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Marblehead School of Ballet's Emerita Faculty and North Shore Civic Ballet's Emerita Associate Director Florence Whipple Passes at Age 101

May 12, 2021 | By Luhrs & Associates
Publicist

PRESS RELEASE      |        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Luhrs & Associates, press[at]luhrsandassociates.com

Marblehead School of Ballet's Emerita Faculty and North Shore Civic Ballet's Emerita Associate Director Florence Whipple Passes at Age 101

Summary: The Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet Company announce Emerita faculty member and Emerita Associate Director Florence Whipple of Marblehead passed away on April 27, 2021.

(Marblehead, Massachusetts; May 9, 2021 – The Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet announce the passing of Emerita Faculty Member and Emerita Associate Director Florence C. Whipple on April 27, 2021 at age 101. Whipple, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, had an extensive career at the Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) leading the Creative Dance division for several years and co-founding the North Shore Civic Ballet (NSCB), a nonprofit dance company providing performances and arts education in the Greater Boston community. Upon her retirement from the school and the dance company, she was named an Emerita member of the MSB's faculty and Emerita Associate Director of the NSCB.

            Collaborating with other artists was an integral part of her career. “Many collaborations took place at the Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet. Without a doubt, the richest and most important of all was my collaboration with Florence. Our years together were exciting, productive, and rewarding in all aspects, both professionally and personally," said Paula K. Shiff, Director of the Marblehead School of Ballet and Artistic Director of the North Shore Civic Ballet.

            In 1972, Whipple joined the MSB's faculty and led the children's creative movement division. She also taught modern dance, created choreography, and co-developed educational programs for both public and private schools.

            Two years later, Shiff and Whipple co-founded the NSCB. Whipple's extensive works of choreography included Little Blue, Haiku Haiku, Le Jeu Modern, Continuum, Pinocchio, and Van Morrison. Operating from the MSB, the NSCB continues to train both aspiring dancers and seasoned professionals on the North Shore in Massachusetts.

            "Florence brought her artistic vision and choreography to the Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet. Dancers not only grew as performers working with Florence but also truly loved dancing her engaging choreography. I was blessed to have Florence in my life for almost 50 years.  Her passion for dance, life, and teaching will be greatly missed," said Shiff.

            Retirement from the MSB and the NSCB was the beginning of another chapter in Whipple's career and the development of new collaborations. In 1989, she began to study Reiki and became a Reiki master in 1994. She co-directed two Reiki clinics for the North Shore Medical Center, as well as a private clinic located in Salem.    

            After teaching at North Shore Community College (NSCC) for over 40 years, she retired in 2009. During that time, she taught Creative Dance and co-developed the innovative course, 'Art & Perception', with music instructor Kristin Webb and Duane Eichholz from the art department. With Webb, she developed a Certificate Program in 'Wellness and Healing Arts', and she taught Reiki in the program. They collaborated and co-authored the publication of 'Reiki in Academia' in Reiki International Magazine. In 2010, the NSCC awarded her the 'Excellence in Teaching' award.

Continue Her Work

            In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Florence Whipple's memory to the North Shore Civic Ballet, 115 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, Massachusetts 01945 or online. The North Shore Civic Ballet is a nonprofit, tax-exempt company. Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law.

About Marblehead School of Ballet and North Shore Civic Ballet

            Celebrating its 49th year, the Marblehead School of Ballet, founded in 1971 by Paula K. Shiff, has earned a wide reputation for the excellence of its training and integrity of purpose. Classical ballet forms the core of teaching with particular emphasis on correct alignment and development of strength and agility. The sheer pleasure of dance and music is always central to the classroom experience.

            The basic graded program for children includes classes in ballet technique with advanced work in repertoire and pointe. The school also offers a modern dance department, classes for young children in creative movement and classes in improvisation and technique for the older student. A full range of adult classes is offered.

            The North Shore Civic Ballet, a not-for-profit dance company based at the Marblehead School of Ballet, has provided performances and arts education to the Greater Boston community for 47 years. Artistic Director Paula K. Shiff and Associate Director Florence C. Whipple founded the company in 1974.
           The NSCB is home to an ever-changing group of talented dancers made up of both aspiring young dancers and seasoned professionals. Resident Choreographer Ivan Korn has created several works for the ballet company.
            For further information, call 781-631-6262, send an e-mail to or visit the organization's website.  Follow MSB and the NSCB on Facebook, Instagram @marblehead_school_of_ballet and Twitter @MSB_ballet.

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