Beverly Richards, who grew up in East Boston and has dedicated her entire life to promoting the positive lifelong benefits of dancing, is thrilled.
The start of the new dance season is fast approaching and she is preparing for another fun year of teaching and performing dances for her students, as she has for the past four decades as owner of the legendary Beverly Richards Dance Center on Bennington Street.
From the Heights to the Patriots
Beverly Richards lived in Orient Heights as a child. She attended St. Lazarus School in East Boston and Saint Rose High School in Chelsea. She earned her degree in physical education and the performing arts as the first class graduate following the merger of Boston State College and UMass Boston in 1982.
“I was a cheerleader for Saint Dominic Savio High School and when the school became a student I was their cheerleading coach,” Richards recalled, further establishing his roots in East Boston. “I was the choreographer for the Boston College dance team from 1994 to 1997 and choreographed their performance for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade [in New York]. Then I became the cheerleaders’ coach. cheerleaders at St. Mary’s (Lynn).
But any story about Beverly Richards’ phenomenal career in dance and high school education must include her pioneering days as a member of the New England Patriots cheerleading squad.
A star athlete on Boston State College’s gymnastics team, Richards earned a spot on the New England Patriots cheerleading squad, known then as the Patriettes and later the Spirits. By age 18, she was one of the youngest professional cheerleaders in the National Football League and would play for the Patriots team for five seasons.
In a story in the East Boston Times-Free Press, Susan Shannon, manager of the Patriots Cheerleaders from 1979 to 1985, said Beverly Richards Buckley was “an incredible cheerleader” during her career with the Patriots. New England. “Whenever you needed someone to attend an event and volunteer for a charity, she was always front and center ready to help,” Shannon said. “Beverly was a beautiful talent, an incredible dancer and always a shining sun. And her family was phenomenal too.
Beverly Richards was teaching dance programs in five different communities when the 2 ½ proposal forced officials to cut the program from their budgets.
“I had a group of college students from east Boston who would sit on the steps of my house where I grew up,” Richards recalled. “They were waiting for me to come home from college to teach them dancing at Noyes Park. So my parents (James and Marion Richards) said, “Why don’t we just find a place?”
“One of those quirky students was Gayle Moran Norcross, who helped out with my show this year,” Richards recounted.
Today, Beverly Richards can proudly claim that she initiated and taught dance to hundreds of girls and boys in the region. One of his students was his son, James, who was also a talented singer and multi-sport athlete who sang the national anthem in uniform before football games at St. Mary’s High School. James helped St. Mary’s win a Super Bowl in 2005.
What helped her lay the foundation for 40 years of excellence in her profession?
“I love to dance,” Beverly said. “I love the relationship with the children. I like to see them grow and their education improve. I think one of the reasons I’m still around is that we do a lot of community service. Our dancers performed at Fishermen’s Feast on Friday and Eastie Pride Day on Saturday.
The next generation of the Richards/Buckley family has taken the stage. Beverly’s granddaughter Emma Buckley, 4, daughter of James and Katie Buckley, has been a student at the Dance Center since she was two. She also has a one-year-old grandson, Tanner Buckley.
This week, Beverly will celebrate 35 years of marriage to her husband, Michael Buckley, a professional singer and retired band manager at Melrose High School.
And the week of September 12, Beverly Richards will do it again – continuing her legacy of making the future of children in East Boston brighter and better, blessed with a combination of confidence, self-esteem and hard work. team that goes through dance and performance.