Paulette Harwood

Paulette Harwood has taught and inspired young dancers for over 50 years. The 2016-2017 season will be the 57th year of Paulette’s Ballet Studio.

Paulette started dancing when she was a little girl under the watchful mentoring of Prima Ballerina, Harriet Hoctor in Boston. She studied under Harriet, who was performed at The Diamond Horseshoe. Harriet was also in a number of films, including as Fred Astaire’s dance partner in Shall We Dance. George Gershwin specifically composed the orchestral piece, “Hoctor’s Ballet” for Harriet for inclusion in Shall We Dance. She also appeared in The Great Ziegfeld and Billy Rose’s Casa Manana Revue.

Harriet Hoctor, Paulette's Teacher and Mentor(Paulette’s Teacher and Mentor, Harriet Hoctor)

Paulette’s first professional job was in The Merry Widow, starring Kitty Carlisle, as a featured soloist, when she was 14 years old. She hasn’t stopped since.

Moving to New York City with her grandmother at 15 years old while she was still a student at Brookline High School, dancing in such renowned New York institutions as Lou Walter’s Diamond Horseshoe and the Copacabana.  Paulette went on to be a soloist at Radio City Music Hall in the Corps de Ballet.

When Paulette married Paul Harwood, she moved back to Boston where she continued dancing, but this time, bringing all her love and passion for dance to her school. Paulette’s Ballet Studio opened in the fall of 1959.

In addition, she has choreographed countless musicals for local high schools and colleges, choreographed dances for performance all over Massachusetts, including for the Boston Celtics at Boston Garden. In addition, she has designed and made costumes for many contestants in the Miss Massachusetts and Miss America pageants, and of course all the costumes for her own shows.

Paulette’s knowledge and love of all forms of dance and performing, with a strong base in classical ballet, has been a leading force in the artistic lives of thousands and thousands of dancers. She believes that the combination of the creative spirit of dance combined with the discipline required to be a dancer will always add to a young person’s confidence, health and life.


(Paulette on the roof of Radio City Music Hall between Shows)

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