The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Harry "Bud" Kerwin Inducted 1998 - Class of 1954
A Woodward High School yearbook from the 1960's contains a photograph of a student wearing a sweatshirt bearing the following caption: "To live is to dance! To dance is to live!" Bud Kerwin's life story is one that focuses on the arts. His artistic interests and talent in dance are qualities he has always shared with others. We are proud to recognize him tonight.
Bud grew up on Michigan Street between Elm and Chestnut, in the shadow of the Auto-Lite factory. "This was a very busy place during the war years."
Bud remembers having few friends at Woodward "as I was being very serious about my studies in dance at that time." As a freshman, Bud recalls that his first theatrical performance was with senior Jameel Farah (Jamie Farr). "Those rehearsals were great fun and very amusing!"
Although Bud never had Sam Szor as a teacher, he enjoyed working in musicals with him as a
student and later helping him produce Woodward "Extravaganzas," from 1957 through 1966. "This had a profound effect on my life as a teacher." Included among these productions were Girl Crazy, Guys & Dolls, Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, Music Man, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Bud specialized in choreographing and working on the many dance numbers, which made the musical productions so memorable. His influence on the students encouraged many of his "protégés" to develop their interest in dance and to continue their training in dance after high school.
Bud is currently an associate professor of dance for the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University. He received his training at the school of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in New York City under the instruction of Maria Swoboda, Leon Danielian, Frederick Franklin, Anatole Vilzek, and William Caton. His training in Jazz has been with Luigi, Jojo and Matt Mattox. Following these extensive studies, Bud spent fifteen years directing his own school of dance and company in Toledo. In 1967, he became the artistic director of the Columbus (Ohio) ballet, a position which he held for six years. Bud was then invited to join the Dance faculty of Butler University in 1971.For the past twenty-six years, he has taught and choreographed for the Butler University Ballet.
Bud has also taught at the Boston Ballet Summer School and has been a guest teacher in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Chicago, Washington DC, and Louisville. He has choreographed Leonard Bernstein's Mass under the supervision of Mr. Bernstein; has produced an original ballet to a commissioned score by Karl Husa; and has choreographed works for the Louisville Ballet and The Indianapolis Ballet Theater.
In 1980, Bud was awarded a sabbatical to study in Paris, France, with Matt Mattox. During that time, he also taught daily Jazz classes at the International Center for Dance. During the Summer of 1984, he was invited to teach and stage a ballet in Porto Alegre, Brazil, as part of the "Partners in the Americas" program. Bud spent the fall semester of 1990 observing classes and rehearsals of major dance companies throughout Europe as part of his second sabbatical.
Not surprisingly, Bud loves to travel. In addition to his residence in Indianapolis, Indiana, he maintains a second home in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
Bud expressed that he was honored to be in the WHS Hall of Fame. "To be a person who has spent his life in the arts and to be honored in this way is a life well spent!"