Adele Johnson, A Celebration of Life
Born in Harlem, New York, Adele Johnson was a remarkable human being. She lived a full life as a dedicated homemaker, mother, grandmother, arts educator, and mentor. She made her peaceful transition on August 22, 2020, surrounded by family.
Adele Johnson's School of Performing Arts
Her impact on the cultural world of the performing arts is undeniable. She leaves a distinguished record from a life dedicated to the arts and her community.
Upon moving to Uniondale, New York, and in response to her concern for the development of young people, she opened her first dance studio at her residence.
In 1964, when the World’s Fair came to Flushing Meadows in Queens, Adele’s championship dance group, The Adele Johnson Rhythmaires, received special invitations to perform weekly at the New York State Pavilion. A certificate of appreciation from the New York State Commission was presented to her by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller.
The studio maintained exclusive engagements with both the Bahamian and Bermudian governments. Her students traveled to Grand Bahama and to Bermuda by invitation.
In 1967 Adele Johnson’s School of Performing Arts opened, making Adele Johnson Long Island’s first African American owner of a dance studio. Her first studio was on Main Street in Freeport. In 1976 the studio moved to the former Arthur Murray Studios at 285 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead.
Class offerings included drama, martial arts, music, gymnastics, exercise, and, of course, dance in tap, ballet, African, modern, and jazz.
Each year in June, the dance season culminated with an annual showcase recital held at various venues on Long Island and New York City.
Other Noble Works
In addition to owning a dance school, volunteering as a lunch aide at her own children’s schools, and actively serving as a community leader, Adele worked for 17 years at her local supermarket, first as a cashier then as a supervisor.
Later, she was employed, for almost 30 years, at A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility as a nurse’s aide. She worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift so she could be at home during the day for her children.
Slim & Trim Exercise
Adele wrote her own rules. She was renowned for not holding back and for telling it like it was. She taught her children well and instilled in them a spirit of wisdom. She kept one and all in line through the school of hard knocks.
This strong woman was highly skilled in sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening, and cooking delicious Sunday dinners for her children.
And fashion? She exuded style.
A life dedicated to family, community, and the performing arts.
In 1996, Adele traveled to Guinea, West Africa to participate in a dancing and drumming cultural exchange program with the internationally acclaimed Les Ballet Africans and Percussion de Guinea. She conducted master classes and lecture demonstrations.
her memory we shall always keep.
Adele is survived by her children, Mary Louise, Stanley, Kevin, Avis, Laurie, Lisa, Leslie, Jeanette, and by lots of grands and great-grands. She was preceded in death by her husband, John, and by a son, David.
September 4, 2020
Adele received countless cultural arts awards, citations, letters of recognition, and certificates of appreciation from community leaders, county commissioners, NAACP officials, and state representatives. She was also showcased in newspaper articles and made television appearances.
What Say You?
How did you know Mrs. Adele Johnson? What did she mean to you? Share your stories, memories, and comments below.