"Five, six, seven, eight."

About four dozen students moved in unison as Lyn Bergdoll snapped her fingers to the beat.

It was the group's first and only full rehearsal for the Rosies finale - the crowning moment of Sunday's high school theater celebration.

Bergdoll, who spent weeks developing the 6-minute routine, had a few hours to teach the choreography Friday evening. The late afternoon sun beat through the picture windows of the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center's studio.

Students in leggings, T-shirts and sneakers didn't seem to mind the heat.

"Step, touch, step, touch." Four kids from each of the 14 area schools were chosen to be in the finale. They could handle the fast-paced rehearsals. Each had dedicated hours to their school's spring musical and 10-minute Rosies routine.

West York Area High School had a spring concert Friday, so students would learn the finale during quick run-throughs on Saturday and Sunday.

No one worried if they would catch up. Bergdoll was more concerned about whether or not the teens could hit high kicks and high notes at the same time.

"I love that chord!"

Randy Yoder pumped his fist when students seated around the studio's piano hit their keys. Yoder, who directs The York County Senior Honors Choir, helped pick the finale tunes - "Don't Rain on My Parade" and "On Broadway" - and broke down all of the vocal parts Friday.

Then, the teens climbed onto their feet to put the music and the movements together.


Students, who had been strangers at the beginning of the session, shared music, linked arms and gossiped about who would win the Rosies awards.

"Turn around! Move those hips!"

On Sunday afternoon, about 600 Rosies participants slipped into costumes and makeup backstage at the Strand. For most, performing on a professional stage to a sold-out audience would be the highlight of their theater experience.

For seniors such as Dallastown Area High School students and finale soloists Emilee Gorski and Megan Anderson, it would be their last moment in the high school spotlight. That fact, Anderson said, probably wouldn't sink in until Monday.

Bergdoll and Yoder gathered the finale ensemble for a final review about 4:30 p.m. The lights came up, and the teens ran through both songs.

Then, they practiced their bows as Bergdoll clapped.

"Really give it every bit of sparkle," she told them. "There will be thunderous applause."

@FlipSidePA; 771-2051

The Rosies Awards were announced Sunday. The winners:
Best Overall Performance: Dallastown Area High School

Most Creative or Original: Hanover High School

Best Production Number w/Dance: Red Lion Area High School

Best Ensemble with small group: Central York High School

Outstanding Female Performer: Dallastown Area High School, Angel Harrison, singing "I Know Where I've Been"; Dallastown Area High School, Emilee Gorski, singing "Good Morning, Baltimore"; and Susquehannock High School, Courtney Reed, singing "Only in New York"

Outstanding Male Performer: Central York High School, David Hodgson, singing "If I Were King of the Forest"; New Hope Charter School, Bradlee Gorrera, singing "No Bad News"; and Red Lion Area High School, Jeff White, singing "Beauty School Drop Out"

Judges Award: New Hope Charter School

More about the ceremony

Emcee: Matt Belanger of WGAL, who performed "New York, New York" to open the show

Director/choreographer: Lyn Bergdoll

Producer: Carol Oppelaar

Judges: Former York County theater students Ann Gillette, Erin Owens and Richard Shoap

Order a DVD: 2012 Rosies DVDs will be available from Bob's Video Plus. Call 717-767-5205 for details.

Read more about the 2012 Rosies and watch a video at ydr.com.