Doreen Hayes and her School of Dancing students honour their founder with last recital called Dance: A Celebration of Life

News Jun 05, 2016 by Lisa Rainford Bloor West Villager

Doreen Hayes was a determined woman to say the least.

The dancer and proprietor of the Doreen Hayes School of Dancing, a fixture at the corner of Bloor West and Janes streets since 1956, had finally decided to retire – begrudgingly – at the end of the 60th season in June. However, Hayes died of heart failure March 26 at Humber River Regional Hospital, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She would have been 84 in July.

“‘Closing that door on the studio would kill me,’” Hayes’ eldest daughter Alannah Ryane recalled her mother once saying.

And so, it was fitting the owner of the longest running, privately owned dance studio in Ontario died before that day arrived, Ryane said.

“When she did go, she went peacefully,” she said.

At her mother’s April 6 funeral and celebration of life, which included an ‘after party,’ Ryane said she made sure everyone received a piece of Hayes’ 80 pounds of costume jewelry.

“I gave them feathered boas. We had a three-piece jazz band. She would have loved it,” Ryane said.

Even though she hadn’t been to her school for quite some time because she couldn’t manage the steep set of stairs, Hayes took a trip to Casino Niagara only two weeks before her death.

“Nothing was going to shake her,” Ryane said with a laugh.

Despite its leader’s death, the school’s end of season show goes on.

The 60th and final recital, in memory of Hayes, is called ‘Dance: A Celebration of Life’ and will take place Friday, June 24 at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.

“It’s a real bittersweet kind of thing,” Ryane said. “The (students) are having a really hard time. I got an email from one of her students who pleaded with me not to close the school.”

The Doreen Hayes School of Dancing once boasted an enrolment of as many as 500 students. Hayes began tap dancing – her specialty – at two years old. As a teen, she’d sing at movie theatres between features, and would go on to become an assistant teacher to her own instructor before opening her own dance studio. At the time, she had been left on her own to raise her two daughters. To open her studio, Hayes sought help from one Mr. Clarkson at TD Bank on the northeast corner of Bloor West and Jane streets.

“I was stuck with two little kids. I didn’t know what to do besides dance,” Hayes told The Villager in June of 2011. “This little spot was for rent. I went across the street to TD Bank. Mr. Clarkson was like a father to me. He trusted me. He gave me a loan without asking for collateral. I paid him every dime I owed him.”

Hayes has had a profound affect on many of her students, Ryane said.

“I couldn’t even count how many people went on to open their own studios,” said Ryane, herself a dance instructor in Orillia.

It was Hayes’ “absolute determination” to succeed that helped in her success. She had a knack for running a business while still being able to inspire creativity, Ryane said.

“She just loved being on stage, doing a show.”

Vince Parrell was Hayes’ second student. His mother discovered an advertisement on a lamppost and enrolled her five-year-old son in tap dancing.

“It was a dollar for a half hour,” Parrell said.

She would take him to Hayes’ house in the Bloor West and Dufferin street area where the instructor would roll back the living room carpet so they could tap on the hardwood floor. Parrell would go on to perform with Hayes before opening up the Vince Parrell Dance Centre in 1982.

“When I was 14, Doreen performed at a nightclub on Victoria Street. Doreen used to hustle me in there and we’d do a duet together and I’d do a tap solo,” Parrell said. “They used to hide me in the kitchen when the liquor inspector came.”

Hayes, Parell said, had “a hell of a career.”

“She was larger than life,” he said.

Toronto Council recognized Hayes during its May 3 meeting.

“Ms. Hayes dedicated her life to the art of dance and started ‘The Doreen Hayes School of Dancing.’ She was a remarkable and outstanding civic citizen, who not only managed the school she had opened, but dedicated much of her time to helping women entrepreneurs in the Bloor West Village community and across the city,” the city clerk said in a condolence letter.

For further details on the upcoming recital, visit www.doreenhayes.com

Doreen Hayes and her School of Dancing students honour their founder with last recital called Dance: A Celebration of Life

Bloor West Village dance founder would have closed out her 60th season at the end of June, but died in March

News Jun 05, 2016 by Lisa Rainford Bloor West Villager

Doreen Hayes was a determined woman to say the least.

The dancer and proprietor of the Doreen Hayes School of Dancing, a fixture at the corner of Bloor West and Janes streets since 1956, had finally decided to retire – begrudgingly – at the end of the 60th season in June. However, Hayes died of heart failure March 26 at Humber River Regional Hospital, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She would have been 84 in July.

“‘Closing that door on the studio would kill me,’” Hayes’ eldest daughter Alannah Ryane recalled her mother once saying.

And so, it was fitting the owner of the longest running, privately owned dance studio in Ontario died before that day arrived, Ryane said.

“When she did go, she went peacefully,” she said.

At her mother’s April 6 funeral and celebration of life, which included an ‘after party,’ Ryane said she made sure everyone received a piece of Hayes’ 80 pounds of costume jewelry.

“I gave them feathered boas. We had a three-piece jazz band. She would have loved it,” Ryane said.

Even though she hadn’t been to her school for quite some time because she couldn’t manage the steep set of stairs, Hayes took a trip to Casino Niagara only two weeks before her death.

“Nothing was going to shake her,” Ryane said with a laugh.

Despite its leader’s death, the school’s end of season show goes on.

The 60th and final recital, in memory of Hayes, is called ‘Dance: A Celebration of Life’ and will take place Friday, June 24 at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.

“It’s a real bittersweet kind of thing,” Ryane said. “The (students) are having a really hard time. I got an email from one of her students who pleaded with me not to close the school.”

The Doreen Hayes School of Dancing once boasted an enrolment of as many as 500 students. Hayes began tap dancing – her specialty – at two years old. As a teen, she’d sing at movie theatres between features, and would go on to become an assistant teacher to her own instructor before opening her own dance studio. At the time, she had been left on her own to raise her two daughters. To open her studio, Hayes sought help from one Mr. Clarkson at TD Bank on the northeast corner of Bloor West and Jane streets.

“I was stuck with two little kids. I didn’t know what to do besides dance,” Hayes told The Villager in June of 2011. “This little spot was for rent. I went across the street to TD Bank. Mr. Clarkson was like a father to me. He trusted me. He gave me a loan without asking for collateral. I paid him every dime I owed him.”

Hayes has had a profound affect on many of her students, Ryane said.

“I couldn’t even count how many people went on to open their own studios,” said Ryane, herself a dance instructor in Orillia.

It was Hayes’ “absolute determination” to succeed that helped in her success. She had a knack for running a business while still being able to inspire creativity, Ryane said.

“She just loved being on stage, doing a show.”

Vince Parrell was Hayes’ second student. His mother discovered an advertisement on a lamppost and enrolled her five-year-old son in tap dancing.

“It was a dollar for a half hour,” Parrell said.

She would take him to Hayes’ house in the Bloor West and Dufferin street area where the instructor would roll back the living room carpet so they could tap on the hardwood floor. Parrell would go on to perform with Hayes before opening up the Vince Parrell Dance Centre in 1982.

“When I was 14, Doreen performed at a nightclub on Victoria Street. Doreen used to hustle me in there and we’d do a duet together and I’d do a tap solo,” Parrell said. “They used to hide me in the kitchen when the liquor inspector came.”

Hayes, Parell said, had “a hell of a career.”

“She was larger than life,” he said.

Toronto Council recognized Hayes during its May 3 meeting.

“Ms. Hayes dedicated her life to the art of dance and started ‘The Doreen Hayes School of Dancing.’ She was a remarkable and outstanding civic citizen, who not only managed the school she had opened, but dedicated much of her time to helping women entrepreneurs in the Bloor West Village community and across the city,” the city clerk said in a condolence letter.

For further details on the upcoming recital, visit www.doreenhayes.com

Doreen Hayes and her School of Dancing students honour their founder with last recital called Dance: A Celebration of Life

Bloor West Village dance founder would have closed out her 60th season at the end of June, but died in March

News Jun 05, 2016 by Lisa Rainford Bloor West Villager

Doreen Hayes was a determined woman to say the least.

The dancer and proprietor of the Doreen Hayes School of Dancing, a fixture at the corner of Bloor West and Janes streets since 1956, had finally decided to retire – begrudgingly – at the end of the 60th season in June. However, Hayes died of heart failure March 26 at Humber River Regional Hospital, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She would have been 84 in July.

“‘Closing that door on the studio would kill me,’” Hayes’ eldest daughter Alannah Ryane recalled her mother once saying.

And so, it was fitting the owner of the longest running, privately owned dance studio in Ontario died before that day arrived, Ryane said.

“When she did go, she went peacefully,” she said.

At her mother’s April 6 funeral and celebration of life, which included an ‘after party,’ Ryane said she made sure everyone received a piece of Hayes’ 80 pounds of costume jewelry.

“I gave them feathered boas. We had a three-piece jazz band. She would have loved it,” Ryane said.

Even though she hadn’t been to her school for quite some time because she couldn’t manage the steep set of stairs, Hayes took a trip to Casino Niagara only two weeks before her death.

“Nothing was going to shake her,” Ryane said with a laugh.

Despite its leader’s death, the school’s end of season show goes on.

The 60th and final recital, in memory of Hayes, is called ‘Dance: A Celebration of Life’ and will take place Friday, June 24 at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.

“It’s a real bittersweet kind of thing,” Ryane said. “The (students) are having a really hard time. I got an email from one of her students who pleaded with me not to close the school.”

The Doreen Hayes School of Dancing once boasted an enrolment of as many as 500 students. Hayes began tap dancing – her specialty – at two years old. As a teen, she’d sing at movie theatres between features, and would go on to become an assistant teacher to her own instructor before opening her own dance studio. At the time, she had been left on her own to raise her two daughters. To open her studio, Hayes sought help from one Mr. Clarkson at TD Bank on the northeast corner of Bloor West and Jane streets.

“I was stuck with two little kids. I didn’t know what to do besides dance,” Hayes told The Villager in June of 2011. “This little spot was for rent. I went across the street to TD Bank. Mr. Clarkson was like a father to me. He trusted me. He gave me a loan without asking for collateral. I paid him every dime I owed him.”

Hayes has had a profound affect on many of her students, Ryane said.

“I couldn’t even count how many people went on to open their own studios,” said Ryane, herself a dance instructor in Orillia.

It was Hayes’ “absolute determination” to succeed that helped in her success. She had a knack for running a business while still being able to inspire creativity, Ryane said.

“She just loved being on stage, doing a show.”

Vince Parrell was Hayes’ second student. His mother discovered an advertisement on a lamppost and enrolled her five-year-old son in tap dancing.

“It was a dollar for a half hour,” Parrell said.

She would take him to Hayes’ house in the Bloor West and Dufferin street area where the instructor would roll back the living room carpet so they could tap on the hardwood floor. Parrell would go on to perform with Hayes before opening up the Vince Parrell Dance Centre in 1982.

“When I was 14, Doreen performed at a nightclub on Victoria Street. Doreen used to hustle me in there and we’d do a duet together and I’d do a tap solo,” Parrell said. “They used to hide me in the kitchen when the liquor inspector came.”

Hayes, Parell said, had “a hell of a career.”

“She was larger than life,” he said.

Toronto Council recognized Hayes during its May 3 meeting.

“Ms. Hayes dedicated her life to the art of dance and started ‘The Doreen Hayes School of Dancing.’ She was a remarkable and outstanding civic citizen, who not only managed the school she had opened, but dedicated much of her time to helping women entrepreneurs in the Bloor West Village community and across the city,” the city clerk said in a condolence letter.

For further details on the upcoming recital, visit www.doreenhayes.com