Steps on Broadway, the internationally recognized dance training center, announced today that its founder, Carol Paumgarten, passed away on Thursday evening, September 24, after a long illness. She leaves behind her husband, Nicholas; her sons, Nicholas, Jr. and Alexander; and four grandchildren.
Paumgarten founded Steps in 1979, and was the shining light that led the way for 40 years. A gracious and vibrant soul with immeasurable generosity and an indomitable spirit, she laid the foundation for Steps to become a pillar of the dance community, a place where dancers – from the professional to the novice – train, rehearse, congregate and dream. She created a welcoming place where openness, diversity and talent flourished for decades. Her legacy will be kept alive through the grace- and joy-filled dance classes at Steps.
“What a tremendous loss for all those who knew her and for the global dance community,” said Executive Director Joe Lanteri. “Like many others, I owe Carol so much – for decades of generosity and support. Personally, very simply, there is no one like her. Professionally, her expansive vision and thoughtful cultivation of artists will be greatly missed. The magical, undeniable energy that permeates 2121 Broadway is a manifestation of Carol herself. She poured her passion, her spirit and her life into Steps. We will continue to celebrate her legacy, which is truly a reflection of herself – artistic, nurturing, inspiring, multi-faceted and remarkable in every way!”
Artistic Director Diane Grumet worked with Paumgarten for over 25 years as part of the administration and for years prior as a teacher. “The grace with which Carol lived was remarkable,” said Grumet. “It touched every aspect of her life. She was part visionary, creative force, dedicated arts patron, collaborator, business woman and great friend. Her passion for dance and beauty inspired her creation of Steps. An artistic soul, she infused the organization with her personal sense of style and aesthetic, creating a warm, welcoming environment dedicating to serving all who entered. Her generosity of spirit and guidance encouraged those who worked with her to be the best they could be. It is an honor and blessing to have had her in my life.”
A virtual memorial is being planned to celebrate Paumgarten’s legacy and will be announced in the coming weeks. Check the Steps website at www.stepsnyc.com more information.