Dorothy Alexander, 82; Atlanta Ballet Founder

From Times Wire Services

The founder of the Atlanta Ballet, one of the oldest if not the oldest ballet company in the United States, has died following a lengthy illness.

Dorothy Alexander was 82 and actively involved in all aspects of dance until her death Monday. Her interest in dance began when she was a girl, and she first performed in public at a World War I benefit with her sister. In 1921, she opened her first studio, which is now the Atlanta School of Ballet.

The Dorothy Alexander Dance Group evolved into the Atlanta Civic Ballet in 1941 and became the Atlanta Ballet in 1968.

She retired as director of the ballet in 1962 because of poor health, but she remained active as a consultant and board member.

Mrs. Alexander, who was divorced, was the recipient of numerous dance honors, including the 30th annual Capezio Award in 1981 and a special citation in 1973 from Nancy Hanks, then-chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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