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in remembrance NancyBenson Schaffenburg-Cross


N


ancy Benson Schaffenburg-Cross passed away Friday, July 15, 2011. Born onAug. 19, 1936, in Boston,Nancy was a dancer in the Lee Trio performing in her home-


town and for theUSO.At 14,Nancy turned professional as a Radio CityMusicHall dancer.At age 16, she became a soloist with Ballet Russes deMonte Carlo,where shemet her husband, the late Fernando Schaffenburg (1925-2009). She also danced with theMetropolitanOpera Ballet.After guest appearances, as prima ballerina,with theMexico City Ballet, she and Fernando settled inDallas as artist in residence at the Edith James School ofDance. In 1965, her husband became director of the Department of Ballet andModernDance at Texas Christian University, andNancy became an adjunct professor of ballet. The two also founded the Schaffenburg BalletAcademy and the Fort Worth Ballet.After their divorce,Nancy directed a newschool of dance at El Centro College inDallas from1976 to 1979. She then became balletmistress to the BalletMetropolitan of Columbus, Ohio. In 1980, she established her own ballet academy, the Schaffenburg-Cross School of Balletwith her second husband, pianist Joe Cross, inDallas.Nancy and Joe also recorded and published two successful records for ballet class. By the late 1980s,Nancyworkedwith friend and former colleagueArthur Mitchell as director of the school forDance Theatre ofHarlem. Nancywas appointed to the faculty of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1991. In 1998, she accepted a faculty position at Point Park University. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s,Nancy taught in the United States,Mexico and the Caribbean.Nancy retired from teaching in 2006 after suffering a stroke. Shemoved toGlen Mills, Pa., near her sonKarl in 2008. Shewas surrounded by her two sons and her daughter-in-lawduring her final days. Survivors: Sons,Kurt Schaffenburg of Rowlett andKarl Schaffenburg of Ridley Park, Pa.;Karl’swife, Patricia; and broth- ers, Francis Benson ofNewtonville,Mass., and Robert Benson of Long BoatKey, Fla.


DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas vol. 14 • no. 4 www.thedancecouncil.org november 2011 page 13


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