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.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.