Difference between revisions of "Sylvia Horn"

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* [[Fay Gleeson Dance Centre]], since founder [[Rhodella Achtenberg]] was Sylvia's student
 
* [[Fay Gleeson Dance Centre]], since founder [[Rhodella Achtenberg]] was Sylvia's student
* [[Studio One Dance]], founded by Miss Sylvia's student [[Lisa Fedoruk]]
+
* [[Studio One Dance]], founded by Miss Sylvia's student [[Lisa Fedoruk|Lisa Fedoruk (nee MacMillan)]]
 
* [[International Academy of Dance]], founded by Miss Sylvia's student [[Laura Pascolo-McRury]]
 
* [[International Academy of Dance]], founded by Miss Sylvia's student [[Laura Pascolo-McRury]]
 
* [https://uwaterloo.ca/history/people-profiles/jane-nicholas Jane Nicholas], who is as of 2020 a gender studies professor.  Jane was one of Miss Sylvia's last students in the 1990s and likely interviewed her in 2004 and wrote an article about her life, publishing it just after her death, in 2005. [4]
 
* [https://uwaterloo.ca/history/people-profiles/jane-nicholas Jane Nicholas], who is as of 2020 a gender studies professor.  Jane was one of Miss Sylvia's last students in the 1990s and likely interviewed her in 2004 and wrote an article about her life, publishing it just after her death, in 2005. [4]

Revision as of 14:45, 22 March 2020

Sylvia Horn, as she appeared in her 2005 obituary

Sylvia Young (nee Horn) (20 March 1914 - 25 January 2005) [1] was, with her teacher Grace Ensworth, and rival Amelia Jackson, the matriarch of serious dance instruction in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

"Miss Sylvia" founded studios in both Port Arthur and Fort William, and educated a generation of dancers, several of whom went on to found the leading dance schools still running in Thunder Bay today as of 2020.

Early life

Sylvia Horn was born in Port Arthur on 20 March 1914 to James "Harry" Horn and his wife Gertrude. She attended local schools, including Fort William Collegiate Institute and Fort William Business College.

Dance Career

Sylvia made her performance debut at age five in about 1919 at the Lyceum Theatre in Port Arthur. [4]

She was taught in Port Arthur by the Lakehead's first serious ballet teacher, Grace Ensworth.

Around 1930, at the age of 16, she attended her first summer school in Minneapolis on her way to becoming a Dance Teacher. Following that, she advanced her studies in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and also the Legat School Of London, England. She opened studios in both Port Arthur and Fort William.

In the late 1920s, while she was still studying, Horn began teaching a small number of students. By the early 1930s her student roster had expanded to such an extent that she could offer a full eveneing of dance for her year-end revues. In 1933, with fifty students, Horn's school performed an evening-length production accompanied by local musicians.
— Sylvia Horn: Inspiring Generations by Jane Nicholas, 2005 [4]

At age 20, she had dancers performing at Port Arthur's 50th anniversary celebration on 4 July 1934. [2]

As the day went on, act after act appeared on the main stage including a toe tap dance by Ivy Lloyd, a song and dance by Dorothy Wright, a jazz toe dance by Marjorie Aitkens, and songs and dances by June Walker, Ivy Lloyd and Marjorie Aitkens, all pupils of Miss Sylvia Horn; Bert McCormack accompanied the performers on the piano.
— Looking Back by Thunder Bay Museum, on Port Arthur's 50th anniversary celebration on 4 July 1934 [2]

As a teacher she also accompanied her students on the piano. [4]

She ran a "Kiddie Follies" show each year (likely in about June) for 9 years from 1931 to 1939.

In September 1939 she shut down her dance school and instead entertained the troops for the duration of WWII.

From Christmas 1956 until Christmas 1971 or 1972, Chapples Department Store sponsored a dance show run by Sylvia Horn at the Fort William Gardens.

"Her whole life was devoted to children and dancing and many will remember the beautiful recitals that were put on at the end of every season. She touched the lives of thousands of young people at the Lakehead and many of her students have gone on to achieve their ambition in the "Dance World". She was a member of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance, the Canadian Dance Teachers' Association and the British Association of Teachers of Dancing. As her school grew, she included Baton Twirling and was active in starting the Lakehead Lionette Twirling Corps. She created and put on the Chapples Santa Claus Show which was held annually at the Fort William Gardens, which show brought delight to thousands of youngsters."

"Many of Sylvia's students won high awards and scholarships at the Lakehead Dance Festival and it was never too much trouble to take a group of children to perform for various service club functions or to the various Homes For The Aged."

Miss Sylvia was not only a well respected local dance teacher but also the founder and Director of the prestigious Sylvia Horn School of Dance. During her lifetime, she was an enthusiastic supporter of the Lakehead Music Festival. She encouraged hundreds of dancers to participate in the Festival’s yearly “Dance Competition”. For several decades, she also sponsored a highly acclaimed dance scholarship. Even though Miss Sylvia is no longer with us, her love for Dance continues to be felt through her generous legacy to the Festival. As per her wishes, a trust fund was set up to provide a very sizeable scholarship to be awarded yearly to a senior or open dancer/upcoming teacher who continues to strive for excellence in his/her dance endeavours while pursuing a post-secondary education. The recipient of this scholarship should also enjoy sharing her/his accumulated dance knowledge with the next generation of dancers. The purpose of this scholarship is to assist a dedicated dancer cover a fractional portion of the high costs associated with post-secondary education.
— "Sylvia Horn Young Scholarship" Information, Thunder Bay Music Festival [2]

Obituary

Young- Mrs. Sylvia (Horn) Young, passed away peacefully at Bethammi, St. Joseph's Heritage, on January 25, 2005 with family and friends at her side. Born in Port Arthur, she was the daughter of the late James (Harry) and Gertrude Horn. She attended local schools, including Fort William Collegiate Institute and Fort William Business College. At the age of 16, she attended her first summer school in Minneapolis on her way to becoming a Dance Teacher. Following that, she advanced her studies in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and also the Legat School Of London, England. She opened studios in both Port Arthur and Fort William. Her whole life was devoted to children and dancing and many will remember the beautiful recitals that were put on at the end of every season. She touched the lives of thousands of young people at the Lakehead and many of her students have gone on to achieve their ambition in the "Dance World". She was a member of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance, the Canadian Dance Teachers' Association and the British Association of Teachers of Dancing. As her school grew, she included Baton Twirling and was active in starting the Lakehead Lionette Twirling Corps. She created and put on the Chapples Santa Claus Show which was held annually at the Fort William Gardens, which show brought delight to thousands of youngsters. Many of Sylvia's students won high awards and scholarships at the Lakehead Dance Festival and it was never too much trouble to take a group of children to perform for various service club functions or to the various Homes For The Aged. In 1941 she married Waino W. Laakso and during the war years was active in producing Army Shows for the War Charities Board [actually called the Department of National War Services] [3] [4]. In 1964, after returning from training in England, she added the Model And Charm Division to her school. Predeceased by her husband Waino in 1978, she married Fred J. Young in 1984. Sylvia is survived by her husband, Fred J. Young, step-son John Young (Barbara) and their children Shannon and Jennifer Young, sister-in-law Helen Scott, nieces, nephews and other relatives also survive. Funeral service will be held on Friday, January 28th when family and friends will gather at St. Michael & All Angels Anglican Church for services at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Peter Smyth presiding. Following a reception in the church hall, interment will take place in Riverside Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be one hour prior to service time in the church. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or to a charity of one's choice would be appreciated. Arrangement entrusted to Sargent & Son Funeral Directors, 21 North Court Street. On-line condolences may be made at; www.sargentandson.com. To send flowers to the family of Sylvia Young, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
— Obituary, Sargent and Son Chapel [5]

Descendants

Miss Sylvia never had a child of her own.

Miss Sylvia's second husband had a child, John Young, who married a Barbara and had two daughters: Shannon Young and Jennifer Young.

Shannon Young is as of 2016 president of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance.

Shannon Young, president of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance, started me off on my journey to learn more about dance in Thunder Bay. To begin with, Shannon’s step grandmother was Sylvia Horn, a name that many of us remember fondly as we recall our own days of learning tap, baton twirling, ballet and participating in the Santa Claus Show at the Fort William Gardens. Shannon was a baton twirler for a number of years, and she has continued her involvement in dance through participating as a parent of a dancing daughter and as a volunteer. Shannon noted that, “Dance is a lifestyle”, and that statement was often repeated as I interviewed the dancers for this article.
— Dancing in the Bay, Bayview Magazine, September 2016, [6]

Legacy

Miss Sylvia was the teacher of the founders of at least three current Thunder Bay schools:

She is memorialized in at least two scholarships:

  • The $2000 annual Sylvia Horn Award for Dance (SHDSE) at Lakehead University. "Awarded to an entrance student, in any program. The recipient will provide evidence of participation in dance. This could include high school drama productions, community theatre, dance performance groups, or festival dance competitions. Financial need will also be considered. " [1] [8]
  • The Sylvia Horn Young Scholarship at the [ [9] Lakehead Festival of Music and Dance]

Sources

[1] Lakehead University. Sylvia Horn Award for Dance (SHDSE) [10]

[2] Looking Back by Thunder Bay Museum. Chronicle Journal, 5 March 2017. [11]

[3] Danse Collection Dance 1303-2 Carlton St. Toronto Ontario [12] Horn, Sylvia (OS: 165.2009-1-1, 165.2009-1-2,165.2009-1-3) Born: Port Arthur, Ontario; Died: January 25, 2005, Thunder Bay, Ontario Teacher; founder Sylvia Horn School of Dance and Baton Photographs, newspaper clippings, house programs, business cards, certificates, flyers (O)

[4] Dance Collection Danse ISSN 0 849-0708. Issue 59, Spring 2005. Jane Nicholas. Sylvia Horn: Inspiring Generations.

Obituaries

Biography of Laura Pascolo-McRury on her website

  • Horn, Sylvia BIO n/a 31 May 1948 p.8 Dance recital
  • Horn, Sylvia BIO n/a 1 Jun 1948 p.5 Packed house for recital
  • Horn, Sylvia BIO 28 May 1949 30 May 1949 p.2 Annual recital
  • Horn, Sylvia PIC n/a 31 May 1949 p.11 Dance recital
  • Horn, Sylvia BIO n/a 29 May 1950 p.5 Show review
  • Horne, Sylvia BIO n/a 15 Jan 1943 p.5 Dance troupe a hit
  • Bloom, Marlene PIC 27 May 1950 26 May 1950 p.8 In Sylvia Horn dance show
  • Donati, Peter (s/o Hilda) PIC n/a 8 Jun 1948 p.2 To dance school in New York

Labbe, Cecile BIO 31 Jan 1943 1 Feb 1943 p.3 Russia fundraising concert Labbe, Cecile BIO n/a 1 Jun 1946 p.7 Gladys M. Hartley dance recital L'Abbe, Cecile PIC n/a 22 Feb 1947 p.5 Ballet dancer at PACI show L'Abbe, Cecile PIC n/a 25 Feb 1948 p.11 In PACI variety show Slip Ahoy L'Abbe, Cecile PIC 6 Sep 1948 7 Sep 1948 p.10 Labor Day sports meet

Chapples (the original anchor tenant of the doomed Victoriaville Mall project, which cut off Victoria avenue and killed Chapples Department Store unintentionally), was founded by Clement Edward Chapple [13]

He may also have put his daughters or grandaughters in the show:

  • Chapple, Barbara PIC 27 May 1950 26 May 1950 p.8 In Sylvia Horn dance show
  • Chapple, Cynthia PIC 27 May 1950 26 May 1950 p.8 In Sylvia Horn dance show