs. Milton Rock

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 35


CHEMICAL is proud to be an ongoing sponsor of The Rock School

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The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 37

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WE SALUTE CARO AND BOB ROCK whose devotion and commitment to The Rock School for Dance Education is an inspiration to us all.

Marjorie and Jeffrey Honickman

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 39

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The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 41


Tracey and Shanin Specter

The Lubert Family Foundation

is proud to support The Rock School.

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The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 45

Our Lawyers are Proud to Support The Rock School and Scholarship Programs that Encourage Creativity. CALIFORNIA | DELAWARE | ILLINOIS | NEW JERSEY NEW YORK | PENNSYLVANIA | WASHINGTON DC | WISCONSIN Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP | A Delaware limited liability partnership

Our lawyers are proud to support dancers like Alston Macgill. CALIFORNIA | DELAWARE | ILLINOIS | NEW JERSEY NEW YORK | PENNSYLVANIA | WASHINGTON DC | WISCONSIN Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP | A Delaware limited liability partnership


Amy Branch and Jeff Benoliel 48 | Dancing with the Rock Stars


Jane and James Stern The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 49

CONGRATULATIONS to The Rock School for nurturing creativity, celebrating talent, and helping young artists reach their dreams. It is a privilege to Dote on a Dancer as deserving as Izjanae Williams.

Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane

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MACY’S IS A PROUD SUPPORTER of The Rock School and dancers like Yukihiro Tamura.

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WE APPLAUD CARO AND BOB and all they have done to enrich the lives of Rock School students through dance.

Love, Jaimie and David Field

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We are delighted to support

The Rock School for Dance Education on its 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit.

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 55

Thomas Jefferson UniversiTy hosPiTaLs

WE APPLAUD THE ROCK SCHOOL AND THE ROCK FAMILY for their continued dedication to excellence in dance education.

Phyllis and Howard Fischer 56 | Dancing with the Rock Stars

Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest

are proud to support The Rock School and Curtis Institute Collaboration. The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 57

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ROCK SCHOOL! on its 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit.

Robin and Jerry Williams

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WE ARE PROUD TO SUPPORT THE ROCK SCHOOL and dancers like Regina Montgomery.

Liza Herzog and Paul Curci

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 59


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CONGRATULATIONS to our wonderful staff and students.

Mr. and Mrs. TJ Reilly, Jr.

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 61


Suzanne Roberts


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Debbie and Bob Chiumento

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 63



Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust® is pleased to support DESTINATION DINING AT PLYMOUTH MEETING MALL

The Rock School’s Annual Scholarship Benefit –

Dancing with the Rock Stars We’re PREIT,® headquartered in Philadelphia and proud to manage and own these and other fine area shopping destinations. PREMIERE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE AT WILLOW GROVE PARK

200 South Broad Street • 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102 215.875.0700 • LIVE, SHOP AND DINE AT VOORHEES TOWN CENTER

Exclusive technology provider for The Rock School.

Sales • Service • Training Center City Philadelphia • Main Street at Exton

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 65


Leroy Kean

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Bob Abramowitz and Susan Stewart

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Susan Rock and Michael Phillips

are proud to support The Rock School and dancers like Luis Delcid.

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WE APPLAUD THE ROCK SCHOOL for its vision and dedication to making dance the star!

Lyn and Roy Neff

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Dancing with the Rock Stars Gala.

Andrea and Warren Kantor

The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 71

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KUDOS TO MILTON AND CONNIE AND THEIR WONDERFUL FAMILY. Thank you for the joy and beauty you have brought to our city.

Elaine Levitt and Joel Gershman

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Marianne and Russell Raphaely SALUTE The Rock School’s commitment to excellence in dance education.

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”Friends, ƒriends, ƒriends, we will always be...”

Phyllis & Howard You Love, Barbara and Mickey Black


Love, Mommy and Peter XOXOXO 76 | Dancing with the Rock Stars


Martha McGeary Snider

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WITH BEST WISHES TO OUR DEAR FRIENDS CARO AND BOB ROCK. Congratulations to The Rock School on its 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit.

Fran and Steve Katz

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Rock West, West Chester, PA (610) 431-4321 Just 15 minutes from the Main Line

THE PREMIER DANCE SCHOOL & FACILITY IN THE REGION The Rock School’s 20th Annual Scholarship Benefit 2011 | 79

The Rock School for Dance Education presents

HOLIDAY 2011 Unlock the Magic of Dance with New Holiday Tradition for the Whole Family. Directed by: Bo Spassoff & Stephanie Wolf Spassoff

Philadelphia’s Children’s Nutcracker

The Rock School's 2011 Benefit Gala Program Book  

Show your support of The Rock School for Dance Education with a program book ad. Black and white advertisements will be presented in the pr...

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