Harry Woolever
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Harry L. Woolever

Harry L. Woolever, of Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., and Montoursville, Pa., passed away on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at the age of 90.

Born on Aug. 17, 1929, he was the son of the late Harry and Catharine (Fazler) Woolever.

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Harry enjoyed an entire lifetime of dancing and directing dance until retiring in 2017.

He had studied ballet with Madame Anderson-Ivantsova, Edward Caton and Valentina Peryaslavec; tap dance with Henry LeTang; and modern dance with Hanya Holm.

After dancing in many Broadway musicals, including the original production of "My Fair Lady," Mr. Woolever assumed the role of director, re-staging that Broadway show for the first time ever in Brazil in 1962. His Israeli productions include the Broadway shows of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "The Sound of Music," as well as many New York City Center revivals of "My Fair Lady."

He also choreographed off-Broadway musicals, summer-stock and several dance films. He was head of the dance department at AMDA, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, in New York City, Dance Educators of America and the International School of Dance at Carnegie Hall, as well as working at the Lincoln center.

Harry was also on the faculty of the American Academy of Skating Arts at New York's Sky Rink where he taught classes in movement and dance directed exclusively for skaters.

He gave private instruction to many national and international competitors and staged and directed 11 Madison Square Garden ice shows televised by ABC and CBS.

On Jan. 31, 1963, he was part of a dance group of eight people who participated in a dance for President John F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C. That show was later broadcast on national TV.

Harry also taught a class of ageless students, some who were in his Monday and Friday classes at the Neubert Ballet Institute in Carnegie Hall since the 1950s.

In addition to all of the above, Harry enjoyed returning to his old homestead up the 'sock several times a year where he enjoyed tending to plants, trees and building stone walls.

He loved nature and enjoyed watching ducks, bald eagles, beavers and various other wildlife as they perused up and down the 'sock.

You could find him sitting in his crick room sipping his signature Negroni cocktail and enjoying the festivities on the water.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Harry's name be made to your local SPCA.

He always said "We are friends who dance."

It is asked that to all who read this turn the music on and dance to honor Harry and his amazing life!

Submitted by family.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2020.
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4 entries
December 24, 2020
I studied under him at AMDA. I was new to dance but he would use me to demonstrate to the class and he made me feel like a Prima ballerina! He was the best.
Karen Reem
October 24, 2020
This kind, beautiful man made this actor/singer, 19 year old novice, believe she could dance. He not only taught me technique he gave me confidence. Enough to power me through a 40 year career on stage. And in honor of this unparalleled gift, I dance for him today. AMDA gave me Harry and I will always treasure him. Rest in power, dear Harry.
Judi Mann
August 3, 2020
Robin A Riccio
February 28, 2020
Harry was my dance teacher at AMDA in the early 1970s. He was amazing and I never forgot him! I was recently going through my huge record collection and found an album entitled "Jazz Dancing". There was handsome, young Harry Wollever...front and center on the cover! I would love to give this album to one of his family members, if they would like to have it. May he rest in peace...and dance all over Heaven!
Toni Scofield
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