Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

50 Years of Joy Keeps Dance Teacher Young

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

50 Years of Joy Keeps Dance Teacher Young

Article excerpt

Some people really love their jobs. Mervyn Rickard is one of them.

She celebrated the 50th anniversary of her dance studio at a recital June 16.

She has owned and instructed at Mervyn's School of Dance in Mandarin since 1949 and was the founding director of the Ballet Guild of Jacksonville.

"I don't know how I do it or what I do; it just comes like breathing," she said.

Rickard instructs students ages 3 to 40, and both of her daughters and all four of her grandchildren dance.

"It's in their blood I guess," she said.

Rickard remembers instructing other children how to dance as early as age 10. Her mother enrolled her in dance classes, as Rickard puts it, "to keep me busy."

She fell in love with the art form and ultimately opened her own studio so she could share her love with others. Rickard said she takes pride in watching the children grow in her dance studio. She can turn even a shy child into a performer.

"Dance is for the child that is not an extrovert and the one who is an extrovert," she said. …

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