Thea Faust Anderson
Thea Faust Anderson died on May 24th, 2016, in the town of Napier, New Zealand. She was 24 years of age. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Thea was on a quest, traveling the world to find adventure, work, and her life as an independent young woman. Along the way of her self-defined "odyssey," Thea lived with friends in Amsterdam, cared for children, studied and practiced yoga, and worked on organic farms. She made her way to India and Japan, backpacked up and down New Zealand, befriended fellow travelers, and took every opportunity to immerse herself in whatever body of water was at hand. After six months of travel, Thea longed to settle down. She found a job (in her journal she wrote THE JOB!) at the Hohepa School in Napier, working with intellectually challenged students. Thea looked forward to using her dance training in therapeutic settings, and planned to pursue a graduate degree in dance therapy. Thea found humor and joy all around her, and quietly set surprising little fires of good will wherever she went. Her comic impersonations, full-on slapstick, and downright silliness were all classic Thea. She also had a serious side. Known at home from an early age as "the little philosopher," Thea was willing and able to go deep, to talk about what really matters. She worked on and cherished her friendships-- in everyday life, in the dance studio, and throughout her schooling in San Francisco, where she attended Buen Día Family School, Synergy School, and Waldorf High School. At Mills College (in Oakland) Thea majored in dance, where she worked with an inspired corps of dancers and faculty. She also studied for one year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Thea had studied dance her whole life, training from an early age at the ODC School in San Francisco. She learned something very special about how to be at home in her body, and in performance Thea somehow became the dance, as if to say, "I'm not anything special, but look at this! And think about this!" And one did. Thea loved the collaborative aspects of working with other dancers and the process of bringing abstract ideas and concrete emotions into time and space. Even as she was developing as a modern dancer, she was searching for ways to bring dance into other settings, leading to her budding interest in dance therapy. Thea had a special relationship with her older sister Madeleine: They were, by turn, best pals, co-conspirators, colleagues, and confidants. Thea loved children and infants, and adored animals of every description, with the late addition of New Zealand's kunekune pig. Thea's love of music, water, movement, friends, family, and the beauty of nature brought her great joy, and she shared that joy with an open heart, fearlessness, and grace. Thea is survived by her parents, Thor Anderson and Consuelo Faust-Anderson, sister Madeleine Stuart Anderson, brother-in-law Shrikant Kshirsagar, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, mentors, fellow dancers, and dear friends. There will be a celebration of Thea's life at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin Street, San Francisco, on July 23rd at noon. Gifts in memory of Thea may be sent to the Thea Faust Anderson Fund for Dance, Mills College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, California, 94613, or online at https://www.mills.edu/giving/
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jul. 16 to Jul. 17, 2016.