Gail Heilbron

Heilbron FamilyI never could even imagine what I'd be doing thirty years after graduation from SHS.

I went to Case Western Reserve University for under grad and graduate school. I think it wasn't until after I actually finished my MFA and was teaching a full year at Western Michigan University that I finally woke up to the fact that I'm a dancer. Even though I had been professionally working as one since my Freshman year, supporting myself teaching at the University and in private studios, as well as performing with two local companies. I use the present tense because I'm still at it. I lived the gypsy life a bit after my time at WMU. Produced some of my own concerts in NY and worked with a lot of great choreographers.

In 1977, I married Edgar Steinitz who I was in the same dance company in college, tho' now he's a doctor, physical medicine and rehabilitation--(works well for all the dance injuries!). Edgar is really a jock, clarinetist, and most of all, a sweetheart. We moved to Seattle in 1978 and have loved living here. We have twin daughters, Lauren and Erica, age 14--no, they are not identical. When I found out I was having twins, Alan called and said that I was getting more like Mom everyday. These days I think my daughters are especially happy to have Uncle Alan to talk to about their mother. As my daughters go through their teen years I am more reminded of SHS. They both love dance and soccer and right now the most important component to their lives is their friends. Remember?.... We now live on Mercer Island and the high school colors are maroon and white-seriously. Kind of scary.

I am the co-director and founder of a 21 year old repertory modern dance company, Co-Motion Dance. I am still performing, teaching and choreographing. We have been performing all over the country as well as Canada and China. Teaching in universities, colleges, studios-- probably any place imaginable. I have also been instrumental in creating dance education programs for the state of Washington. I am so relieved when I finally discovered Gardner's multiple intelligences. All those years at SHS when I could not do homework without first dancing finally make sense. As a result, our company is a consultant for many school districts in the state to integrate dance into their educational programs. I am currently working on a duet show with my dance partner and co-director of 21 years, Jesse Jaramillo. The show deals with midlife issues and is called "Dancing through the Wall". Out of sheer necessity to try to keep perspective, there is a lot of comedy not only in dance but we have created some comedy scenes with alter ego characters, some of whom remind me of my Scarsdale influences!

Dance has brought me to many incredible situations over these past 30 years. I'm grateful I can still do it on some level. Our newest addition to our family is our cat, Missy. I am learning this is short for mischievous. Sometimes the grey in Seattle gets to me, but when it's sunny and the mountains are out, there's no place like it.

It's great to catch up with 69'ers again. We even have about 10 here in Seattle.