Teachers Trending
Joel Thomas, courtesy Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet

Damara Bennett, former San Francisco Ballet dancer, founder of City Ballet School and former director of the Oregon Ballet Theatre School, passed away on November 15 at the age of 67 after a years-long battle with breast cancer. She is survived by her husband, Michael Wallace, and her daughter, Eleanor Wallace, artistic associate at Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.

Bennett was born on May 6, 1953, in Munich, Germany, where her father, a U.S. Air Force officer and pilot, was stationed. The family returned to the U.S. a few years later; Bennett and her mother, a school teacher and elementary school principal, eventually settled in Laguna Beach, California. Bennett's initiation into classical ballet began there when she was 9; around age 12, she started training at Ballet Pacifica, the school founded by former American Ballet Theatre and Ballets Russes dancer Lila Zali, who was renowned for her rigorous Vaganova training. Having come to ballet at the relatively ripe age of 9, Bennett hurled herself into an arduous regimen to make up for lost time, taking every class she could.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.