Maria Dare Dance History Collection
"Remember Our Roots"

Maria (Boehme) Dare

Portland, Oregon (1940-1997)
About 1949, Maria and Serge Dare returned to Portland from LA and re-opened The Ballet House.  They waited 5 months for the first student to enroll.  During that slow time, Maria commuted by train to Eugene to teach weekly classes. By 1954, The Ballet House had enough students to keep both Maria and Serge busy. By 1960 the studio was one of the top 5 in Portland.  Serge Dare died in 1967. Maria continued to teach and operate
Maria continued on alone, teaching some classes at the YMCA as well as at her studio & she continued to perform. In the 1990s she assisted with choreography & rehearsals for performances held in Seaside Oregon.  Maria taught her last Spanish dance class on the day she died.
A Personal Note:
I had taken ballet classes from many teachers.  In 1962, I observed Maria teaching a class at  The Ballet House.  I went home and told my mother I wanted to take from her.  My mom sarcastically replied, “How long this time?”  I replied, “I will take from her until I get what  she’s got.”  Thirty-five years later, I was still  taking from Maria and trying to get it.  I ‘m not a slow learner.  The problem was Maria attended every master class & workshop she could, always took copious notes.  As a result, Maria’s  classes kept evolving, leaving me trying to get what she had to offer.
Maria’s Finale
On a Thursday, 3 Oct, 1997, Maria taught her classes.  Later a student of one class noted that the class was especially inspired, and Maria had given a little extra feedback to each student. The next day, the noon Friday students arrived to find the studio door locked. They immediately knew something was very wrong.
A small group went to Maria’s residence and found her dead.  She had died at dinner the night before, age 86.  Maria performed her entire dance life.  So, instead of a funeral, she was given a performance at Imago Theatre.  At the end of the performance, her students performed her reverence for the last time, and retired it.
Maria made the sun shine in times of rain..  She was a teacher of teachers. She influenced the development of dance in Astoria, Eugene, Hood River, Portland, Roseburg, Seaside, OR, and Vancouver WA (to name a few) either by giving master classes in those places, and/or by having students who became teachers in those places.   And so, Maria lives on in the hearts of many.
Revised:  April 2022
Page by Rozanne of Zandance