In Memoriam: Helen P. Alkire


NASD joins the entire dance community in mourning the passing of Helen Alkire on November 14, 2015. She was the founding leader of the dance program at Ohio State University and served in that role from 1950 to 1983. As each year proceeded to the next, Helen became a legend at Ohio State and in dance nationally. She wanted the best for everyone. She exemplified the joy of her profession, the exhilaration of dance making and teaching. She was a master of the reasoned long view, the relationship between wisdom and patience, the craft of building respect for dance and its people, and the art of growing dance programs in size and in quality. In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, she brought all of her knowledge, skills, spirit, and enthusiasm to the founding and early operations of NASD. She participated in developing the initial set of NASD standards, and served on the first NASD Commission on Accreditation. She was in constant demand as visitor and consultant, renowned for her insightful, incisive analyses and her ability to help programs find their own futures. Helen Alkire was simply endearing, in part because she was always nurturing something or someone. Her sense of humor leavened every occasion and gave effervescence to her thoughtfulness. As is the case with so many of her endeavors, Helen Alkire’s contributions to the work of NASD continue to resonate in perpetuity. The Association and its members remain grateful for Helen’s life in dance, for her sterling example of service, work, and persistence, and particularly for her inspiring faith in what dance could be next through cooperative efforts centered on the essence and substance of the field.

For additional information, please visit the OSU website.