Our community lost a dear friend last night.
Paulette Harwood, who devoted nearly 60 years to teaching dancers in Needham and Newton, passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday.
Paulette touched the lives of generations. She was a successful and fully engaged member of our business community and a pioneer for women business
She started dancing as a young girl and at the age of 15, while still a student at Brookline High School
moved to New York City where she eventually became a soloist at Radio City Music Hall
in the Corps
de Ballet. She married, came back to the Boston area and opened her studio in 1959.
In addition to her work as an instructor, she was a choreographer for high schools, colleges, and the Boston Celtics
She also designed costumes for contestants in the Miss Massachusetts and Miss America pageants, as well as for students in her own shows.
Paulette's Ballet Studio most recently had been located at the Saco-Pettee Mill Building on Oak Street in Newton. Prior to her current location, the business
was located at the Mills Falls Building in Newton just a few blocks away and before that operated across the river in Needham. Her dancers performed
at many chamber events and were always a highlight at Needham's annual Street Fair and Harvest Fair.
The chamber was pleased to honor Paulette with a Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year at our annual Needham Night Dinner.
"For 58 years, Paulette Harwood taught thousands of children the art of dance," said Chamber President Greg Reibman, when presenting the award."But
what she really taught were the lessons of life. About confidence. Self-awareness. Standing tall. Discipline. Self expression. Creativity. These
are skills that take you far, not just in the arts but in the business world and in life."
We extend our condolences to her family, former colleagues and the generations of children and families whose lives Paulette touched.