Our Founder - Happendance

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Our Founder
Diane Newman founded Happendance Contemporary Dance Company in 1976 and has served as a performing artist, master instructor, choreographer, artistic director, and executive director at different times during its 40-year history. Always an educator, she contributed her private studio of instruction to the organization in 1993, renaming it Happendance School and developing its multi-year curricula in ballet and modern dance. Diane also co-authored a book on creative dance with veteran Happendancer Beth Post, and Dr. Lynnette Overby, titled Interdisciplinary Learning through Dance: 101 MOVEntures, a book which offers elementary school teachers and dance teaching artists lessons which integrate curricula and movement. Diane is an adjunct professor at Michigan State University where she has been teaching both creative workshop and civic engagement courses since 2008. Diane was honored as a top-ten finalist in 2010 for “Greater Lansing Woman of the Year”; as a featured profile in the November 2014 issue of Dance Teacher, a national magazine; and as Michigan Dance Educator of the Year in both 1981 and 2007. Now semi-retired, Diane loves to read, garden, birdwatch, and travel. She has lived in Lansing’s “Eastside Neighborhood” since 1971 with husband Jesse, and has three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
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