Judy Lynn Coleman
February 7, 1943 – March 18, 2020
Judy Coleman passed away from the side effects of Parkinson’s Disease on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. She was 77 years old. An only child, she was born Judy Uhrig February 7, 1943 in Santa Maria, California. The family moved to Midland in 1948. At an early age she was bitten by the ballet bug and marveled at troupes such as the Ballet Russe that traveled through Midland in the fifties. She graduated Midland High School and at Texas Christian University took a double major in ballet and theatre. Judy successfully auditioned for the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Corp in New York City and as the shortest member of the group she danced several seasons at the end of the line. She made lifelong friends from the experience. In 1991 Judy had moved back to Midland and opened her own studio, Coleman Academy, a school of ballet for girls (and a few boys) of all ages. The following year she founded Midland Festival Ballet as a non-profit performance outlet for her students. The production grew to a full-length version of “The Nutcracker” with live music from the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale. At its 25th year Celebration the MFB Board established the Judy Coleman Scholarship Fund, which provides pointe shoes and lessons for promising children needing assistance. Over the years several students have moved on to professional careers. Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Nell Uhrig. She is survived by her husband Bill Warren of Midland and his children Shannon Cochran of Kingwood and Kelly Blankenship of Plano. Visitation will be held Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 8:00am until 5:00pm at Ellis Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Judy Coleman Scholarship Fund, Midland Festival Ballet, P.O. Box 52034, Midland, Texas 79710.
- Visitation Saturday, March 21, 2020
Judy Lynn Coleman
March 23, 2020
Ms. Coleman was my ballet teacher for several years and is one of the most influential people of my life. Through her, my love of dance grew into something I have never lost, even into adulthood.
My years at Coleman Academy are some of dearest of my childhood. She taught me about hard work, what it meant to love an art, and the most beautiful (and hardest) parts of ballet. She taught me what I could do!! Not just with my body, but with my mind, my heart, and soul. What I could accomplish when I put my mind to it. She is the reason I wanted to teach dance, something I knew since I was 16...all because of what she was to me. Above all, she believed in me...even when I didn't believe in myself...
When my family struggled to afford ballet classes for the 3 of us girls, she helped my mother figure it out and I even answered phones after school for her, to help. I cannot put into words what she meant to me. I cannot and will not ever be able to forget her, because she is a part of me and who I am today. My heart aches that is gone. She was in short an idol to me and I will forever be grateful of all my hours in the studio and on the stage with her. As I roll back the memories and look at those years now, my eyes are full of tears... full with my Gratitude towards Ms. Coleman.
With this Corona Virus it pains me to think I cannot make the trip from Nebraska to her funeral to say goodbye. She was a wonderful woman...a wonderful soul and I am beyond blessed to have had my time with her.
I am living proof of what an amazing teacher she was. If I could be half the teacher to my students that she was to me, I would feel blessed.
Thank you for allowing me to share my memories and love. I am sorry to her family and the grief they must feel...but you should also be proud. Proud because she lived...and she shared...she loved...she created...and she helped many students, just like me, find themselves through an amazing art that will live with them forever.
March 23, 2020
My mother put me and my sister in ballet at a young age. It wasn't until I danced in Judy Coleman's studio when I truly found my love in ballet. She saw so much potential in me and with much encouragement, I was able to dance with confidence on stage. Other than my parents, she was my biggest supporter to dance even with my "disability". She was an inspiration to me and many others. Thoughts and prayers to her loved ones.
March 22, 2020
So sorry to lose one of my ballet teachers. She was a good teacher. I was in the 8th grade when I took lessons from her. That was 30 years ago. May you rest in peace Judy.
Christy Dempsey (formely, Christy Metcalf)