I attribute my love of dance and my foundation of dance to Irmgard Kontny.
She was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1925. She studied dance at the Opera Ballet School and later took classes from Olymaida Alperova, a member of the famous “Ballet Russe”. Irmgard danced with the Nuremberg Opera Ballet for twelve years and was a guest dancer at the Bayreuth festivals. After moving with her family to Colorado, she founded the Cherry Hills Ballet Studio out of her home in 1965.
I met her at age seven when I started ballet lessons in 1970. I continued lessons with her for ten years and discontinued when I graduated from high school. Each year we had a recital. Those yearly performances gave me the enjoyment of performing dance, which has carried over to today when I perform the International Rally with my West Coast dancing friends.
My life moved on to college, career, marriage and raising children. I eventually moved back to Denver and discovered Irmgard was still teaching out of her home studio. I once again began taking classes with other adult ladies, who soon became fabulous friends. I also enrolled my oldest daughter Summer in classes.
Again, yearly recitals became a part of my life. Irmgard often had us perform folk dances at recitals, so we learned other cultural styles of dance. And as my daughter got older, we would often be in the same recital dance together!
Our class always had a Christmas party each year at Irmgard’s house. The memories of those special dinners will always stay with me.
I also treasure my classmates. The last class with Irmgard, age 92, was January 2018. Irmgard was not able to teach after that and then moved to Mexico to be in the care of her daughter for the remainder of her life.
Irmgard passed away at age 96 August 21, 2021. She will always hold a special place in my heart. And I still do her barre exercises weekly in my kitchen! These days I dance west coast swing and country two step, but my dance foundation is from this wonderful woman.
That is a superb history of your time with Irmgard and how important she was in your life. Thank you. My history and friendship with her is very similar and I am grateful for her contribution to my life. She is missed. Much love to all her dancers.
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