Senior Guide 2023-2

Dianne Lyle is fond of teaching her young dance students in Pacific Grove what she calls the “Harambe’ Spirit.”Translated from the Swahili language it means,“Let’s pull together.”That spirit infuses every class, which includes more than just dance moves. It can mean students bringing in pennies to donate to charity, deciding where to share their love of dance with audiences throughout Monterey County or starting each class with a conversation about the ups and downs of students’ lives. “Dance is the tool that brings people into the room, but we just learn to be human beings and share,” Lyle says. Lyle, 76, has been teaching dance and the Harambe’ Spirit in Pacific Grove for over two decades under the banner of the DiFranco DanceProject and as a contractor with the P.G. Recreation Department. She teaches toddlers up to teenagers who perform at community events. Her graduates come back and offer to help her with current students.“It fills my heart,” Lyle says, adding with a laugh, “I’m their dance granny!” Lyle grew up in the U.S. and Europe as her family traveled with her father, a U.S. Army officer. Her father attended what was then the Army Language School (now the Defense Language Institute) in Monterey and later wanted to retire to Pacific Grove, only to be blocked by the town’s covenants, conditions and restrictions banning sales to Black people and other people of color.The family purchased a home in Seaside, where Lyle was in the second graduating class at Seaside High School. Her mother became a kindergarten and first grade teacher in the Monterey school district.“Teaching is the family business,” Lyle says. Lyle thought she would become a lawyer and work in civil rights, but her passion for dance eventually led to teaching. She fell in love with Latin dance and later, at Monterey Peninsula College, she took an African dance class.“It spoke to me,” she says. Today, Lyle lives and works in the city that once rejected her family. She focuses on the positive and blessings in life.And despite two hip replacement surgeries and waiting for a knee replacement and spinal surgeries, none of it is stopping her from continuing to teach. “After every class and every performance we say,‘Reach for our dreams. Honor those who came before us.Accept the blessings of the universe. Harambe’,” Lyle says.“I continue to reach for my dreams and learn from these kids every day.They are a blessing.” Let’s Pull Together Dianne Lyle teaches dance and a love of service to her young students. By Pam Marino DANIEL DREIFUSS 28 The Best of Monterey Bay® Living Well 2023-2024 Salinas Valley Intergroup Alcoholics Anonymous Intergrupo Del Valle De Salinas Para Alcohólicos Anónimos • Support group meetings for Salinas and Valley cities • M-Th 10:30-3pm • Reuniones de grupo de apoyo para Salinas y ciudades del valle • L-J 10:30-3pm 831-757-8518 Spanish Group/ Grupo en Español 831-424-9874 24/7 Seneca Family of Agencies Central Coast Seneca Familia de Agencias Costa Central • Community services including foster care, adoption, relative caregiver support, children’s mental health and wraparound services, legal guardianship assistance, and parent and professional education. • Servicios comunitarios que incluyen cuidado tutelar, adopción, apoyo a parientes cuidadores, salud mental infantil y servicios integrales, asistencia de tutela legal y educación para padres y profesionales. 831-455-9965 Suicide Prevention Services Of The Central Coast Servicios De Prevención De Suicidio De La Costa Central • Crisis hotline available 24/7 • Volunteer responders • Community outreach and education • Línea de crisis disponible 24/7 • Respondedores voluntarios • Alcance comunitario y educación 988 Counseling Services Servicios De Consejería