In Memoriam: Myra Woodruff
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved professor, colleague, and friend, Myra Woodruff.
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved professor, colleague, and friend, Myra Woodruff, who passed away on Wednesday, August 23.
For nearly 20 years, Myra cultivated the highest level of artistry and humanity in her students, teaching all levels of the Graham technique and re-staging works from Martha Graham repertory. She joined the SMU Meadows faculty in 2004 as the chair of the Division of Dance, a position she held for six years before transitioning to a professor of dance.
“Throughout her time at Meadows, Myra touched the lives of many with her passion, wisdom, and humor,” says Samuel S. Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean for SMU Meadows School of the Arts. “She was a fierce defender of the arts and their crucial role in elevating the human spirit.”
Myra’s contributions to the world of dance spanned multiple decades before joining the SMU family. She performed in the Martha Graham Ensemble under the direction of Yuriko (1983-1987) and served as a full-time faculty member of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance (1985-1995). From 1987 to 1995 she danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company, where she appeared in over 25 ballets from the Graham repertory and participated in the reconstruction of eight works and four new creations under the direction of Martha Graham.
Myra served as a visiting associate professor of dance at Florida State University for three years before joining the faculty at the Bejart School in Lausanne, Switzerland as their first full-time modern dance teacher, upon invitation from founder Maurice Bejart and school director Michel Gascard. She also performed as a guest artist with Bejart’s first dance company, Bejart Ballet Lausanne, from 1999-2004.
Myra will live on in our hearts and her spirit will continue to inspire us to live every day with the fullness of life she embodied. We will memorialize her legacy and indomitable spirit in a celebration of life on March 8, 2024. More details will follow when arrangements have been made.