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I am a proud graduate of UMBC and incredibly grateful that the dance program not only grew, but now has it's own dedicated space. This woman above Liz Walton affected how I saw dance and how I saw the world. Her impact on me, my daughter, and my students continues even though she just recently suffered a stroke and is not currently teaching at UMBC right now.

As I return to UMBC as a guest teacher this weekend, I am humbled to share what I have learned from the dance masters I have trained with after departing this amazing school. I am now celebrating 20 years of owning my own dance studio where Liz Walton and Sandy Lacy, my UMBC teachers and fellow Phoenix Repertory Dance Company members, taught regularly for me. I was blessed to have Ferdinand Maisel play for our classes with Liz.

In case she reads this, I still teach all the wonderful things you taught me Liz. I don't do anything jumping before they've tried it on releve. I have found that it has decreased their chances for injury. I always tell them what you told me. They should take classes that will grow them and excite them, not just dance.

Thank you Carol Hess, Doug Hamby, Thomas Hanner, Judy Pannebaker, and Liz Walton. I am the teacher I am because of you. I am the choreographer I am because of you. I am incredibly grateful. UMBC dancers, get ready. I am coming at you with Leonard Reed's Shim Sham and a little tap dance history lesson!

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Julia C. '13

I am so sad to hear about Liz Walton's stroke. I took her intro to modern dance class in 2012 and she was an excellent teacher. Thank you so much for this story.