Local Hero: Joan Hellman
It would be almost impossible to reconstruct the history of folksong and contra dance in Southeastern Michigan without asking Joan Hellmann for her memories, because she has been actively involved in so much for so long—not that she would emphasize her own efforts. There she is and there she has been for more than thirty years, taking the money at Saturday contras, doing the sound for the Family Dance on Sunday afternoon (which she also organizes) and for the Scottish ball, setting up at the Michigan Dance Heritage Weekend, running the concert stage at Dancing in the Streets, putting together house concerts.
Over thirty years and more she has worked actively on too many committees and helped organize too many events to count. The Ann Arbor dance community has several local heroes, but Joan does so much of the work we don't always notice—and she often does it while providing wonderful cookies, too.
- Submitted by Ruth Scodel