Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I couldn’t imagine a better place to live surrounded by family and friends. Grounded in Midwest values, I hold fast to my belief that with God in control… it’s all good.
Enthralled at the age of four by a weekly 15-minute TV program, Stairway to the Stars, produced by a local dance studio, I discovered my first and lasting passion. I had to dance! How lucky I was to become a student at that very same studio and begin my training. As a professional ballet and tap teacher for 21 plus years, the absolute best compliment I ever received was that I gave children the love of dance. Of course, that love was already there, I was just blessed to be instrumental in its development. Much of my teaching career was spent working with very young students including two of my own beautiful and talented granddaughters. Never having a daughter of my own, this was a dream come true. Fully appreciating the tremendous physical and emotional benefits of dance and encouraged by its popularity, I began marketing tap classes for adults and senior citizens. They became some of the most delightful and dedicated students I’ve ever taught. As the director of a successful community dance program, I also enjoyed teaching jazz classes. When my son and future daughter-in-law asked me to choreograph their wedding dance as well as the father-daughter dance, a treasured memory was born along with a new enterprise. I’ve enjoyed choreographing several local elementary schools’ annual Spring productions and I never fail to learn more from my students than I can ever teach.
I’m convinced that the constant reinvention of oneself is the key to happiness. I was told, while in my 20’s, that I had a flair for writing but it wasn’t until November of 2002 when I connected with friend and fellow dance teacher, Pandre’ Shandley (Miss Pandy), that a new passion emerged. While she recovered from a serious neck injury, we decided to form a partnership and write a novel set in the dance world. The old saying “ignorance is bliss” was never more true! The brick walls were many, but the journey that began as our secret pastime eventually evolved into The Legend of L’Esprit, our laughter and tears worth every step. While we focus on publication, marketing and writing, we enjoy sharing the knowledge we’ve acquired through the creation of two workshops – <strong>Intro to Publishing</strong> to benefit local writers and interactive, motivational speaking engagements for middle school students extolling the virtues of strong language arts skills.
I love books, libraries and reading and I’m happiest when I have a good book, like a patient friend, waiting for me at the end of the day!
I sincerely hope you enjoy The Legend of L’Esprit and may you be inspired to find your life’s true passion.
Love, Miss Doris♥
A dance lover since birth, I grew up in Greenfield, WI and attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and fell in love with my college sweetheart. We’ve been happily married over 30 years and are blessed with two adult children and two grand dogs, Foster and Bentley.
During my youth, I wrote for the school paper and recruited other wannabe dancers for talent shows. Hooked on American Bandstand, Soul Train, and obsessed with watching the Solid Gold Dancers, I developed into a self-taught mover and shaker and was quickly dubbed Pandy “Jackson” by those in attendance each summer at the neighborhood talent show held in my family’s garage. Unable to afford professional training, throughout high school I longed to dance and was further inspired after receiving the talent award for a self-choreographed lyrical solo at the Wisconsin State Junior Miss Pageant. In college, I continued to perform with my university’s dance troupe, Orchesis. Our routine to Thriller rocked the house.
Placing childhood dreams aside, I worked in the field of marketing and finance and soon discovered pieces of me were missing, the pieces that said I should be dancing or writing! After becoming a young mother, I enrolled in my first studio dance class. The owner loved my passion so much she offered me a teaching position on her staff. After years of study, I evolved into a ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop instructor, and created her studio’s award-winning Troupe Program while overseeing the Assistant Teaching Program. Serving as a main director for many years, I taught students and teachers alike while also coaching high school varsity dance. Although I facilitated auditions, organized regional conventions and competitions, participated in the studio’s nationally recognized competitive program, and received choreography awards, my greatest accolades do not hang on the wall, but are instead written in my heart. They are the friendships shared with the students I’ve loved and trained throughout the years.
My life like everyone’s is laced with tragedy but God’s infinite blessings keep me lifted. It’s not the challenges we’re given in life but how we choose to move through them that matters most. I’m grateful to the beautiful dancers and parents who found my teaching and words of encouragement inspiring. Nearly two decades later, with thousands of dancers joyfully guided, including my own gifted daughter, I let go of the dream of dance to pursue my joy for writing. I believe passion and presentation will take you further in life than technique alone. Your words and body are the instruments for the expression of your soul. A dancer must immerse herself in the music and truly live the dance. For me, writing is the same. Your words should be an authentic reflection of your inner being. They must say what only your heart can say.
Former dance teachers turned novelists, Doris Greenberg and I are thrilled to share our passion for writing. In our YA novels, we strive to incorporate education by inserting dance related terms and theatre knowledge at the beginning of each chapter which subtly relates to the story. We hope to engage our readers in the unbelievably exciting and colorful world of dance and take them on an adventure of mystery, romance, and a little divine intervention, they’ll long remember.
To all the dancers at heart, both young and old, I hope you’ll enjoy reading the The Legend of L’Esprit, as much as Miss Doris and I enjoyed the spiritual journey of writing it. Keeping the faith that our second book, Chasing the Spotlight, will be published soon.
With Love & God’s Light, Miss Pandy♥