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Marcia Dale Weary, founder of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, died Monday at the age 82.

Weary founded the Marcia Dale School of Dance in 1955, with the school later becoming CPYB in 1974. When she first started, she taught classes daily and developed a teaching curriculum that is now trademarked and renowned in the industry.

“Marcia built Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet from the ground up,” CPYB CEO Nicholas Ade said. “She has passed down her practices to the faculty and staff of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet so that her teaching and values will live on forever. Her beauty will continue to echo throughout the walls of the studios and into our hearts.”

When former ballerina Marcia Dale Weary opened a classical ballet school inside a barn in rural central Pennsylvania in 1956, she had a simple…

Today, CPYB is an internationally recognized school of classical ballet where thousands of youths have graduated and become principals, soloists and corps de ballet members in top companies across the world.

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Though Weary, a Carlisle High School graduate of 1953, never danced professionally, she is regarded as one of the greatest ballet teachers of all time, CPYB said in a news release Monday. In 1989, the New York Times said that Weary is “considered one of the country’s foremost ballet teachers” and produces “dancers well known in the ballet world.”

Among the awards Weary has received are the 1992 Distinguished Service to the Arts Award for Central Pennsylvania, 2005 recognition from the state Senate and House of Representatives for 50 years of contribution to the arts, 2007 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts for Outstanding Leadership and Service to Youth, and 2009 Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth Award. She also recently received an honorary doctorate of performing arts from Dickinson College in recognition for her contributions.

Weary remained active at CPYB throughout her life, teaching more than 25 classes a week into her 80s.

In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet to honor Marcia’s legacy. Memorial services will be announced at a later date.

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Email Naomi Creason at ncreason@cumberlink.com or follow her on Twitter @SentinelCreason

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