Jeraldyne Blunden (1940-1999) was the founder and artistic director of the esteemed Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the world’s largest repository of reconstructed dance works by African American choreographers. This Dayton based company tours the nation and the world, bringing the best of modern dance to new audiences. Ms. Blunden also founded Jeraldyne’s School of Dance, which has given many Miami Valley young people the opportunity to learn about modern dance and even become professional dancers. She also won international acclaim for her work as a choreographer and teacher. Jeraldyne Blunden has received significant recognition for her work, including a 1998 Dance Magazine Award, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellows Award. In 1997 she was named one of five Dance Women: Living Legends, “for keeping dance alive.”–Inducted: 1999. Photograph courtesy of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. It originally appeared in Dayton’s African American Heritage by Margaret Peters.