Saturday, September 3, 2022

Dance for them in heaven

When I was much younger (and slimmer), I danced with (what was then called) the Crockett Ballet Company, the feeder company to the Sacramento Ballet. I had daily lessons, of course, most of which were taught by the incomparable Barbara Crockett, founder of the Sacramento Ballet. This would have been in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

I spent years taking lessons from her as well as some of the Sacramento Ballet's premier dancers. (One of my favorite dancers and instructors was Diane McLarty, who later went on to found the Santa Cruz Ballet Theater.) I auditioned for and barely missed being accepted into the Sacramento Ballet company, then under the direction of Ron Cunningham. (I aced the audition, but my rejection letter – which I still have – specified their desire to accept young dancers, and cited my "advanced" age of 27 as the grounds for my rejection. Grrr, I'm still salty about that.)

Anyway, I very much liked Barbara. She was a strict and demanding instructor, but managed to pull the best out of her students. At the time she was my teacher, she was in her 70s, but you'd never know it.

Then Don and I moved to Oregon, and later to Idaho, and I fell away from the ballet world. I literally hadn't thought of Barbara Crockett in years.

Then last night, for whatever reason, I thought I'd look her up. She died two weeks ago. Two weeks! What are the odds I should think of her and look her up just after her passing?

It seems she passed away a month before her 102nd birthday from complications after a fall that broke her hip.

Godspeed, Barbara. Dance for them in heaven.


  1. I have never liked the hierarchy of the ballet world...that said I can understand their intake and vetting of new performers

    I think the reason you looked Barbara up is the reason you have been able to connect with so many of us over the years - you are just aware of the environment

    Your environment and the surrounding community run through you as the air flows - Rawles and the Duff family, Wolfe and Whittle and Lucas and the dozens of folks trying to express the basis of our existence as you do

    I am an atheist - but I know the basics of quantum physics allow for the presence of a force that would direct the 'feelings' of - "I wonder what they're up to" - around all of our friends

    I am glad you felt the need to look Barbara up and think her essence has a purpose in the future - her insistence on the "form" has driven your writing -

    I think

    I could be wrong

    would not be the first time....

  2. Patrice, my ballet & jazz teacher passed last year. She was 102 years old. Miss Georgia Deane of Mendon, MA. I remember being in high school (late 70s) thinking she was old then.
    Debbie in MA

  3. When someone whom you have not recently been thinking of/interacting with comes to your mind out of the blue, it can be prompting you to pray for that person. You never know what they might be going through at that moment, and we all need prayers.