The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber will present Paulette Harwood with a lifetime achievement award at the chamber’s annual Needham Night Dinner on January 30 at the Needham Sheraton Hotel.
After nearly 60 years of teaching dancers in Needham and Newton, Harwood retired and closed her business, Paulette’s Ballet Studio, in July of 2018.
“Paulette Harwood touched the lives of generations,” said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber. “She also was a successful and fully engaged member of our business community. We are so pleased to be able to honor her and all she has given with this lifetime achievement award.”
Needham Night is a special evening dedicated to celebrating the town’s economic and cultural vitality. Serial entrepreneur and author Robert Glazer - whose company was named one of 2018’s Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe - will be the guest speaker.
Harwood started dancing as a young girl and at the age of 15, while still a student at Brookline High School, moved to New York City, where she eventually became a soloist at Radio City Music Hall in the Corps de Ballet. She married, came back to the Boston area, and opened her studio in 1959.
In addition to her work as an instructor, she was a choreographer for high schools, colleges, and the Boston Celtics. She also designed costumes for contestants in the Miss Massachusetts and Miss America pageants, as well as for students in her own shows.
Paulette’s Ballet Studio most recently had been located at the Saco-Pettee Mill Building on Oak Street in Newton. Prior to her current location, the business was located at the Mills Falls Building in Newton, just a few blocks away, and before that operated across the river in Needham. Her dancers performed at many chamber events and were always a highlight at Needham’s annual Street Fair and Harvest Fair.
The second annual Needham Night Dinner, honoring Paulette Harwood, will be held Wednesday, January 30, at 5:30 p.m. at the Needham Sheraton Hotel, 100 Cabot Street, Needham. In addition to guest speaker Robert Glazer, the event will include award presentations, a cocktail reception, and a three-course dinner. Tickets are available at NNchamber.com.