Frank Bays was a long-time respected Seattle teacher. He first came to Seattle in the early '70s as a member of the First Chamber Dance Company. It should be noted that, in addition to being a fabulous ballet dancer, he was expert in character dance and performed with Sara de Luis occasionally in productions such as Seattle Opera's "Carmen." It was a treat to see these two great artists together.
When he announced his retirement from Cornish College, several of us local teachers got together and asked him to give us a few private character classes for our group. These were great fun and totally wonderful. There is a tape of them running around somewhere...
Raymond Bussey, de Luis, and Flemming Halby were the founders and principal faculty of their Seattle Dance Lab studio, with Frank teaching at Cornish. All four taught together at First Chamber Dance Company's school in what is now called Seattle's Belltown District in a atmospheric historic structure that had survived Seattle's "Great Fire." I recall Frank's endless long legs, energy and ease of facility. Classes accompanied usually by the incomparable Harriet Cavalli. Fun, challenging combinations. Frank will be remembered and appreciated for many things, not the least of which was his being committed to his art and passionate about projects dear to his heart -- and how nice he was to everyone.
Mr. Bays taught and influenced countless many through his teaching, dancing, and cheerful advice.
Voice of Dance
[Note that in the picture, Mr. Bays is in the center; John Hart (staging the ballet) to the left and on the right, Raymond Bussey.] Gina Ness, formerly of SFB just correctly identified Hart, noting that during this period, Mr. Hart often staged Ashton ballets.