96 Year Old Dance Teacher Fights Eviction From Landmark - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

96 Year Old Dance Teacher Fights Eviction From Studio City Landmark

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Studio City, CA -

They say they need a miracle or an angel investor: actors and dancers who told us Dorothy Barrett changed their lives. They are now working against time to save the home and school of this legendary dance teacher. 

Dorothy co-founded The American National Academy of Performing Arts with Frances Lederer in Studio City in 1957.  By the time she started teaching, Dorothy had performed in Vaudeville, and appeared in classic moves including The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Blue Skies, and Mildred Pierce.

For the past 56 years, Dorothy has taught acting, dancing and performance technique on the first floor of her building. She lives upstairs in an apartment above the dance studios that is brimming with historic costumes, scrapbooks and mementos from her Hollywood friendships and adventures.

At age 96, Dorothy now faces the possibility of having to pack up her belongings and find a new home.

Her partner, Frances Lederer died a few years back.  In August his family sold off his half of the building to a real estate investor.  Dorothy tells us that investor informed her she would need to start paying rent plus half the renovation costs to get the building ready to sell.

He offered to pay Dorothy $400,000 for her half of the building.   For him to buy her out he asked $1,000,000.

Saying she felt that she had no other option, Dorothy reluctantly allowed the building go to auction.

That auction took place May 17th.  The highest bid was $1.6 million.   Over the next 6-8 weeks, a judge will review that bid, and consider any higher offers that come in before approving and finalizing the sale…

Former students Amy Castle and Cathy Wilkinson say they are heartbroken to see Dorothy have to start over at this stage of her life.  They have waged a fundraising campaign called "Save the Academy" in hopes of raising enough money to top the winning bid, buy out the new co-owner, and let Dorothy and the school stay where they are.

If you'd like to get involved or make a tax deductible donation to their campaign you can learn more at http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/save-the-academy-/49979

You can follow the campaign on Twitter, just search the hashtag #savetheacademy

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