Maria was a dancer, teacher and choreographer. Most of all, she was a good person with a dancing soul. She devoted at least 76 years of her life to the dance. She made many scarifies for the dance. For example Maria once shared that a non-dancing friend did not understand how Maria could survive without a washer and dryer, yet spend outrageous prices for tickets to a ballet performance. The year before Maria died, I asked her, “was it worth it?” She was silent for a moment as her mind reviewed decades of memories. Then a smile came to her face as she replied, “Yes.” Then I asked her, “If you had it to do over, would you change anything?” Without hesitation, she replied, “No.”
Upon hearing of the promised land, the Boehme family immigrated from Germany to Arkansas, arriving in 1883. They quickly discovered the new land was not exactly as promising as represented. Maria's father Frank Boehme and parents moved to Portland Oregon by 1900. Maria’s mother, Emma Tauchmann (Tauckmann) also immigrated from Germany in 1883 and by 1900, she was living in Pleasant Hill, Clackamas Oregon (near present day Wilsonville.) Frank and Emma married in 1909 and Maria Boehme was born in Portland 3 Aug 1911. Their home built by Maria's father was on NE 7th Ave near Burnside in Portland.
When Maria was finally old enough to go outside the house and meet new playmates, she realized the people outside her home spoke a different language. She realized that if she was going to make new friends she was going to have to learn to speak English and fast. (I never heard her speak anything but English until about 1995 - we found some old books in her family's attic. She blew the dust off of one and began reading it in fluent German. She then confided to me that, even after all the decades, her brain thought in German and then translated the words to English before she spoke them. I was surprised for her words always flowed like a dance with excellent English grammar.
Maria began dance classes from a nearby teacher. The name of the teacher is unknown. Maria's family did not believe in dancing, but Maria could not understand how anything so beautiful could be wrong. I suspect Maria saw Mme. Elinova Linden in performance and wanted what she had. Maria was a student of the Lindendare School
December 1930 - July 1935, for she kept notes on her classes and corrections given. A newspaper clip notes that Maria Boehme and Marcelle Renoux were to perform on June 5th. (It is suspected that the year was 1931.) Maria was to perform a Scotch Toe Dance.
At the Lindendare School, classes in Castanets, Spanish dance, Folk, and Character were added to Maria's ballet schedule. She was trained in Vagonova Technique, and learned choreography created by Anna Pavlowa. Her Instructors had also studied with several noted European Masters, including Checcitti, Karsavina, and Trefilova. The Lindendare school,under direction of Mme. Elinova and Sergei Dare
, performed rigorously in the Portland area. The Lindendare School desolved along with the marriage of the owners.