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Marcia Dale Weary adjusts a dancer’s foot. (Photo courtesy: Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet)

(Harrisburg) — The founding artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet has passed away.

Marcia Dale Weary was 82.

While she never danced professionally, the Carlisle native has been hailed as one of the greatest ballet teachers of her time.

She founded the Marcia Dale School of Dance in 1955. It became the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in 1974.

The youth ballet said in a release Weary developed a teaching curriculum that is now trademarked and renowned in the industry for turning out outstanding dancers. Her vision was to give every child the opportunity to have access to exceptional ballet training.

Alumni of the company have gone on to perform with top dance organizations, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and National Ballet of Canada.

Weary is the recipient of several honors, including the 2007 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts for Outstanding Leadership and Service to Youth and an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from Dickinson College in recognition of her contributions to the performing arts.

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet has grown to a staff and faculty of 95, currently has 300 academic year students, and an average of 600 students who come from around the world for the acclaimed summer program.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet to honor Weary’s legacy.