RECAP: Celebrate Deborah

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What a wonderful, celebratory tribute this past weekend! We’re so glad you were able to join us. Deborah’s 30 years at Dance Place have been a great gift to the dance community and we couldn’t be happier to dedicate this evening to her legacy.


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Here’s a message from Deborah as she reflects on this meaningful event:

“I’m overwhelmed by your generosity in supporting our Legacy Onward initiative in my honor. It’s a tribute to Dance Place’s success that so many people feel passionately about our mission and service to our community.

Thank you for strengthening Dance Place’s foundation so that our next Executive Artistic Director inherits your continued partnership.

Your presence to witness and help me take my next steps as a teaching artist in DC is a wonderful gift. As you heard I’m delighted to be working with The Studio Theater Conservatory, Arts for the Aging and continuing my Saturday morning class at Dance Place, as well as other opportunities that I’ll share as they reveal themselves.

While I’m enjoying my last months as Co-Director, rest assured that you’ll be seeing me at our performances on a regular basis and appreciating the evolving future for our wonderful Dance Place.”

Deborah was featured in the press for her contributions to the field of dance nationally and in Washington, DC. Washington Blade and others highlighted the event as an unmissable social event in the community.

The Washington Post‘s Sarah Kaufman sat in on Deborah’s dance class to take in our Director in her natural habitat:

“You could say it’s the philosophy behind her teaching: be, feel, surprise yourself. Near the end of her Saturday morning class, Riley coaxes her students into freewheeling, improvisational duets as the drumbeats roll. ‘Allow something to happen that comes from listening to your partner,’ she calls out to them. Two by two, the dancers sweep across the floor, now spinning away, now whirling back together. Their teacher tosses out another thought, another thread that makes up her gentle approach to dance, and to life.”

Read more here >>

DC Dance Journalism Project quizzed Deborah on her next steps in an interview for Dance Metro DC:

“I will continue to teach modern classes in the community, working with the Studio Theatre Conservatory and Arts for the Aging in Montgomery County… I love to engage with all of those constituents in order to problem solve, discover, heal, and enrich lives.

I’m feeling excited about my next steps.”

Read more here >>

Make sure to watch our mini-documentary on Deborah’s career that had us all reaching for our tissues!