April 26, 1939 – March 30, 2021
Emily Wadhams, 81, dancer, teacher, choreographer, passed away peacefully at her Boulder home on Tuesday, March 30. She was born April 26, 1939 in New York City to Alice Gertrude (Hatch) Wadhams and William Henderson Wadhams. Her family relocated to Greenwich, Connecticut, when she was eight years old. Emily graduated from Greenwich Academy in 1956; and attended Perry-Mansfield camp in Steamboat Springs as a teenager. She studied and/or taught dance at Smith College, Bennett College, Juilliard School of Music, New York University, George Washington University, and the University of Colorado.
Dance was Emily’s life. She studied with “the greats,” as she liked to say – Jose Limon, Martha Graham, etc., and performed nationally and internationally. She came to Boulder in 1974 to teach in the theater and dance department at the University of Colorado. She was a co- founder and principal performer of the Nancy Spanier Dance Theater, 1975-81.
In 1984, Emily created a community dance exercise class called Bodymoves, which she taught at local studios for over 20 years. She also created the Therapeutic Movement Program, and a wheelchair class, and taught classes in retirement facilities. In short, she brought the joy and discipline of modern dance movement to regular bodies.
Emily served on the Arts Commission for the City of Boulder, 1995-2001, and was a member of the board of directors of the Dairy Center for the Arts, 1996-2006. She had an eye for beauty and a whimsical sensibility, which, when combined with her directorial skills made her a formidable artistic presence.
Emily leaves behind a wide circle of admirers and friends from all walks of life. She touched many in the recovery movement as well as those who knew her in the arts world. She was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved sister, Joan. She will be terribly missed by her family, including her wife and life partner of 33 years, Linda Weber, and her niece, Elizabeth Gelotte (husband Matt) of Welleslely, MA; nephews Hank Leigh, and Charlie Leigh (wife Alison) of Greenwich, CT; her great nieces and nephew; and Linda’s daughters, Jennifer Bond (husband David) and their children; and Anne Post (husband Mike) and their children.
We are grateful to the team from Trail Winds Hospice, who cared for Emily with expertise and love. A private memorial gathering will be held in May. Donations in Emily’s memory may be made to any animal rescue organization.