Dancer and choreographer Coleen Duncan passes away at age 57

by Contributed Content on July 14, 2023

The family of Coleen Duncan is sadden to share the news of her passing on July 5, 2023. She was 57 years old and died peacefully at home surrounded by her family of colon cancer.

Coleen is locally renowned for directing and choreographing the Dancer’s Repertoire Theater production of Twas the Night Before Christmas. During those 15 years she instilled the love of dance and theater into countless children and brought joy to every audience. Her spirit touched everyone that knew her.

Coleen grew up in Atherton where she attended local schools and graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School. She had the honor of dancing at the graduation Baccalaureate ceremony. She was also a cheerleader and active in the theater. She attended De Anza College and CA State Northridge where she choreographed a new musical for the school.

After college she worked for the Hyatt Corp. in Los Angeles and San Francisco as a hospitality manager. Following that she spent 7 years as the suite manager for the San Jose Sharks.

Coleen began her love of dance at the age of 4 and studied all genres under RoseAnn Saylor at the Menlo Park Academy of Dance. She began dancing in Twas the Night Before Christmas at the age of 8 with Jeannde Herst and remained in the cast until she was 18. Her favorite role was that of the Russian Ribbon Doll. The show brought her immense joy. She revived it in 2005 after a 10 year hiatis and continued its beloved tradition until 2019.

During that time, she continually inspired dancers, parents and audiences due to the fact that she did it all from a wheelchair, as she had battled serious diseases since the age of 12. Her relationship with children was a thing to behold. They never saw her as handicapped, they only saw her as kind, creative, loving and exceptionally talented.

She was the CA State Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics champion at the age of 12. She was crowned Miss Redwood City, Miss San Mateo County and went on to compete in the Miss California pageant.

She is survived by her mother, Sylvia Duncan, and her siblings Andrew, Constance and Cynthia. In addition, she is survived by her beloved service dog “Cookie”, life-long friend Bobbette Washburn and former husband James Zogzas.

On Coleen’s new journey, she would like to have you remember her favorite saying —“ and to all a good night”.

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