• Leigh Gerstenberger

She Left a Legacy – Marcia Dale Weary

Updated: Mar 28, 2019



Carlisle, PA a sleepy farm community 30 miles west of Harrisburg, PA would hardly be considered the epicenter of classical ballet. Yet Marcia Dale Weary, the founder of the Marcia Dale School of Dance which in 1974 became the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet contributed at least one very accomplished ballet dancer annually to major ballet companies around the world including the: 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 American Modern Dance company to mention just a few.


Ms. Weary was no ordinary dance instructor. According to the New York Times, “Beginning in the 1950s, Ms. Weary’s school, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, in Carlisle, inculcated the fundamentals of ballet technique, without affectations or shortcuts, in thousands of students from around the country.”


As accomplished as she was in her field, what’s harder to quantify is the impact she had in the lives of so many young men and women who studied under her.


This paraphrased quote from a Facebook posting from one of her former students, tells a much bigger story. “While I never pursued dance as a career, the guidance, direction and discipline I received under Ms. Weary’s instruction made me particularly adept at memorization, which became an invaluable skill in the pursuit of my medical degree.


I’m certain that this is just one of hundreds if not thousands of examples of lives impacted by Ms. Weary during her lifetime of working with young people.

To read the entire New York Times article about Ms. Weary click here.

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