As a former dancer, I have never felt my body so lightened, steadied, and purged of anxiety as I have at the end of class.Jennifer Homans, The New Yorker In her recent piece “Solo Acts: Choreography Under Lockdown” in The New Yorker, Jennifer Homans, Director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU,…
I spent two years in New York City, Victoria. Then came the second summer, in 1952, when I was home in Winona on vacation. The young man who was to become your grandfather and I met again after having been apart for those two years .. and the rest, as they say, in another history.
At the end of the summer, Nik announced that I would be arriving in New York City in time for the opening events for the Henry Street Playhouse as part of Nik's Henry Street Dance Company.
Mom could not know that her year of teaching dance at Macalester would prepare her for an international life, or that her future spouse was already a fan of the country south of the border......
The big-name teacher that summer was Hanya Holm, one of the pioneers of modern dance who was in big demand as a choreographer on Broadway. I must have more than held my own during those intense four weeks because Alwin Nikolais, one of Hanya's instructors who everyone called Nik, asked me to join his company in New York City when I had completed my year of teaching at Macalester. I was going to the Big Apple!
Paul Taylor and my mother, Nancy Robb Amerson, were contemporaries, not only in age but also in having the passion of dance. She, too, danced in New York City before following her heart (and my dad) back to Minnesota, and, even taught dance while she was pregnant with me.