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PayingTribute:The 2015DCNTHonorsAwards by LynneRichardson D

allas – LaborDayweekendwill see the 27th yearDCNT has honored thosewho have been instrumental in creating the vibrant dance communitywe have inNorth Texas today.

The fiveDanceCouncilHonorsAwardswill be presented to eight Honorees at a special event, Sunday, September 6, 2015, as part of theDallasDanceFest celebrations, atCity PerformanceHall over Labor DayWeekend.

Each of the awardsmemorializes a talented and prestigious person in our dance community, and theHonorees are as follows:

MaryMcLarryBywaters (Founder ofDanceCouncil)Award forLifetimeAchievement inDancewill be presented to:

GwenOwens –LondonSchool ofDance Pictured:GwenOwens

Fromhaving danced inmusicals in theWestEnd of London and tour- ing throughoutBritain and over- seas in chorus lines, to a long-term stint in the famous line-up of the BBCTelevision Toppers to founding London School ofDance inDallas, Gwen has always been in dance - her studiowill celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.Many of the school’s current enrollment are the offspring of former students. Gwen’s lifelong affiliationwith the RoyalAcademy ofDance in London, beganwith studying its technique as a child in post-World

War IIBritain and later, incorporating its exacting standards as the foundation of her school. You can see her students performing all year at different community events, such asDance Planet and National TapDanceCelebration.Gwen has also acted as children’s coordinator for theMoscowBalletCompany’s production of The Nutcracker inDallas for over 15 years.Acertifiedmember of the TexasAssociation of Teachers ofDancing for 25 years, her students have gone on to pursue professional careers in dance as performers, teachers, choreographers, and studio owners, alongwithmany oth- erswho have just become lifelong lovers of dancewith good pos- ture!One of the teachers,Cherami Steadman,who has a school in Austin, creditsGwenwith,”seekingways to foster a dynamic and prosperous dance culture. I loved the performances she took us to, the TATDconventions, themyriad performance opportunities she sought out for us, including theDanceCouncil festivals. These rich experiences opened up newworlds for us.”Gwen’s legacy in dance ismost clearly seen in her daughters,Michele andMisty, both of whomare accomplished, professional dancers and instructors in many forms of dance, includingAdaptiveDance for thosewith physical andmental challenges.

MaryMcLarryBywaters (Founder ofDanceCouncil)Award forLifetimeAchievement inDancewill also be presented to:

Patricia andTanjuTuzer – TuzerDancenter and TuzerCompany

Founders of both a local ballet school and a pre-professional compa- ny, this couple has had a profound influence onmany students aiming for a performance career. Patricia (Machette) Tuzerwas born

page 14 Aug-Oct 2015 Pictured: Pat&Tanju Tuzer

inDallas,where she began her studies (at age just two-and-a-half) with Joy andDaleRiley at their Irving school. Later, inRichardson, she also studiedwithAnneEtgen andBillAtkinson. This promising student received scholarships from the age of 14, to studywith the NewYorkCityBallet, Joffrey and HarknessBallets and at 17, a Ford Scholarship to the School of AmericanBallet. The following year, she joinedHarkness inNew York,where she danced as both soloist and principal dancer. Itwas during her tenurewithHarkness in

1973 that shemet and latermarried, fellowcompany principal, Tanju Tuzer,whowas already establishing a career thatwould take themacrossEurope to dance leading roleswithmajor companies, includingHamburgBallet. Tanju is fromIstanbul, Turkeywhere, at age nine, he began his dance training at theAnkara State Conservatory.At 18, he joined the TurkishBallet and continued his studieswith a scholarship to theRoyalBallet in London, later danc- ing inEurope beforemoving toHarknessBalletNY. Tanju and Patricia Tuzer opened their first ballet school, the Tuzer School of Ballet, in 1977. In 1985, as their reputation spread and enrollment grew, they designed and constructed a newfacility inRichardson, TuzerDancenter,where they remain the principal teachers. Speaking formany others,Malini Srevatsa,whose daughter is a student and company dancer, says, “In addition to technical skills, the Tuzer’s emphasize and train the students in the emotional intel- ligence that every child needs forwell-rounded development.”

Natalie SkeltonAward forArtisticExcellence,Hall of Fame will be presented to:

ShaliniVargheseChandragiri –Arathi School ofDance and IndiqueDanceCompany

Pictured: ShaliniVarghese Chandragiri

Indian classical dance has become muchmore popularwith audi- ences in our area, thanks in great part to the efforts of theArathi School and IndiqueDance Company. Shaliniwas born inBig Spring, Texas and showed an early interest in this classical dance form, beginning her extensive studies at the age of five, after the family moved toDallas.Her original guru (teacher),Ravathi Satyu of the Arathi School inDallas sawher early promise and continued to teach andmentor her, introducing her to themost prominent teachers

in India underwhomshe continued her studies. In 1994,Rathi Satyui formally ‘presented’ Shalini to the classical dance communi- ty of India. Shemade her official debut solo performance before them, in 1997. She has taught at theArathi School formany years and has also performed frequently in theU.S. and internationally. Shalini is also a boardmember of the IndianCulturalHeritage Foundation (ICHF), a non-profit promoting intercultural awareness DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas vol 18 • no 3

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