About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for December 9th, 2007

Diane Newman Receives Award

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Diane Newman, Lansing dance innovator… founder of Happendance professional modern dance troupe and school (and wonderful person) has been awarded a huge honor by her peers. She has been awarded the Michigan Dance Council’s Educator of the Year Award. Well done, Diane.

I have studied with Diane several times since 1991… when my life started again at age 32 (spurred by a divorce, as often happens). I had not danced in about 15 years. She was patient, loving and kind, yet focused on quality.

In my experience, there are a good number of dance instructors who get good results with their students. However, it is no doubt easier to see what someone does wrong than what they do right. Too often instructors are not kind in the process of molding the talent of their students. Our Diane has heart, she nurtures as she molds those in her classes. I am honored to know her.

I remember when I was taking adult ballet with her (in her studio in DeWitt back around 1991-92), I found that a bad emotional day meant much falling over in class. One time I found myself falling over again, at a point where poise was called for. I laughed out loud (this is not common in a ballet class).

Diane’s comment? “Your foot was perfect, Lynn.” She always noticed what I did right and worked with that. I really needed that sort of acceptance at the time. I have never forgotten how that helped me in such a vulnerable period of my life.

When I had my very first solo art show (polymer clay sculpture), I remember that Diane came to see the show (and she brought her father). I was not there when she arrived, so she made a point to leave me a phone message. She said “the work is so YOU.” I was so new at this art thing, that her comment was precious and dear. I never forgot that she took the time to appreciate my work out loud. It was a gift to me.

Congratulations to Diane! It could not have happened to a finer human being.