Four Performances Of Stardust Revue Usher Lathrop School Of Dance Director Into Retirement

Published: June 08, 2019 at 08:15 am


UPDATE (Tuesday, June 11, 2019): This post has been updated to include both names of the new co-owners of Lathrop School of Dance. Marco Saric's name was omitted when this story was originally published.

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For 67 consecutive years, on the first weekend in June, Newtowners have been treated to the best dancing in town, and this year was no different. The Lathrop School of Dance (LSOD) kicked off its four-performance weekend at the only home it’s ever known: the stage of Edmond Town Hall Theatre on Main Street.

The 67th Stardust Revue, performed June 1-2, brought lady bugs, princesses, birds of feathers, and zombies, among many others, with costumed dancers showcasing their talent. They did not disappoint.

Strutting on stage to open the show, the Jr Stardusters brought the big band sound as they danced the stage with their canes and moves. The tempo changed, and the 3-year-old little lady bugs flew across the stage. Watching butterfly images roll around the theater, the young dancers also followed the direction of LSOD Director Diane Wardenburg, knowing they could look toward the orchestra pit to find her smiling face watching from that familiar location, offering guidance and encouragement.

The Stardust Revue is never without classic musical numbers as well as upbeat dances, including techno music for the hip hop classes, modern and classical jazz performances that have dancers gliding abound the stage, and of course, the taps that keep the beat flowing throughout the program. The audience has come to expect top talent and perfection from performances by The Stardusters, this year “Bringing NY to Newtown” on stage to close the show.


‘Celebrating Miss Diane’

Some would think it’s the Stardusters, Jr Stardusters, Lathrop Dancers, the young 3-12-year-olds or even the highlighted steps of LSOD’s young and talented Stephen Wutzl that steal the show, but this year, that was not the case. LSOD’s own Miss Diane was the talk and star of the 67th Stardust Revue.

To close the curtain on the first half of this year’s program, current and past faculty members, current and retired Stardusters — and anyone who wanted to join in, for that matter — danced to “Celebrating Miss Diane!” Performing snippets of dances that are Miss Diane’s favorites or that she has choreographed and directed, Stardusters brought out the classics of “America,” “Zero to 60,” and “Money Money.”

Smiles were broad when Miss Diane joined her faculty and friends of more than 50 years, dancing front and center stage in “Just A Gigolo,” closing the number with “Celebrate.”

For those treated to the 67th Stardust Revue, it was a welcome sight to see Miss Diane dancing and smiling on stage so joyfully.

Starting at age 3 and taking lessons from LSOD founders Ginny and Mack Lathrop, then having taught for more than 45 years under the tutelage of Ginny, Miss Diane took over the reins of Newtown’s longest operating dance studio in 2009. Earlier this year, she announced her retirement and that last weekend’s Stardust Revue would be her final bow.

“What a blessing it has been to be part of so many families, some for generations,” Miss Diane told The Newtown Bee in May. “The dreams of a little girl have become true on the stage of Edmond Town Hall. After countless hours of rehearsing, teaching, performing, and directing, it is time for a final bow at LSOD. My life has new challenges and opportunities to explore, and I take my bow now to cast myself into some new roles.”

Husband Joel and son Caleb have supported Miss Diane since being blessed into the LSOD family and continue that support in her next ventures.


The Next Chapter

LSOD will miss the presence of Miss Diane after her 50-plus years of involvement, but just as Miss Diane started, there is now a former 3-year-old dancer-turned-teacher-turned-mentor and now owner/director who will be embracing the dance school. Miss Tamra Saric, who has been working alongside Miss Diane for the past decade, and her husband Marco, have been tapped as the new leaders of the legendary dance school.

The love and family atmosphere will continue as LSOD grows.

“Miss Tamra will continue to embrace rich traditions, blending the newest and latest dance styles in a wonderful atmosphere with a personal level of instruction that Mack, Ginny, myself, and Miss Tamra treasure,” stated Miss Di.

Miss Diane may have taken her final bow at LSOD, but her final chapter has not been written. She has exciting new challenges to look forward to.

Meanwhile, audiences last weekend were treated to the “Best Show Ever,” and can look forward to many more produced by the faculty and students of Lathrop School of Dance.

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