Dayton street being named after DCDC founder Saturday

The enduring legacy of the late Jeraldyne Blunden, founder of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, will be honored by the city of Dayton as a portion of Norwood Avenue will be renamed for her in a ceremony slated Saturday, Dec. 10.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the portion of Norwood Avenue in front of the old Linden Center and include city officials. The event coincides with DCDC’s annual Founder’s Day, which falls on Dec. 10., Blunden’s birthday. She would have turned 82 this year.

Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

In 1948, Blunden began dancing at the age of eight. She attended the Linden Center Dance School, an African-American Community Center located at 334 Norwood Avenue taught by Josephine and Hermene Schwarz, founders of the Dayton Ballet. At 19, Blunden became the director of dance classes at the Linden Center. In 1963, she started Jeraldyne’s School of Dance. In 1968, she founded DCDC.

“Jeraldyne was a pioneer in the performing arts and a trailblazer for Black dance,” said DCDC CEO Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders. “The designation of this street is an anointment that commemorates the inspiration and aspiration of her vision and dream. By her creativity and artistry, energy and ingenuity, she demonstrated the rhythm of dance and the power and passion of dance, as well as the harmony and melody of all races. She was a role model and change-agent whose soul and spirit lives on this street and beyond.”

ExploreJulia Reichert, Academy Award-winning Yellow Springs filmmaker, dies at 76

Jennifer Dunning from The New York Times described Blunden as a leader in the dance world stating, “That non-nonsense approach to life was mix with steely determination, a great personal warmth and humor and an unsentimental humanity that made her a much-loved figure on the national dance scene.”

In addition, a letter writing campaign has been initiated to have a Blunden U.S. postage stamp. For more information, visit www.dcdc.org.

About the Author