Marya Kennett

Obituary of Marya Kennett

In Loving Memory of Marya A. Kennett

Her dance career spanned geographies, genres, world class theatres and famous individuals; she danced with some of the great of her time. And those of us fortunate enough to know her recognize that she was one of the great of her time. Mrs. Marya A Kennett embodied grace, dignity, style and sophistication, and dedicated most of the decades of her life to teaching others the beauty and art of dance and the value of discipline, technique, and living up to one's own personal best.

For more than five decades, Mrs. Kennett grew a small studio that began in her own home in to the premier hometown studio of Orange County. She brought ballet, tap and jazz training to thousands of students of all ages, inspired and crafted subsequent generations of teachers, and instilled in countless people a passion for dance. Her understanding of the power and beauty of dance was timeless and she taught it by example, including her own literal, physical example while correcting students and demonstrating steps well in to her 70s and 80s.

Her legacy is vast and deep. She planted seeds in endless numbers of young dancers, many of whom still teach and perform or are sharing their love of dance with their own children and grandchildren. She was a moral compass for those who grew up in her studio, a second home to many. She taught us the world wasn't always kind, but that it was also beautiful and we each could grow through hard work and perseverance. She taught young boys they too could thrive on stage and be full of expression. She taught the girls you could be a strong independent woman and still wear lipstick (especially her shade of coral). She taught us the value of repetition and rehearsal; how many of us have the muscle memory and Nutcracker choreography and music still memorized by heart?

Above all, she taught us to recover from our mistakes and missteps, to learn from failures, to never give up. She also taught us that the show must go on. And indeed it will. For generations and lifetimes to come, her students and their students and then their students will radiate her joy and grace and love of dance on stages all over the world.

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