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Florence Whipple, Esteemed Dancer, Choreographer, & Dance Administrator Passes At Age 101

Florence Whipple of Marblehead passed away on April 27, 2021.

Florence Whipple, Esteemed Dancer, Choreographer, & Dance Administrator Passes At Age 101

The Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet announce the passing of Emerita Faculty Member and Emerita Associate Director Florence C. Whipple on April 27, 2021 at age 101. Whipple, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, had an extensive career at the Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) leading the Creative Dance division for several years and co-founding the North Shore Civic Ballet (NSCB), a nonprofit dance company providing performances and arts education in the Greater Boston community. Upon her retirement from the school and the dance company, she was named an Emerita member of the MSB's faculty and Emerita Associate Director of the NSCB.

Collaborating with other artists was an integral part of her career. "Many collaborations took place at the Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet. Without a doubt, the richest and most important of all was my collaboration with Florence. Our years together were exciting, productive, and rewarding in all aspects, both professionally and personally," said Paula K. Shiff, Director of the Marblehead School of Ballet and Artistic Director of the North Shore Civic Ballet.

In 1972, Whipple joined the MSB's faculty and led the children's creative movement division. She also taught modern dance, created choreography, and co-developed educational programs for both public and private schools.

Two years later, Shiff and Whipple co-founded the NSCB. Whipple's extensive works of choreography included Little Blue, Haiku Haiku, Le Jeu Modern, Continuum, Pinocchio, and Van Morrison. Operating from the MSB, the NSCB continues to train both aspiring dancers and seasoned professionals on the North Shore in Massachusetts.

"Florence brought her artistic vision and choreography to the Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet. Dancers not only grew as performers working with Florence but also truly loved dancing her engaging choreography. I was blessed to have Florence in my life for almost 50 years. Her passion for dance, life, and teaching will be greatly missed," said Shiff.

Retirement from the MSB and the NSCB was the beginning of another chapter in Whipple's career and the development of new collaborations. In 1989, she began to study Reiki and became a Reiki master in 1994. She co-directed two Reiki clinics for the North Shore Medical Center, as well as a private clinic located in Salem.

After teaching at North Shore Community College (NSCC) for over 40 years, she retired in 2009. During that time, she taught Creative Dance and co-developed the innovative course, 'Art & Perception', with music instructor Kristin Webb and Duane Eichholz from the art department. With Webb, she developed a Certificate Program in 'Wellness and Healing Arts', and she taught Reiki in the program. They collaborated and co-authored the publication of 'Reiki in Academia' in Reiki International Magazine. In 2010, the NSCC awarded her the 'Excellence in Teaching' award.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Florence Whipple's memory to the North Shore Civic Ballet, 115 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, Massachusetts 01945 or online . The North Shore Civic Ballet is a nonprofit, tax-exempt company. Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law.

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