A phone call to Joanie Edwards’ Little Theatre School of Performing Arts in Aventura will usually bring you a cheery “Hello” from Annette Edwards, Joanie’s mother, who works every day at the Little Theatre helping her daughter . You would never suspect that this beautifully cultured voice belongs to Annette Edwards, who recently celebrated her 101st birthday with a party full of friends and students of Annette’s spanning her 20 years here in Florida.
Born on September 5, 1909… the same year that Joan of Arc was declared a saint… Annette remembers everything… in vivid color! “My mother and grandmother were actresses, but I wanted to be a dancer!” she said. She was 6 years old when she performed in her first ballet recital, and her dancing career blossomed from that point on. Her teacher was the renowned Russian balletmaster Michael Fokine, whom she studied with for ten years. As her career progressed, she became the teacher, and among her celebrity students was Josef Layton, Emmy and Tony-award winner from Brooklyn, New York.
Annette taught children how to study a variety of the performing arts…then known as musical comedy. Her goal was to teach combined arts to produce real talent needed to rise through the ranks to the top performers. When she moved from New York to Florida , Annette decided that she should give underprivileged children the same opportunities that children of families who could afford the lessons would receive, and so she would travel to communities to teach children there on a weekly basis.
For the past 18 years, Annette has been working with her daughter Joanie at the Little Theatre School, helping to interview students and register them. Her secret to a long a healthy life?
“To be real….to use the love and intensity I have for each person to help them reach their goals in life.” “You know, “ she says with a smile, “giving of yourself comes back tenfold!”
For more information, call Joanie Edwards Little Theatre School of Performing Arts in Aventura, 305.936.9795