Lovers of traditional dance,
It is with sadness I announce that Marie Cassady, a dancer and teacher of
dance in Louisville Kentucky for many many years, died on Sunday afternoon.
She was 104, just two months shy of 105.
Marie founded Louisville Country Dancers, which has since become a mostly
contra dance group, but in the day featured English dance as well, and even
occasional international dances.
I first met her in the mid 1970s, when she and husband Frank Cassady taught
Italian folk dances to a performance troupe that my siblings were involved
in. (I was too young to join the first few years). As it turns out, they
also taught performance troupes for many ethnic groups.
She was interested in many things besides dance, including national and
international travel. She also sang with her church group for many years.
As well, she reared several children and was a maternal figure for many
A few years ago, she related to me her memories of the influenza epidemic
of 1919. Imagine that, she had memories of her father from that time, and
of Camp Taylor in Louisville! She also talked about the 1937 flood of the
She slowed a bit over the years, remaining active in English and
international but leaving contra to younger bodies. She also took up hula
dancing in her 90s. Gotta keep learning!
She remained active and mentally sharp until very recently. I saw her in
August, and she immediately called me by name.
There will be a memorial service for Marie in early November, but the
details are not yet determined.
Many thanks to you, Marie Cassady, for introducing so many people to dance
and the communities it engenders. I am grateful to have known you.
"Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power
and magic in it." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe