Hyde Park School of Dance Names New Executive Director

     LaWanda May has been named Executive Director of Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD), effective October 29, 2018. The appointment comes after a seven-month search by the School’s Board of Directors.  Ms. May replaces Terra Schultz, who served as Executive Director from January 2014 through June 2018. 

     A graduate of Western Illinois University and National-Louis University, Ms. May’s background in non-profit management includes experience in human resources, volunteer management, and community engagement.  She comes to HPSD from her position as Human Resources Manager for the Chicago Children’s Museum. Volunteerism is also an important part of her personal life. A Hyde Park resident, she has served as a past president of the Ray School Parent-Teacher Organization and an active volunteer for Hyde Park School of Dance where her three daughters are students. 

     HPSD Board President Jen Kennedy said, “We are all very excited about LaWanda’s appointment. As a HPSD parent and volunteer she was already a valued member of our community. She brings a combination of personal knowledge of HPSD, people skills, and managerial experience that HPSD needs as we move toward our 26th year.” 

     “I am thrilled to welcome LaWanda into this new role,” said HPSD Artistic Director August Tye. “She shares our passion for dance education and its many benefits, and as a parent and volunteer will bring fresh perspective to the management of the School and its mission.” 

     HPSD is currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary year. Founded in 1993 as The Hyde Park School of Ballet, HPSD provides opportunities for students of all ages, abilities, and financial means to study, perform, and create classical and contemporary dance at the highest levels of discipline and artistry. Drawing from more than 40 Chicago and Northwest Indiana zip codes -- including Hyde Park, Kenwood, Bronzeville, South Shore, Near South, Pilsen, South Loop, Woodlawn, and Englewood -- HPSD’s students represent a broad range of income, race, and ethnicity, as well as public and private schooling. Needs-based scholarships support approximately 10% of the student body each year. 

     Instruction at HPSD ranges from “First Steps,” a parent-tot class for children 18- to 36-months-old to pre-professional classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Hip-Hop.  The School is recognized throughout Chicago for its repertoire of original choreography for young dancers.  Its youth companies, Tyego Next Generation, perform frequently throughout the year, and the school’s outreach program, brings dance to south side children and adults each year through after-school partnerships and free or low-cost performances. 

     HPSD’s next public performance is its 25th Anniversary production of The Nutcracker, December 14 through 16, at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus. 

Information is available at (773) 493-8498 or hydeparkdance.org.

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