Dance teacher retires

LT Eurythmics instructor leaving the program after three decades

Grace DeKoker, Freelance Reporter

Making it in show business is tough; ask anyone, whether they were successful in their quest of making it to the grand stage or not. Fresh-faced to the dancing world in 1982, Terry Wethington was tired of the fleeting jobs that would fall through. He wanted a reliable job that would supply him with a steady salary, he said. In 1985, he had an offer to teach dance at a local high school called Lyons Township, and figured there was no harm in accepting.

“I said ‘I would never teach for more than five years,’” he said. “But it’s never been work, since day one, it was a passion.”

Wethington, the current advisor to Eurythmics Dance Company and Dance Studies teacher, has worked at Lyons Township for 31 years. He will put on his final Eurythmics show May 11-13, 2017, Eurythmics member Emma Dahl ‘19 said.

Eurythmics President Lauren Mochizuki ‘19 has had Wethington as a coach during her entire dance career at LT.

“I met him [at Future Freshmen Night] and he was larger than life, I can remember it so vividly.” Mochizuki said. “It’s been the same since then, he’s just been such a legend.”

Legendary is one word that could describe Wethington’s three-decade tenure at LT; in that time, he’s choreographed theatre productions, Eurythmics shows, coached various sports, and taught P.E. classes.

“I love it when [students] come back and say ‘thank you,’” he said. “Each year, maybe five students go off to major in dance, pursue it as a profession, and that’s just incredible.”

One such student is Nina Crouchelli ‘16, a current freshman at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She danced in Eurythmics for three years, she said, and double majors in Dance and Molecular Biology. She also dances competitively in 3 Step, a program similar to Eurythmics.

“If it weren’t for Wethington, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am,” she said. “I saw how happy he was doing what he loved, and I wanted to pursue that too.”

Mochizuki has a similar view on how Wethington has impacted her life, she said. He has been a major impact on her dance style, which is “a culmination of [all her] teachers,” she said.

As a senior, Mochizuki will not get the opportunity to see Eurythmic Dance Company under new leadership. According to Wethington, the position has not yet been filled, but he says he is “confident in whoever it may be,” and that he “encourages them to make it their own.”

Wethington has done just that, according to Mochizuki.  “He’s so full of ideas, he pours them into [Eurythmics],” she said. “At first, they seem so crazy and extreme, but once he gets people on board, they just happen. Without him and his ideas, Eurythmics wouldn’t be where it is today.”

Dahl has only danced with Wethington for two years, she said, but she can see the passion he has.

“He’s shaped this company into what it is, and I’ll always remember him, but I’m interested to see the new aspects that can come to [Eurythmics],” she said.

After so long at LT, even Wethington admits leaving will be bittersweet.

“I hope when people look back and when they remember a moment with me, it’s happy.” Wethington said. “If I look back, I can’t say I haven’t loved every single minute.”