DV dancer remembered this weekend
Pam Olsson started the dance program at Desert Vista High School. She passed away in August 2010. Photo courtesy of the Olsson family

Over the course of her life and career Pam Olsson was known for her ability to inspire others.

The former Desert Vista High School dance teacher passed away in a car accident last August. A close friend and former colleague created the Pam Olsson Memorial Scholarship Fund in her name.

"I look at it as a way to keep her legacy alive in this dance community," said Bianca Caryl, director of Center Pointe Dance and the Desert Vista Dance Company. "She inspired students to pursue dance or dance education in the future as they went forward in their careers."

Desert Vista will host a tribute dance performance this Saturday, Feb. 12, in the Dr. Joe McDonald Auditorium to benefit the scholarship fund. The event will feature more than 20 separate performances from local dance organizations and other local high schools, such as Mountain Pointe and Corona del Sol.

"I think our goal is for her former students to feel like we are putting on one last show for her," DV alumnus Lauren Crider said. "We are bringing back some of her favorite performances for the show."

Caryl, who also taught at McClintock High School in Tempe with Olsson, said the event, entitled the Pam Olsson Tribute Concert, should see more than 600 in attendance. It is open to the public.

"It's going to be a tribute to her in that it's not all sad," she said. "Even if you didn't know Pam, you will enjoy the show."

Proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund. Caryl said in April a student will be awarded $2,000 to use toward pursuing a career in dance or dance education. She hopes the fund can grow to the point where multiple scholarships are awarded.

"I would love to see numerous students in the future receive the award," she said.

The Pam Olsson Tribute Concert will begin at 7 p.m. at Desert Vista, 16440 S. 32nd St. Tickets are $10; $7 for students.

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