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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2016
The Rockaway Times
A Christmas First For BC Dance Company
By Dan Guarino
'Tis the season to start a new
tradition.
On Sunday, December 18,
Thomasina’s Dance Compa-
ny will be hosting their first
Christmas Spectacular. Not
only will TDC’s students be
dancing up a holiday storm,
the troupe will also welcome
a variety of guests. They have
invited members of the Adel-
phi University Kick Line, St.
Virgilius Church’s New Life
Choir, and vocalists Mike
Beaury, Michael Boyle, Vic-
toria Recco and Callie Todd.
The show, filled with singing,
dancing and good cheer, will
start at 2 p.m. at the Rockaway
Theatre Company’s well-ap-
pointed Post Theater at Fort
Tilden.
To purchase and/or get more
information, call 917-612-6623
today. Tickets are $10. There is
also plenty of free parking.
The ‘Thomasina’ in ‘Thom-
asina’s Dance Company,’ is
Thomasina Ogden, who says
that they would like to make
this an annual holiday tradi-
tion. She also points out that
this is the school’s 40th year.
The popular dance school
itself has been a staple of the
island
neighborhood.
“It’s
always been in Broad Chan-
nel,” she says. “It started as the
Broad Channel Dance School. I
had three partners then.”
As time went on and the three
other original founders went
on to other pursuits in life,
Ogden continued her passion
for dance and for teaching.
“We teach ballet, tap, jazz,
modern dance, and hip-hop.
We also teach adults classes.
So we have country heat and
Zumba.”
Besides its long existence,
Thomasina’s Dance Compa-
ny occupies a unique niche in
Broad Channel’s history. The
school operates within the for-
mer home of the Sun Toy Chi-
nese restaurant in the Channel.
The upswept tips of its pagoda
styled roofs can be seen just off
Cross Bay Boulevard on the left
as one comes over the bridge
from Rockaway.
Their Christmas Spectacu-
lar will feature some 30 TDC
students. Ogden says they
will range in age from 4 to 20.
“We’ll have the Adelphi kick
line, four great singers and
the choir.”
“The kids have always done
dances for the Broad Channel
tree lighting. So we thought
we’d embellish a little bit,”
Ogden says about kicking off
their own Christmas show.
“Just something fun to do.”
Once the idea took hold,
as if by holiday magic, other
parts fell into place. “I have
four great teachers,” Ogden
says. They are Michaela Mod-
ica, Jeanine McGovern, Nico-
la DePierro-Nellen and her
daughter, also named Thom-
asina.
“Nicola has been one of
my students since she was
four. She also performs in
the shows over there at the
Rockaway Theatre Company.”
DePierro-Nellen, who also
choreographs shows at RTC,
was able to make the connec-
tion to use their professional
theater space.
Ogden also notes one of
her teachers, Modica, goes
to Adelphi. So despite gear-
ing up for holiday breaks and
staring down semester finals,
she was able to line up sever-
al members of the university’s
dance team.
In addition Ogden’s longtime
friend Margaret Howard-Wag-
ner happens to be one of the
founders of the New Life Choir.
So another holiday connection
was made.
All of the performers, now
busily rehearsing, are excited
to be part of this Christmas
first. And of course the head-
liners, Broad Channel's own
Thomasina’s Dance Compa-
ny, are ready to take the Fort
Tilden stage, and ring the
holiday in with bells on this
year!
Santa Shuffle Saturday
By Dan Guarino
Ready, set, ho, ho, ho!
The Santa Shuffle is this
Saturday, December 17. The
fun run/walk starts and fin-
ishes at Beach 126th Street
and the Boardwalk, and in-
cludes a Kiddie Run, a 1 Mile
Walk/Run and a 5K Run.
Registration and suit pick
up will be from 9:30 to 10:45
a.m. at St. Francis de Sales
on Beach 129th Street.
Groups like the Gray-
beards, Rockaway Wish, the
RIBS, and the Ancient Order
of Hibernians (AOH) have
pledged their support and
the Belle Harbor location of
this year’s Shuffle is home
to the very popular Family
Fun Run held in July.
After the run and walk
there will be hot chocolate,
coffee, cookies and bagels
for the participants back at
St. Francis. An after party
will follow at Jameson’s Pub,
at 421 Beach 129th Street.
Raffles will also be sold.
The fun event draws people
from Rockaway, all over the
city and even other states.
Families, groups of friends,
organizations and clubs have
come out to run together, of-
ten with all ages in tow.
John Edwards who puts
this event and other Rock-
away runs together said,
“There are no prizes, it’s just
a fun run. It’s a good fami-
ly event. What we do is we
raise money for CYO and we
also send some high school
kids to a learning camp in
the summer with what we
raise.”
To pre-register for the San-
ta Shuffle or for more infor-
mation, go online to www.
rockapulcorun.com.
Photos by Dan Guarino