Dance and Trisha Brown

I am very pleased to read that Reed will be strengthening its dance program and adding a major, thanks to a grant from the Mellon Foundation. I wonder how many still in campus vicinity remember that Trisha Brown of the renowned Trisha Brown Dance Company began her teaching career at Reed? Trisha came to Reed immediately following graduation from Mills College in 1958. She offered a beginning dance class to faculty women and wives. We signed up, hired a Reed student to babysit our preschoolers, and came for once-a-week workouts. We were all pretty out of shape and never got to any artistic semblance of dance, but Trisha certainly knew how to make us move! She was a remarkable teacher, knew how to explain and expect what she wanted. She taught us a routine of warm-up exercises, which I still follow—well, most days. We were sorry to see her leave after two years, but were glad for her to have the opportunity to go to New York to dance with Merce Cunningham and others, then to found her own Trisha Brown Company, which still performs in New York and tours the world. I have followed her career with fondness.

—Bernice Livingston Youtz, honorary alumna ’68

Tacoma, Washington