Around Linthicum: Aunt grooms niece to achieve dancing dream

When Linthicum resident Anami Halo was born nine years ago, her aunt, dancer Ashley Hardy, knew she had a duty to

When Linthicum resident Anami Halo was born nine years ago, her aunt, dancer Ashley Hardy, knew she had a duty to fulfill.

"When she was born I said, 'I have exactly nine years to get her ready to try for Petite Miss Dance of America'" remembered Hardy.

And she did.

Halo competed in the Petite Miss Dance of America 2017 in New Orleans this past July. Presented by Dance Masters of America — an international organization of dance educators -the competition focuses primarily on dance education, teacher training and giving dancers scholarships and dance opportunities.

There, the St. Philip Neri incoming fourth-grader competed against 25 other dancers from across the country and Canada. She went on to win second runner-up and was voted Miss Congeniality by her competitors.

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Photos about the people and places of Linthicum as featured in Heather Vecchioni's "Linthicum" column

"Since making the top 10 is always your goal in a competition like this, what she did was a huge honor," Hardy said. "Needless to say, we were all very proud."

Supporting Halo along the way is her family, who has a passion for dancing that is generations deep. Halo's great-grandmother was a tap dancer and Halo's mother, Adrienne Canterna, is an internationally acclaimed dancer who studied at the Kirov Academy of Ballet alongside sister Hardy.

Canterna is also the owner and artistic director of Bad Boys of Ballet, a successful dance company that has toured Europe and was a semi-finalist on the competition show America's Got Talent in 2014.

around-linthicum-aunt-grooms-niece-to-achieve-dancing-dream photo 2 Heather Vecchioni

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is the country's 23rd busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic.

In 2015, over 65,000 passengers arrived and departed daily in and out of the airport. In 2014, BWI was the 36th busiest airport in North America for cargo volume with 105,153 metric tons moving through...

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is the country's 23rd busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic.

In 2015, over 65,000 passengers arrived and departed daily in and out of the airport. In 2014, BWI was the 36th busiest airport in North America for cargo volume with 105,153 metric tons moving through...

(Heather Vecchioni)

Hardy, who is Halo's teacher at the Edna Lee Dance Studio, is also an accomplished dancer and performed in national and international competitions alongside Canterna. Hardy choreographs across the country and is the artistic director of Maryland Festival Ballet.

Rounding out the dancing family affair is Halo's grandmother.

"My mother, Sally Canterna, ended up making our costumes to offset the cost of lessons, competition fees and travel," said Hardy of when she and her sister were performing. "She made all of our costumes and now she's making the costumes for our children."

Dancing since she was three, Halo performed her solo to "I'm a Brass Band," choreographed by Hardy, at the competition. She was also judged in jazz, ballet, tap and acro audition classes, and an interview, in which she earned a perfect score.

As a former Petite, Junior and Miss Dance National winner, Hardy was able to prepare and guide her niece for what was in store at the competition.

"I was really proud about what I won at nationals, but most importantly was proud of myself for getting through all of the classes and opening number rehearsals," said Halo. "They were really long days and I felt like I grew so much from pushing myself to get through every single one. I was also really proud and excited that I made so many new friends. I miss everyone already."

Hardy is thankful for the opportunity to share her and her family's love of dancing with her niece and her daughter, Gabi.

"My favorite part about teaching Anami is watching her grow as a dancer and a person," Hardy. "Dance has been such a huge part of our family. It's a tradition I've always wanted to pass on. It's a huge responsibility taking care of a young dancer mentally and physically, and I'm truly honored that I get to help her along this wonderful journey."

Vacation Bible School

The Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church, located at 200 School Lane, will host its vacation Bible school, themed Avalanche Ranch: A Wild Ride Through God's World, Aug. 7-11, 9 am-noon.

Children who are 4-years-old and potty-trained through just completing sixth grade are eligible to attend. The cost for the school is $10 for the first child and $7 for each additional child.

Visit https://sites.google.com/site/lhumchurch/ or call (410) 859-0990 to register or for more information.

Blessing of the Backpacks

St. John's Lutheran Church invites students, school administrators and academic support staff to its Blessing of the Backpacks at all services Aug. 13. School supply donations are also sought to help children in the community.

Call (410) 859-0020 or visit www.sjlc.org for more information.

Email Linthicum news to Heather Vecchioni at aroundlinthicum@gmail.com

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Article Around Linthicum: Aunt grooms niece to achieve dancing dream compiled by www.baltimoresun.com