The lady who started it all, was born on August 6, 1927, to Terrance and Marion McKay in Greenfield, PA. She graduated from St. Rosalia's Catholic School where Martha Davies opened the doors to dance. At 18, she relocated to Florida, Swing and sway with Maryen McKay. Miss Maryen owned and operated several successful studios in the Miami Beach area for 20 years. This lovely lady inspired imagination and shared her passion for the performing arts with hundreds of children. She lived a glamorous life before returning to Pittsburgh to marry her childhood friend, George L. "Salty" Miller. Her business continued to grow with dancing schools in Penn Hills, Squirrel Hill, Forest Hills, Eastmont, and Plum Boro. Her lessons reached thousands of children in the suburban areas of Pittsburgh. Happiness is not something you find, it's something you create. Maryen Lorrain Miller is not just an educator, but also an institution. She taught children to love to dance. With a generous heart, she gave away immeasurable lessons and countless costumes. All who took Mrs. Miller's classes remember her fondly, with love and admiration. Many of her students became successful professional performers or went on to open dance schools of their own, however, the one she never pushed into the spotlight emerged the most well known, her own daughter, Abby Lee Miller. Mrs. Miller was a life member of Dance Masters of America, and Past-President of Dance Masters of PA, Chpt. #10. Maryen passed away from a long duet with cancer on February 8, 2014. An only child herself, she is survived by her dear friends (the kind, wonderful, real dance moms) who have been with her for years through thick and thin, in the beginning, and now at the end. In addition, the MacDonald, McKay, and Miller Families, along with her only child, Abby Lee Miller. Her Legacy continues…Please email sentiments to reigndanceproductions@yahoo. com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Maryen Lorrain Children's Dance Foundation, 7123 Saltsburg Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. A private ceremony will be held in Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Miami, FL on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 2 p.m. A Celebration of Life will take place in conjunction with The 2014 Annual Dance Concert in June "Maryen Lorrain, One for the History Books." Details to come. The Maryen Lorrain Children's Dance Foundation, this not-for-profit fund, will place a dance instructor trained by Maryen Lorrain in communities across the country to teach a Dance Class to children in financial need. Miss Maryen's lessons will live on forever… through private donations. The Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio is coming to a community near you!
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Feb. 16, 2014