The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

Did You Know?
  • May 6Good Luck to Students Taking any AP Exams!
  • May 1Seniors Last Day Is In Sight! Keep Going!
The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

Staff Profile
Isabelle Berriman
Isabelle Berriman
Sports Editor

“Ballet Changes Lives”: Honoring Marcia Dale Weary

The+Mission%3A+CPYB+honors+founder+Marcia+Dale+Weary+in+and+outside+of+the+studio.+
Scarlett Learned
“The Mission”: CPYB honors founder Marcia Dale Weary in and outside of the studio.

“It gives them the feeling of accomplishment. It gives them joy. That’s what ballet does. Ballet changes lives.” Marcia Dale Weary

Marcia Dale Weary, founder of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB), holds a legacy in the ballet community that continues to inspire and guide future generations of dancers. Weary was born on March 31, 1936 and passed away on March 4th, 2019, but despite her absence, the students and faculty of CPYB honor her devotion to the art form everyday. Whether wearing her favorite shade of purple, dedicating performances to her, or simply applying her lessons to each ballet class, Marcia Dale Weary is not only remembered, but celebrated for the impact she left on countless lives. In honor of the anniversary of her passing, as well as her birthday, Weary’s work deserves to be remembered and highlighted. 

“The Barn”: Opened in 1957, the barn is still in use today and serves as an iconic landmark. (Scarlett Learned)

Growing up in the 1930s and 40s, Weary’s ballet lessons took her to New York City where she danced and furthered her training, but she considered Carlisle her forever home. She dreamed of one day opening her own local studio to teach, and at age 19 she did just that. Starting off teaching ballet and tap lessons at the Carlisle Town Band Hall, Weary purchased her very own barn where the Marcia School of Dance resided only two years later. Marcia, her sister, and their father came together to buy, renovate and create studio space where she began developing her ballet philosophies. Since then, hundreds of students have passed through the studios with professional success. “The Barn” is still in use today and is now an iconic symbol of Weary’s accomplishments.

In 1974, she expanded and incorporated the Marcia School of Dance into the non-profit performing school now known as Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where she was able to reach many more students and gain attention. Eventually in 1999, the Warehouse studios were built, where the majority of the classes are taught today, while still keeping the barn available. Without Weary’s love for children and passion for the arts, CPYB would not be what it is today. Weary believed ballet made the world a better place through its beauty, and that every child should have access to contribute to it. In and outside of the studio, Weary cared for her students like they were her own, making sure they had what they needed to succeed, providing all that she could. 

Despite never dancing professionally, Weary understood the fundamentals of ballet more deeply than anyone. When it came to teaching, she knew exactly how to approach a step and how to break it down to its finest detail. Over time, Weary developed her very own syllabus that is now internationally renown. Her curriculum is very intentional, precise and specific to ensure the students are learning proper classical ballet that is not only “correct,” but that is able to be built upon over time. Weary knew what steps the students needed to take to be well-versed and prepared for a professional career, whether in ballet or not. Weary’s teachings hold so much value and power, because her mentorship appeared simple, while its inner complexity instilled beauty in even the smallest of movements.

Marcia Dale Weary upheld an intense reputation as one of the greatest ballet teachers in the country, known for her strict, yet effective teaching style. She has received numerous awards and was recognized in various magazines and articles for her and her students’ success. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts for her Outstanding Leadership and Service to Youth, and has many features in The New York Times articles and PennLive broadcasts. While she has been graced with many more awards recognizing her influence, no title can fully demonstrate the wisdom and knowledge she gave her students and the impact it had on their lives.

Weary’s passion and care for ballet was apparent in her everyday life and never went unnoticed. With teaching over 20 classes a week all the way into her eighties, Weary never lost sight of her vision for CPYB and its future. Her vision was simple, yet powerful: to change lives through dance. Bringing the beauty of ballet to as many people as she could was her life goal, and she more than accomplished it. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to Periscope
$215
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Want to help the Herd? Please consider supporting the Periscope program. Your donation will support the student journalists of CHS and allow us to purchase equipment, send students to workshops/camps, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Scarlett Learned
Scarlett Learned, Staff Writer
Scarlett is a senior at Carlisle High School and is very excited to begin her first year as a member of the Periscope staff. She is a dancer at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and spends most of her time focusing on ballet. She loves performing various ballets each year and looks forward to the local productions CPYB puts on including works that she has previously choregraphed. Outside of the ballet studio, she enjoys listening to music, reading and writing, and hanging out with her friends and family.
Donate to Periscope
$215
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All comments will be approved by the website moderator. Comments containing inappropriate language will not be approved.
All Periscope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *