My family moved to Lafayette when I was seven years old and, in what seems in my memory to be a very short time, Beverly Latimer, Dot Mills, Marguerite Lyle ' my mom ' and others were busy stirring the pot that eventually produced the Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium. Before there was a building, I recall summer afternoons spent participating in some sort of official/unofficial Natural History Museum activity in the shade of the garage of the Mills' River Road home.
Dot spearheaded the creation of the Children's Dance Guild at USL. As a mother of nine, Dot gave the enrollment of the program a boost with the participation of her daughters. Muriel Moreland ' a great dancer and educator ' headed the university's dance department in those days, so this was a very serious, somewhat academic pursuit. While some of us longed for glitzy costumes and dance recitals (we never had any), we were trained in modern dance technique, dancing rarely to recorded music, but rather to drumming. What an unusual opportunity! Classes met where space could be found ' the War Memorial Building, a classroom at St. Patrick's Church, a space at USL.
Dot was a university-degreed dancer herself and when we launched the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana (PASA) in 1989, Dot was so enthusiastic about our dance presentations. We shared many conversations about performances and the early pioneers of modern dance, many of whom she had known. What fun to talk to someone who had known Ted Shawn! In the not too distant past, she hoped to rally enough from her failing health to make one more trip to New York or to the modern dance mecca, Jacob's Pillow.
Even considering all of the dance expertise and enthusiasm that we've gathered in our community, there may be no one who knew more academically and artistically about dance than Dot. She loved the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey's signature piece "Revelations," performed to spirituals. PASA has presented the Ailey company twice and if this is the best gift that one could give Dot Mills, we are so happy to have added those events to the list of pleasures that brightened the glow in her heart.
Dot passed away at the end of January. PASA will miss her presence as we continue our pursuit of extraordinary dance. I will miss her, too. Dot, Beverly, my mom and those other mothers who juggled children, households and jobs as they created extraordinary community assets were great role models for us kids. Of all the gifts I have been given, it is certainly their vision and example that I treasure the most.
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.