Renowned ballet instructor Marcia Dale Weary dies at age 82

Renowned Carlisle ballet instructor Marcia Dale Weary died Monday at the age of 82, according to a post on the Central Penn Youth Ballet website.

Born in Carlisle on March 31, 1936, the middle daughter of Dale and Melva Weary, Marcia Weary is survived by her sister, Sandra Weary.

A 1953 graduate of Carlisle High School, Weary dance at local schools and spent summers in New York City attending classes at the School of Ballet Repertory. She was an instructor with the Hopper School of Dancing. While she never danced professionally, Weary founded the Marcia Dale School of Dance in 1955, where she taught classes daily and developed a teaching curriculum that is now trademarked and renowned in the industry for turning out exceptional dancers.

In 1962, Weary founded the Ballet Guild of Central Pennsylvania, along with Richard Wynekoop. Their goal was to create a performing company that would present full-length ballet programs. In 1974, the Marcia Dale School of Dance became Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet — a nonprofit school and performing company.

Today, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is an internationally recognized school of classical ballet. Thousands of young people have passed through its acclaimed studios. Alumni are principals, soloists and corps de ballet members in the top companies in the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, and the Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance.

“Marcia was hailed as one of the greatest ballet teachers of the time,” the CPYB’s post said. “She forged the path from a local dancing school to a global institution. Her unequaled dedication to her school, students and instructors and her unique teaching style have brought Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet to the top of the dance field as a celebrated leader in dance education.”

Weary was the 1992 recipient of the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award for Central Pennsylvania; and the 2000 Carlisle Regional Arts Award, of which she was the first recipient. In June of 2005, she was recognized by the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives for the 50 years of contributing to the cultural enrichment and enjoyment of countless citizens in Central  Pennsylvania.

In 2007 Marcia received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts for Outstanding Leadership and Service to Youth; the 2009 Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth Award; the Central Penn Business Journal 2010 Woman of Influence Award for her leadership, integrity and accomplishments; and most recently, an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from Dickinson College in recognition of her contributions to the performing arts.

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