Mention the Hope College Dance Department to a dancer, dance educator or dance enthusiast, and it’s not long before the conversation turns to Maxine DeBruyn. The two, it seems, are synonymous.
After all, Ms. DeBruyn — “Maxine” to the Hope community, and “Max” to those who know her well — has spent a 50-year career at Hope College, where she grew the dance program from a single course to an academic department to an academic major. Today, the program — accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance for three decades — is one of only 250 arts programs of all types nationwide highlighted in the book “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers.”
Here at Hope, we know what a tremendous difference Maxine has made to generations of dancers. So, you can imagine how excited we were to learn that the National Dance Education Organization will be presenting Maxine with its most prestigious honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, for her contributions to dance education locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
As a professor, Maxine served the campus community as department chair, teacher, choreographer, cheerleading coach and student group adviser. She retired in 2006, but slowing down wasn’t her style. Even in retirement, she has continued to inspire us by teaching dance classes at Hope.
You can learn more about Maxine’s career and her Lifetime Achievement Award by reading the recent news release from Hope College.
Congratulations on this honor, Maxine! It makes us want to — what else? — dance with joy.
Maxine DeBruyn is the Dorothy Wiley DeLong Professor Emerita of Dance in the Dance Department at Hope College.