Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Fond Farewell to a Friend

'Now is the hour we must say goodbye
soon you'll be sailing far across the sea'
Frank Sinatra

Today I'd just like to take the time to say a few words about my tap dance teacher, Louise, who passed away this morning. I've known her since I started tap dancing at the age of 8, and she's seen my family go through a lot of difficult changes. She's always been hugely inspirational to me and anyone she meets, and she was even featured as a local hero in Connecticut last year. I haven't been in the past two productions she's put on because of being away at school, but whenever I visited home I always felt welcome to jump into a dance lesson with the regular group. She was 92 years old and danced up until the day that she passed. She was a former Rockette, who taught tap in an old school style while classic songs played on her record player. She taught in the attic of her house which she remodeled into a dance studio, and somehow, out of that small space, she created a show once a year for the big stage to benefit cancer research.
She brought joy to so many people by introducing them to the world of tap. Everyone she taught couldn't help but be affected by her passion, and feel proud to be her student. I'll never stop tapping, and I'll always have her in mind when I practice the time step. Her life lives on through her hundreds of students that loved squeezing into that attic once a week, and dancing to classic songs that became so endearing over the years. Wherever she may be, I know she must be dancing. 
Here are some photos I have to remember her by...
Louise and me the night she came to see our high school musical, Anything Goes, which I tapped in. A few of her students were in the production and she came to support us:

Our Tuesday night Ladies group, we used to watch American Idol afterwards and snack on some munchies and wine:

The sign outside the Garde Arts Center for one of Louise's shows:

The Garde put out a tribute to her yesterday, a really kind gesture:

A poor iPhone quality photo of Louise dancing in one of her shows:

Louise at my mother's wedding in October, the last time I saw her, with one of her students and her student's husband:
And here's a video one of her grandsons, Casey, made about her career as a dancer:
Rest in peace, Louise...

1 comment:

  1. Louise made all of us feel as though we were not one of a million friends, but one in a million, she was such an inspiration!