BRIDGEPORT — Former Bridgeport resident Virginia Drumm, the owner of the former Drumm School of Dance, will be celebrating her 90th birthday today.
Formerly Virginia Harding, Drumm began her dance career many years ago with a man named Jack Gaitley. She later met her husband, Lambert Drumm, who was also a dancer.
The two danced professionally together for many years before settling down and starting a family.
Little did they know that when they decided to open Drumm School of Dance in Bridgeport, it would have such a profound effect on their family, as well as generations of youngsters for years to come.
The Drumms had four children: Sharleen (Traczyk) of Stow, Ohio; Carla (Webber) of Portland, Oregon; Lana (Traczyk) who currently resides in St. Clairsville and Creslyn (King) of Seattle, Washington. Virginia has 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
To say that the Drumm’s love of dance continued through their children is an understatement.
All four of her daughters have followed in her footsteps and have participated in and taught dance at some point.
Webber was a former member of the Radio City Rockettes in New York City before moving to Oregon with her husband to start a family.
They opened the Carla Weber School of Dance, which then became the Westside Dance and Gymnastics Academy.
Webber’s daughters also continued in the family business.
Sheri Atwood, who was the co-owner of Westside for 14 years, still teaches in the area at Innovate Dance in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Webber’s youngest daughter, Creslynn Morris, was the first gymnast in the state of Oregon to record a perfect 10.0 when she did so on the balance beam in 1978.
Morris also is an instructor at Innovative Dance, along with still working alongside her mother at Westside.
Sharleen Traczyk, the eldest of Drumm’s four daughters, owns Talent Tree Inc. in Hudson, Ohio.
Talent Tree primarily works with aspiring gymnasts and dancers aged 5 through adulthood.
Her daughter, Renee Knepp, is the owner of Little Leapers, which works with children 18 months and up. The transition for children in that area goes from working with one generation of the Drumm family to the next.
When Lambert Drumm passed away, Virginia moved to Tigard, Oregon to be closer to Carla. She started teaching classes at her daughter’s school, as well as the Portland Gymnastics center.
Virginia has led a colorful life to say the least.
She was a guest and performer on the Maury Povich show in New York City in 1998. She was the choreographer for Creslyn’s floor routine when she was the state floor exercise champion in 1975.
She travels quite a bit, heading to Seattle to visit Creslyn as well as returning to Ohio to visit with Sharleen and Lana.
When visiting Sharleen, Virginia often is a guest teacher for her adult tap class at The Talent Tree.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMER?BRIDGEPORT resident Virginia Drumm is celebrating her 90th birthday today. The owner of Drumm School of Dance, three generations of women in her family have followed in the family footsteps of dancing, four if you count Virginia and her husband Lambert.