Dancing Donna

Donna -Ballet1This is beautiful Donna Jean at age 11 or 12-years.  She took lessons from the Di Lello School of Dance.  Michael and Thora Di Lello traveled around central Utah to provide dance lessons.  My mom said Thora was absolutely beautiful.  Below is an old pamphlet that my mom has kept all these years.  It describes the classes that were offered… everything from “toe” dance to hula dance!

I was curious about this couple and did a little detective work.  I found out that Thora Stewart was born 9 May 1922 in Springville, Utah.  I would love to have more info about her life, because she somehow ended up in Mexico where she met and married Michael Di Lello during February 1946.  Did she travel there as a circus acrobat?  Michael was born 27 January 1904 in Italy; he was eighteen years her senior.  They eventually returned to Utah where they founded their dancing school.  The information I do have comes from find-a-grave and an obituary; however, familysearch did provide a few interesting tidbits… Michael Di Lello was baptized during March 1952 and then he and Thora were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple the following year in May 1953.  They had a total of thirteen children!

Donna -Dance Instructors1          *Here is the inside of the pamphlet as well as the back of the pamphlet.

DancingDonnaFor the last several years, my mom has danced for “Jean’s Golden Girls!”  This is a dance group in Utah that consists of women ages 55 to 92.  They shimmy, they shake, they do the robot and even dance Gangnam style!  They are taught and led by Jean Dixon Elliot.  They often perform at halftime for basketball games around Utah and have even traveled to perform across the nation.  No group receives more enthusiastic reception or applause than this group does!  We absolutely love to go watch grandma dance!!  Here is Grandma Donna dancing at Snow College a couple of months ago.  She is in the center row, second from left.  And, below, wearing her jacket and with her granddaughter, Amelia!

Donna -in actionDonna -jacketDonna-Millie

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