Departing Teacher: Cynthia Winters

Natalie Cosgrove

After 37 years at the school, Performing Arts Teacher and Director of Dance Cynthia Winters will retire. During her career, Winters inspired students to reach out of their comfort zones and explore movement through dance. After her departure at the end of the year, she said she will spend time with her family and friends, travel and continue her artistic work.

Advanced Dance I student Emma Miller ’23 said she will miss Winters’s class and that it was the perfect break from her hectic schedule.

“I am going to miss her so much because she inspired so many dancers to explore their creativity through movement and brought joy to so many people,” Miller said. “Even though our class was mostly on Zoom, she did a great job making everybody feel connected and excited to dance.”

Winters has been supportive of her students

Winters helped her students both emotionally and physically by ensuring their safety and creating a welcoming environment. Ballet student Aiko Offner ’23 said Winters has always been there for her when she needed support.

“This past year Ms. Winter not only taught us the fundamentals of injury prevention and the tools to be a more stable and successful dancer but was there to support us as students and people in the [school] community,” Offner said. “Teaching dance over a screen is so difficult, but she did it with such grace, and her warmth made me feel like I was really a part of the upper school dance community despite still being at home. I will miss her and her loving energy so much next year.”

As Winters leaves the school, she said she will miss her students more than anything. She also expressed her gratitude for all of the opportunities that her classes gave her and for her colleagues at the school.

“Thank you, Harvard-Westlake, for a beautiful journey,” Winters said. “Thank you to the administration, faculty and staff who have stepped onto the stage and performed in our concerts with our students. Thank you all for your love and open hearts. You will remain in my heart always.”