Our Founder: Marianne Silver

Marianne Silver was born in 1917 in Breslau, Germany. Although she came to dance classes late (13), she always loved to dance and was “discovered” by one of her mother’s friends at a tea party where she entertained the guests with her dancing. She then began taking lessons at the famous Opera House in Breslau. Not long after, she passed the highly acclaimed test to be accepted as a professional dancer in the Opera Company. However, being a Jewish dancer in Germany in the 1930’s soon ended her promising career. She was able to leave Germany and dance in Italy, France, and later England. As she always said, “I was one step ahead of Hitler.” Through her dancing and ability to find work, she was able to save her entire immediate family. She met her future husband, Jeff Silver, an English musician and soldier in London doing what she did best: dancing! After getting married in 1941, Marianne began a production company in England and continued dancing and choreographing. After her two daughters were born (Bernice and Angela: Mrs. C) they decided to make the move to the United States where her parents had relocated after the war. (Her parents were among the 1,000 refugees held in internment camps in Italy that Roosevelt brought to the United States via Canada.) After living in Pascagoula, Mississippi for five years (and starting the Pascagoula School of Dance), Marianne and her family moved to Lakewood where the many hotels provided for Jeff, the musician. After arriving in November of 1955, Marianne began The Lakewood School of Dance. The rest is history.