Ronn Carter Stewart

Obituary
  • "This has taken me months to write... I was a friend, Ronn's..."
    - Ren Freeman
  • "I am one of Ronn Stewarts training dancers and he was the..."
    - E N
  • "I do was so saddened this morning when I read Ronn's obit. ..."
  • "he left a mark on everyone he met. including me. i was..."
    - Talia Bahar
  • "I was heartbroken this evening to learn of Ronn's passing...."
    - Gina Moseley Wetzel

RONN CARTER STEWART Ronn Carter Stewart, 42, the artistic director and co-founder of Foster Dance Studios and Cocodaco Dance Project in Evanston, Illinois, left his earthly body on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Born on April 23, 1975, in Atmore, Alabama, he was preceded in death by his father Dewain Kendall Stewart, grandparents Doris and Roy Stewart, uncle Ronald Lynn Stewart from Atmore, Alabama; and grandparents Johnnie and William Findley, and uncle Ted Findley from Canoe, Alabama. He is survived by his wife Sarah Goldstone and their daughter Kendall Madeline Goldstone Stewart, expected in February; mother and step-father Gail and Joel Cohen; sister Riegel Cohen; step-brother Ethan (Christina) Cohen; step-sister Julie (Zack) Cohen; mother and step-father-in-law Renee and Mike Rhyner; father-in-law Larry Goldstone; sister-in-law Rebecah Goldstone; brother-in-law David (Katy) Goldstone; as well as nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and countless friends. A redhead from a small town in southern Alabama with indigenous roots and raised Jewish, Ronn believed that dedicated artists often emerge from unusual circumstances. Never one for a conventional lifestyle, Ronn forged his own path and challenged everyone's perceptions about the impact of movement and dance. Ronn discovered jazz dance at the age of 10 under the direction of Susan Quinn and Michael Williams in Pensacola, Florida. He performed at the First Jazz Dance World Congress when he was 15 and at the Kennedy Center when he was 19. He was offered a full scholarship to the University of Arizona for dance, but opted instead to continue training and hone his artistry with the goal of opening his own studio by the time he was 25, which he did. Ronn trained with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and danced professionally with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Gail Gilbert Dance Ensemble, and the Santa Fe Opera. He was the founder and artistic director of Moving People Dance, Santa Fe Dance Festival, and Foster Dance Studios. He taught and choreographed at The Joffrey Ballet Academy for the last seven years. Ronn also developed a new and popular movement technique called MoPeD® (More People Dancing). Ronn opened his first studio, Moving People Dance Santa Fe, in 2001. He broadened students' horizons and taught a variety of dance forms that drew out dancers' expressivity, creativity, and power. He was a dance instructor at the Santa Fe Community College, the University of Arizona, and held several other teaching posts over the course of his career. He was recognized for sharing his craft with others in 2002 when he received the Outstanding Teachers Award from the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix. He was chosen as one of the "21 Intriguing Santa Feans You Should Know" (Santa Fean Magazine, May 2007). His philosophy that dance should be an active part of any community inspired him to create inclusive dance spaces that embraced students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Ronn wanted everyone to experience the gift of dance and to appreciate the art form. On his days off, he taught dance to underprivileged and deaf students, which led to the opening of the school Moving Arts Espa¤ola. The organization provides high quality, affordable performing and visual arts education, as well as nutritional and academic support to children and youth from the Espa¤ola Valley and the surrounding communities of Northern New Mexico. Before he was 30, Ronn inspired thousand of dancers, many of whom became successful dancers in their own right. Students have gone on to dance colleges, summer programs, and companies including The Juilliard School, New York University/Tisch School for the Arts, Boston Conservatory, Point Park University, University of Arizona, Cornish College, University of Indiana, San Francisco Conservatory, Shen Wei Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ate9 Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, New Jersey Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet. As a teacher, he instilled his five principles of life and dance: keep going, listen to your body, suspend judgement, remember what you're working for, and do it with love and appreciation. Ronn loved outdoor music festivals, road trips, camping, hiking, abstract painting, and adored his wife, Sarah, and their dog, Sweetpea. The family is arranging memorials in Chicago and Santa Fe; dates to be announced. The family requests that any donations be made in Ronn's honor to Sarah and Kendall's GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/in-loving-support-of-sarah) or to Moving Arts Espa¤ola (www.movingartsespanola.org).
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Oct. 7, 2017