I’ve been working at Danceworks since 2002 and have watched the organization grow in both programming and budget because of a dedicated team and supportive community committed to our mission—to enhance the joy, health and creativity of our community through our performances, classes and outreach activities that integrate dance and other art forms.
Since 1992, Danceworks has been committed to taking work beyond the stage and studio into the community. That’s what drew me to the organization in the first place. With the launch of Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap in 2006, we hit our stride serving Milwaukee city schools with a program that connects students to the classroom and to each other. It’s modeled after the well-known New York City arts education program, Dancing Classrooms, that was so successful it was made into the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom.
Prior to coming to Danceworks, I worked with Milwaukee Ballet as Director of Education and Outreach and was on the Milwaukee Ballet School faculty while I completed my MFA at UW-Milwaukee. I moved back in 1999, after a career in theatre and dance and many odd and not so odd jobs. I left my position as Assistant Director for Business and Finance of the North Carolina Botanical Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill where I’d worked my way up from a secretary assistant III position beginning in 1986.
Chapel Hill was a great place to live—I was able to perform with amazing dancers and choreographers from all across the country and benefit from the energy and world-wide talent of the American Dance Festival in Durham. I served on the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty at University of NC at Chapel Hill, in addition to the theatre faculty at Tulane University (1980), and most recently, the dance faculty at UW-Milwaukee where I was an adjunct faculty member from 1999 – 2014.
As an Equity actress, singer and dancer, I performed throughout the United States, appearing Off and Off-Off Broadway as well as in regional theatre and dance companies. Originally from Milwaukee, I was happy to return after twenty-five years away. I ended up marrying my brother’s best friend from high school and we bought the house I grew up in when my parents downsized.
Milwaukee is a great place to live with wonderful arts and culture, great restaurants, nice people, awesome bike trails, and a beautiful lake. I love being close to my family again, though I miss my son, Charlie, who still lives in NC. I loved recording my Dad’s stories on my blog, Sundays with Dad, which grew into a book, Conversations with Dad, and a second blog for my stories, Not According to Plan.
Thanks for stopping by and you can check out more about Danceworks’ performances, classes and community programs here—www.danceworksmke.org!
(When we launched our new website over a year ago, the blog was accessible only through the site. Posts between 2013 and 2014 can be found on the Danceworks website.)