Mahala Beams (Modern 55+) holds an MA in musicology from Boston University and an MFA in dance from NYU. After having danced as a child at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance in Scarsdale, New York, Mahala rediscovered dance at the age of 27 when she took a modern dance class for exercise as part of her strategy to quit smoking. Quickly becoming passionate about dance, she took a leave of absence from her job teaching music courses at Pine Manor College and headed for New York. There she attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving an MFA in dance in 1977. After returning to her position at Pine Manor College, she taught modern dance and music courses there until her retirement in 2011, choreographing many musicals as well as dances for student and faculty performances. Now she is delighted to be teaching Modern Dance for dancers over 55 at the Dance Complex and to have the opportunity to share her joy in music and dance with others.