Donna Lowe Warren

Philadelphia Grand Opera Ballet

Donna Lowe and Elmer Ball

Donna Lowe began her training in Philadelphia at the Judimar School of Dance under the tutelage of Marion Cuyjet, John Hines, and Delores Brown. During the summers, prompted by Cuyjet, Lowe studied in New York with George Chaffee. She later trained under Thomas Cannon, the ballet master of the Philadelphia Grand Opera Ballet. In 1958, Cannon offered Lowe a contract. At the time African Americans were not permitted to be a part of the company, but Lowe was fair enough to pass for white. In 1960 she attended the Juillard School’s ballet program for one year but was unable to continue due to the financial burden. She returned to Philadelphia and resumed her contract with the opera, where she performed until 1971. In 1982, Lowe relocated to Florida and opened her own school, the Philadelphia School of Dance in Lehigh Acres Florida.

Judimar School students Donna Lowe and Elmer “Skeets” Ball

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