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Connecticut College celebrates the life of Cyan Maroney '08 through dance

“We’re all connected and trace each other’s footsteps. Dance is a reflection of life.”

With those words, Shani Collins Achille, assistant professor of dance, welcomed members of the Connecticut College community to the May 6 memorial service to celebrate the life of Cyan Maroney ’08. “It is a great pleasure and privilege to celebrate Cyan’s life at Conn. I feel her energy in this space,” said Collins-Achille.

Cyan, who was known for her energy and her commitment to dance, was working with the West Virginia Dance Company as a performer and instructor. Last October, she was fatally stabbed outside her home. She was 25.

The memorial event included songs, poems, letters and, of course, dance. Her family, who have been working to establish an endowed scholarship in her honor, were on hand to witness the love and respect the Connecticut College community has for their daughter.

Cyan “grew each year in her understanding of social justice,” said Tracee Reiser, associate dean of community learning, who worked with Cyan at the College’s Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS). Reiser recalled Cyan as a dedicated student who was excited to work with AmeriCorps Vista the year following graduation. Reiser said Cyan was an “activist and an artist” who worked to ensure that “all women, children, and men could be equally valued.”

David Dorfman ’81, professor of dance and chair of the dance department, spoke briefly before performing “Lightbulb Theory,” a piece he choreographed in honor of his late father. Dorfman said he hoped that those in attendance would take solace in the performance and would see “dance as a means of recuperation.”

Dorfman said Cyan was a highly regarded member of the dance community who will be sorely missed, but not forgotten. “She will always dance with us,” he said.

Prior to joining the West Virginia Dance Company, Cyan danced for several seasons with Theater West Virginia and was a member of the Trillium Performing Arts Collective in Lewisburg, W. Va. She also taught at the River City Youth Ballet in Charleston, W. Va.

For more information on the life of Cyan Maroney, visit


May 16, 2012

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