The announcement of the dedication came at a private celebration on Friday, March 13 at Malashock Dance’s Liberty Station location. Public recognition and a celebration of Wolfsheimer’s life and love of dance was highlighted. Malashock Dance board members and donors, San Diego City Council members, San Diego County Supervisors, members of the San Diego City Commission for Arts and Culture and other VIP community members attended. Guests enjoyed short performances by company members and the newly formed Junior Company featuring promising young dancer ages 11 to 14.
The organization received a generous $100,000 gift from David Stutz, Wolfsheimer’s husband, in January 2015. “The studio is our most distinguished asset,” says John Malashock, founder, Malashock Dance. “It provides us the capacity to serve the community through a myriad of artistic and educational activities. Because of the studio’s quality and beauty, it has become one of the most notable spaces to take class, rehearse or attend informal performances in San Diego.”
The substantial gift allows Malashock Dance to continue its residency as a tenant in the Dance Place San Diego building, while assuring physical upkeep and studio improvements can continue to be made. Specifically, the studio also facilitates the activities of Malashock Dance School, including classes for all ages and abilities, fieldtrips and outreach programs, professional level master classes and workshops. The school serves approximately 400 students annually, and continues to grow and thrive each year. The studio will be named The Abbe Wolfsheimer Studio as long as Malashock Dance is the resident tenant in the space. “Our intention is to celebrate Abbe’s generosity and spirit through naming and recognition,” continued Malashock. “Her name and legacy continue to facilitate dance education, performance, creation and discovery.”
Molly Puryear is Managing Director
Longtime Malashock Dance staff member, Molly Puryear, is now the Managing Director of Malashock Dance. Puryear was instrumental in the founding and development of the school in 2007, and as Education Director from 2009 to 2014, she was responsible for all aspects of development, facilitation, marketing, employment, partnerships, curriculum development, grantwriting and administration for educational programs. She has strategically aligned specific synergies between the artistic and educational pillars in order to create a holistic connection to the relationship between Malashock Dance’s programs, the community it serves and its funders.
“Molly has proven to be an excellent role model of management and leadership,” says Malashock. “We are thrilled about her promotion which will elevate our brand and recognition even further and maintain our artistic leadership in San Diego and beyond.” The programs Puryear has developed consist of community partnerships, artistic residencies in schools and specialized programs that integrate dance with academic studies. She spearheaded a robust work-study program that invites dedicated students who face financial barriers to trade administrative assistance for classes. She is passionate about inclusion of students with disabilities and was invited to present on inclusive movement strategies at the National Conference on Inclusion in 2010 and 2013, as well as holds regular webinars and live trainings in inclusive movement activities through Kids Included Together.
A modern dancer and instructor with over fifteen years experience teaching dance and over 25 years of training in various dance genres, Puryear demonstrates uncompromising dedication to both students and the art form of dance. She received a BFA in Dance from University of North Texas in 2003, where she primarily studied under Arleen Sugano, master instructor and co-author of “Physics and the Art of Dance;” and Robin Lakes. She has choreographed and performed for numerous local dance events, including Sound Dance Company in San Diego.
About Malashock Dance
Malashock Dance is a 501(c)(3) corporation founded by John Malashock in 1988. A high-quality, innovative modern dance company that has performed contemporary dance productions both nationally and internationally while serving as a local dance education and training leader for 27 years, Malashock Dance’s mission is to promote dance as a channel for personal expression through participation, education, and artistic collaboration. . Malashock Dance and The Malashock Dance School are located in Dance Place San Diego, on the historic grounds of NTC Liberty Station, 2650 Truxtun Road, Suite 202, San Diego, Calif. 92106. Learn more at www.malashockdance.org. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.