Dance, Dance, Dance


Melissa Hayden was born in Toronto, daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia. I'll bet her parents never dreamed their second daughter would become an awesome dancer, but she did.

In the early 1940s when she was around twenty years old or so, she moved to New York City where she eventually became a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet. She appeared in over 60 ballets, mainly works by George Balanchine. After she retired in 1973, Balanchine honored her on her retirement by creating the ballet "Cortege Hongrois". At the premiere of the piece, the mayor of New York presented Hayden with the city's Handel Medallion, praising her as an "extraordinary ballerina who has filled the hearts of her audience with joy"(paraphrased from Melissa Hayden (dancer) - Wikipedia)

Melissa Hayden said, "Life burned inside me—it was released in dance." (Wise Women, Joyce Tenneson, p. 70)

The Handel Medallion is an award that honors George Handel, who must have burned with music needing expression. Listen to the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah?

How might you dance and make music that enriches others through your energy and skills?


In the novel, Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women, Naomi, after her husband dies and she is left with no means to earn a living, manages with the help of other women, to use her skills as a weaver and seamstress to create clothing for others and develop her own business to support herself.

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