Jefferson Vo0rhees and Romy Keegan

Jefferson Vo0rhees and Romy Keegan

Classic Ballet-Afrique.....just didn't know it yet!

Classic Ballet-Afrique.....just didn't know it yet!

Gina shaw, my mom and inspiration, tending to her little ones.  she owned valle del norte dance studio in the late 70’s, and directed a community dance company called ballet petite.

Gina shaw, my mom and inspiration, tending to her little ones. she owned valle del norte dance studio in the late 70’s, and directed a community dance company called ballet petite.

Co-Owner and Director of Maple Street Dance Space Along with the help of my husband Tim Keegan, I am so grateful to meet, work with, and provide space and support for, artists and teachers of all kinds, and to get to create and teach myself, joyfully sharing the healing, transformative power of dance with dancers of all ages and experience levels. In both capacities, I celebrate the strength, grace and confidence gained through the practice and self expression of dance, particularly as it relates to community, a sense of belonging, diversity, and ultimately, unity…through dance.


Coming from a family of dancers, with her grandmother and great aunt having been well known performers in Germany and the US until the early 60s, and with her mother having been a ballerina and studio owner, as well, Romy has been involved in dance all her life, (thanks Mom!!! xo). She began ballet at age 3, and went on to dance with the New Mexico Ballet Company under the direction of Suzanne Johnston. She continued her ballet studies at UNM, until becoming a ballet teacher herself, at Hayden School of Ballet, under the further guidance and inspiring instruction of Celia Dale and Joanne Emmons. Her African dance studies began in 1990 with a variety of teachers from both the US and Africa, including Sarah Brown, Kim Vetter, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Mary Nakigan, and visiting teachers, Mabiba MBenge, Titos Sompa, Youssef Koumbassa, Djenba Sako, Assane Kouyate & Abdoulaye Camara, among others.

Since 1998 Romy has enjoyed a diverse and rewarding career as a dance teacher having taught both ballet and African dance, in many of our public and private schools, various dance studios, including of course, Maple Street, The Albuquerque Museum, and for a variety of summer camps and kids programs, including the International Folk Dance Camp, NM Jazz Workshop, Keshet Dance Co., Full Circle Summer Camp, and Harwood Art Camp.

Sonja & Bianca, Hamburg, Germany, circa 1945. My 19 year old grandmother, who danced with a touring Italian dance company, and my 13 year old great aunt, at the end of the war, and at the very beginning of a professional partnership that spanned 2 decades, and 2 continents. Along with my great grandmother, who sewed their costumes, they miraclulously survived the bombing of Dresden, which destroyed literally everything they had. Just a short time after this photo was taken, Sonja was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was predicted to take her life, but took only her sight. She continued to dance until she was 74.

Sonja & Bianca, Hamburg, Germany, circa 1945. My 19 year old grandmother, who danced with a touring Italian dance company, and my 13 year old great aunt, at the end of the war, and at the very beginning of a professional partnership that spanned 2 decades, and 2 continents. Along with my great grandmother, who sewed their costumes, they miraclulously survived the bombing of Dresden, which destroyed literally everything they had. Just a short time after this photo was taken, Sonja was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was predicted to take her life, but took only her sight. She continued to dance until she was 74.

Throughout her unique and community oriented dance career, Romy has taught, presented, choreographed, improvised and performed in any number of local ensembles, companies, venues and community events. In the last several years she has enjoyed collaborating on various cross disciplinary creative projects with artists and creatives connected through Women & Creativity, and performing with jazz vocalist, Marietta Benevento. Romy and Marietta, along with singer, Diane Richardson, are founding members of the Jazz Performing Arts Collective, who’s aim is to educate and keep energized, the appreciation for historical jazz greats through collaborative performances. Along with these projects, Romy continues to engage intimately and directly with students and audiences, in all the varieties of ways, always offering a doorway to dance, and hopping to inspire and engage the next would-be dancer.

Romy is, and will always be, profoundly grateful for ALL her teachers along the way, for those who have lead her, both directly and indirectly, to becoming a dance teacher herself, and a dancer, “for the people”, and for continuing to inspire her in her own love of dance!