Long time dance teacher and Menlo Park resident RoseAnn Sayler passed away at the age of 96 on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. A memorial service will be held at Menlo Church, 950 Santa Cruz Avenue, at 2:00 pm on Friday, Jan. 31.

A chance encounter led to her first exposure to dance. Growing up in Muskogee, OK, her sister would walk a friend to dance lessons across town. One day her sister couldn’t go, so RoseAnn went in her place.

“The lesson was in the living room of a beautiful lady’s home,” she wrote in an autobiographical piece for the Almanac News in 1998. “She sat me in a big overstuffed chair and the lesson proceeded. I was fine until they started tumbling on a mat. I watched and wiggled in that big chair.

“Finally Miss Bonnie asked me if I’d like to try it. Whoa! She taught me a backbend and I haven’t stopped bending since then.”

Growing up in Menlo Park from the ’50s onward, it seemed like every girl in town took lessons from RoseAnn at one time or another. Or like this less than graceful and coordinated writer, attended recitals to watch friends dance.

“When I was three, I was so pigeon toed that Mom took me to learn ballet,” recalled Janet G. writing in the Do You Remember the Old Menlo Park page on Facebook. “Well, of course, way too young, so RoseAnn put me in tap-dancing. I still have the program. This would have been around 1956. Her spunk and graciousness with all those bumbling kids — they just don’t make beauty and patience like that today.”

“She was an amazing teacher, and I have such good memories of my years at Roseanne’s dance studio,” added Jeanne F. “She left quite a legacy of happy memories.”

Lexie P summed up RoseAnn’s contribution succinctly: “[She was] the goodness of growing up in our time.”

During World War II, RoseAnn’s family moved to Stillwater, OK, where she attended high school graduating in two years. While attending Oklahoma State University, she worked for the College Entertainment Board, touring with a professional dance company during the summer.

“College was marvelous,” she wrote in the 1998 autobiographical piece. “I had my dancing school, auditioned and became a baton twirler for college, finished in 3-1/2 years with a B.S. degree and lots of performances for the Bureau. My top marathon was 27 dances performed in one day!”

Moving west, she danced in San Francisco until 1946 before moving to the Peninsula where she danced at the Bon Ton Club near Moffet Field. She would later marry the owner’s son, Lewis Saylor, who preceded her in death.

In 1947, she opened Rose Ann Dance Studio at 1259 El Camino Real. After a short tenure in a four-car garage at 564 University Drive, the studio moved to its present location at 1163 El Camino Real in 1949. The name was changed to Menlo Park Academy of Dance in 1969.

Many of her students became professional dancers, owning their own dance schools and appearing on Broadway and with the San Francisco Ballet.

Those wishing to make a memorial gift are requested by the family to direct it to the Menlo Park Academy of Dance scholarship fund.

{ Be the first to comment }

Bob Budelli and crew cheer the 49ers on to victory over Green Bay

Long time Menlo Park resident Bob Budelli (second from right) was with his “crew” — Mike Budelli, Dick Budelli, Alex Ingram (former Niner punter) and No. 1 Son Bobby Budelli at Levi Stadium yesterday cheering  the 49ers on to victory over the Green Bay Packers. Bob emailed that he’s been a season ticket holder since […]

Click to read more →

Applications for Menlo Park Grant for the Arts being accepted through March 1

The City of Menlo Park is now accepting applications for the Menlo Park Grant for the Arts (MPGA) program. The grant is for organizations wishing to perform in a professional-grade theater. Ten organizations will be awarded between $500-$3,000 toward subsidizing the rental cost of the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (PAC) for performances between July 2020 […]

Click to read more →

Guild Theatre project to impact traffic at El Camino Real/ Ravenswood Avenue this coming week and next

The Guild Theatre  project is currently under construction and a lane on El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue must be closed intermittently during construction. This lane closure is to provide access and space to maneuver equipment safely. During the weeks of January 20 and 27, southbound El Camino Real between Santa Cruz and Live Oak Avenues […]

Click to read more →

Protesters again gather at Facebook to urge fact checking of political ads

Facebook users, investors, and neighbors gathered outside the Menlo Park-based company headquarters late yesterday afternoon demonstraitng against the company’s refusal to fact-check political ads run on their site. “We are unhappy with [Facebook’s] decision to not fact check their political ads on their platform,” emailed Laura Stec of Bay Area Action. “We expect Facebook to […]

Click to read more →

Meet Hannah Pollek, who’s helping put the pieces of a giant telescope camera together

At 8:00 am each morning, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) camera’s integration and testing team shuffles into a conference room at  SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park to orchestrate the day’s activities. Hannah Pollek is a relative newcomer to the team, but she joined at an exciting time. Within the year, barring any […]

Click to read more →

What a wintry day on the mid-Peninsula!

Our day began before dawn with a walk on the Dish where we were met with what felt like gale-force winds — and hail! By the time we got home, the sun was out (and Robb Most was able to capture a rainbow). Then there was rain and more rain before things started to calm […]

Click to read more →

Champs of the 2020 Encinal Spelling Bee

Out of 15 participating students, Riann Shetty won the 2020 Encinal Spelling Bee with Marissa Hou and Kian Kourtidis the runner ups. After 37 grueling spelling rounds, Riaan’s final championship word was “kaleidoscope.”  Mr. Vandro served as the announcer and retired teachers, Ms. Stroh and Ms. Hatfiled, were the judges.

Click to read more →

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announces 2020 CZI Community Fund recipients

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced nearly $3.5 million in grants to Bay Area organizations* working on the most critical issues facing local communities. A number of the 40 organizations are based in Menlo Park and almost all offer services in the city’s Belle Haven neighborhood. Organizations in East Palo Alto, unincorporated North Fair Oaks, […]

Click to read more →

Cafe Borrone celebrates 30 years in Menlo Park

We’re sure we aren’t the only ones in Menlo Park who feel so lucky to have two great Menlo Park “institutions” side by side — Kepler’s and Cafe Borrone The latter is celebrating its 30th anniversary. “We originated in Redwood City in 1979,” emails Marina Borrone, “and opened in December of ‘89 in Menlo Park. […]

Click to read more →

Two local teens from Troop 206 earn Eagle Scout status

Two local scouts — Kevin Box (above right) and Hazen Stribling (left) — received their Eagle award from Troop 206 at a Court of Honor held January 12, 2020 at Trinity Church in Menlo Park. Troop 206, first chartered by Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park in 1958, has advanced 187 scouts to Eagle rank in […]

Click to read more →