My Tribute

This blog is dedicated to all the dancers who just love to dance for the sake of dance. It’s a message from my heart that I get to share with you, as a personal tribute to some very special people in my family.

I have a sister-in-law who used to entertain USO Troops as a dancer many years ago. She has been dancing since she was a young girl. For the past 25 years, she has been the choreographer for local school productions and is well known in Portland Oregon. Her daughter, my niece, got her mother’s gene for dance and can dance anything quite well and she is one heck of a hula dancer. I have another niece, and she dances every week up on a rooftop in Hollywood to Hip-Hop routines with her class. She wouldn’t miss it for the world. Then there’s me, you know me, how do you think I got to be a blogger for the Fordney Foundation, I danced. Dancing is a passion of mine and it is my very first obsession with creation and art.

Now, I’ve got to tell you, the dancers in my family are like shoelaces. What? Yes, you heard me right. What I’m saying here, is, you

probably don’t notice shoelaces very much, just the shoes. My family of dancers is like that, we’re shoelaces, we don’t care if you notice us or not. We’re never going to be the shoes (professional dancers) and that suits us just fine. By the way and for the record, our shoelaces are laced up nice and tight, because we love to dance and we’re always ready to go!

Probably my favorite of these family dancers is my mother’s cousin, Evelyn. Evelyn was my second cousin and was dancing way before any of us. She was incredibly sweet, kind and pretty. I always felt that way about her. She married a man named Don and guess what, Evelyn and Don Cozen loved to ballroom dance. They were from the Pasadena, California area until 1975 and later moved to the Los Angeles area. While they lived in Pasadena, they took dance lessons from Gene DeWald. He may be about 92 years old now, but he still dances. He had a dance studio in Pasadena and is known for saying, “social dancing is the best exercise there is. You exercise your entire body. You also exercise your mind concentrating on the steps and socially interacting with other people.” Gene started dancing when he was 15 and became a professional ballroom dancer in 1952. So you can see, Evelyn and Don were in good hands when they met up with Gene. They really loved to dance and went out dancing as often as they could.

Gene DeWald

Evelyn and Don Cozen

I must tell you about Evelyn’s sister Sarah. Sarah did not dance, she sang in a choir. I remember how much she loved music, especially Ragtime music and Scott Joplin. There are two more second cousins you need to meet – that would be, Darrell Cozen and his wife Chris Cozen. Darrell is Evelyn’s son. Darrell is a Consulting Urban Planner. He works on historic preservation, urban design, affordable housing and neighborhood outreach. He is known for working on humanitarian causes throughout the Pasadena area. Then there is the amazing Chris Cozen. Chris is a well known Mixed Media Artist, Author and Teacher. She has written many books on various forms of art. She is genuinely a creative master in bringing glorious color and original design to whatever platform she creates. See for yourself, I promise you will be saying, “wow.”

The Fordney Foundation wishes to personally thank Darrell and Chris Cozen for presenting a donation to us recently on behalf ofEvelyn Cozen. Besides Evelyn’s love of dance, she also felt strongly about donating to worthy causes and charities. We are honored to receive this gift in loving memory of Evelyn and Don Cozen and carry on their memory with this blog.

It’s kind of funny, when you are young, you don’t necessarily see or appreciate the fine qualities that distinguish the members of your individual family. Thank goodness for growing older and finally being able to see what is truly meaningful and beautiful!

Evelyn and Don Cozen

Evelyn and Don Cozen

Feeling blessed,

Thought Of The Week:

Life is really very simple. What we give out, we get back. Every thought we think is creating our future – Louise Hay



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website