A Retirement Message for Jane Slusarski-Harris

Jane Slusarski-Harris dancing

Messages from Others

Madeline Harvey, CSU Dance Faculty

CSU Dance FacultyDearest Jane,

Your belief in me has meant more than you could ever imagine. It has been a dream come true to work along side of you during your final year at CSU. You have shown me what tireless dedication and kindness looks like. Thank you for taking me in under your wing, now it is time for you to fly on for new adventures.

All my love,
Madeline Jazz Harvey

Sandra Minton, University of Northern Colorado

Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for your dedication and service to dance and dance education through the years. I enjoyed interviewing you for the dance library and working with you on the dance licensure committee. If you still want to be involved as a service to the field we would definitely welcome your contributions.

Danielle Heller, CSU Alumna, 1993


Wow! I can't believe that it is time for this chapter to close and your next great chapter to open. You have been there as a role model and friend for as long as I can remember. It is because of you that CSU has a dance program, that it had grown and thrived, that hundreds of students have found family through it's doors. You legacy is a grand one and certainly something to be proud of. I know you need some time to relax and find yourself again...remember you still have so much to share...a book perhaps? Coffee.....will miss you so very much!

All my love,

Danielle Van Riper Heller

Kathryn Van Riper, CSU Alumna, 2000

Dear Jane,

Thank you for all of your years of service. Your commitment to the CSU dance program gave me years of joy and many happy memories.

All my love,
Kathryn Van Riper

Chas Kilker-Greener, CSU Alumna, 1995

Dearest Jane,

I came to CSU as a dance major fall 1991. You advised me, taught me, and shaped me not only into a better dancer but a better person. My 4 years at CSU taught me a wealth of knowledge, and I also gained several life long friendships and a family. This is all thanks to the program you built. In my last year, you were really there for me - encouraging me, guiding me, and helping me with direction (thank you). After graduation - I had the opportunity to dance with you as a pier through Dance Connection and enjoyed dancing with all the professional dancers on a whole new level. I continued to gain knowledge from everyone I was exposed to. As a dance director of Mountain Kids I reflect even more on what I saw in my time at CSU - how you handled situations, how you implemented change, I use this and more that I learned from you to guide me today. You asked me to participate in "The Last Dance at Ammons", and you invited me to participate in CSU's Alumni celebration. I am honored that you would select me and your words of encouragement, belief, and how proud you were of all of us really touched my heart.

Thank you Jane for everything you have given and taught. Thank you for your belief, encouragement, guidance, and support.

Wishing you all the best in retirement!


Judi Hofmeister, CDE Dance/Drama Consultant


What an immense pleasure and honor it has been to get to know you and work with you the past 8 years! So glad I crashed the party in 2012 when working on the dance endorsement! So thrilled to find that you and I are twin sisters from different mothers! What a gift! To quote you, "You are such an inspiration"...but I say that about YOU! YOU are the inspiration! What a legacy you have created and you will leave for all in the CSU dance program! I am so very proud of you and also to know you! May you dance down the road of life and enjoy every turn, leap and glide! You deserve it so! Many blessings to you, my fun friend! We shall keep in touch and move more mountains soon!

Love you!
Judi Hofmeister

Cindy Hsu (Watts), CSU Alumna, 1994

I am so honored to have been a student under your tutelage during a few of the many years you have given to CSU. Thank you so much for all the support and opportunities you provided me during my time as a student and well beyond as I occasionally returned to Colorado for different opportunities related to dance. You truly supported my love for tap and helped me grow as an individual and a dancer. I will forever be grateful for my time at CSU and for your leadership, love, and instruction. Best wishes for a wonderful retirement. You deserve to relax and enjoy the time. Thank you and much love!

Melissa Reinke (Bott), CSU Alumna, 1997

Congratulations Jane on 30 years! Your encouragement, teaching, love of dance and sweet care of the students made the dance department a favorite place to be (for me) during my college years. Even though I majored in Business, Dance was my true love and I cherish all the memories I had there.

Thank you for your teaching and support! I wish I could be there to celebrate but I will be out of town.

Thanks for all you have done to support dance in this community!

Melissa Reinke (Bott)

Kalie Lanik, Current Student

Professor Jane,

Thank you for accepting me into the dance program even though I am not a major and allowing me to pursue my love of dance with the CSU community. I have learned so much from you in such a short amount of time and I am honored to have been one of your students.

Sheryl Highsmith, Colleague


I'm going to miss you so much! I've loved getting to know you over the many, many years we've worked together. I was trying to think how we originally met and I believe it was through Phil Risbeck way back when he was designing the posters for the Dance concerts. Thank you for your friendship and collegiality and also for the the baby plants every spring!! I'll miss seeing your cheerful face in the office next to mine, and having you to chat with whenever we feel like it. I hope we're able to stay in touch and that Rod isn't too jealous of your new freedom!

Sandra Sanchez, Colleague

Dear Jane,

I cannot believe the time has come so quickly...you are actually retiring! I'm just sorry I wasn't able to work along side you for just a little bit longer. I think you are such a special lady, and I will miss you very much! I know you are going to love this new chapter in your life. Enjoy it, my friend - you deserve it!


Peter Muller, Colleague


I cannot express how much I will miss you. You have been such a tremendous supporter of me professionally and personally I am truly loosing a good friend. Your kindness and generosity you have shared with us over the years is a testament to who you are as a person and educator. Your legacy can be found everywhere - not only here at the UCA but throughout the country through all of the students whose lives you have touched. I toast your well-deserved retirement!

With much admiration,

Peter Muller

Mia Wilborne, Current Student

Thank you so much for pushing me in ballet. I learned alot from you such as giving my all and finding my own artisty in movement. I hope you have an amazing experience in all your future endeavors!

Beth Bogan, CSU Alumna, 1999

Dear Jane ~

Happy Retirement!

I graduated in ’99 after spending 3 wonderful years in the Dance Department. All my most beloved classes were dance classes in the old General Services Building, and they carry both fond memories and continued friendships!

I had always wanted to dance as a child, but never had the opportunity. Thank you so much for pouring endless support and encouragement into me, and fostering my love for dance. (Something you did for ALL your students, regardless of their dance background, natural talent, or level of ability!) Despite the fact that I had no previous training, you had faith in me, and so much confidence that you chose me to direct studio night my senior year. You consistently championed my desire to dance, and unfailingly cultivated a love for this beautiful and timeless art in all your students. Because of your support, I graduated with a minor in Dance!

Thank you for selflessly and tirelessly giving to me - to all of us - over the years.

Kindness radiates from you, and you bring a joy that shines from within wherever you go. You are cherished and appreciated. All the best to you in your upcoming adventures!

John Eisele, Colleague


Congratulations on retirement! I have very much enjoyed working with you photographing dance through the years, it's something I look forward to every year!

Tiana Farnsworth, Current Student

Thank you for all you have done for the Dance program here at Colorado State University and for hosting CoDEO in 2014. I have many career opportunities because of the CSU Dance program by attending NDEO national conferences and countless performance opportunities. Thank you Professor! I know you will be involved in dance for the rest of your life so I will see you around!

Julianna Williams, Current Student

Dear Jane,

The passion and joy you have for Dance inspires all of us. Creating inclusiveness to the art form for every individual to be apart of. You show consistent support, kindness and love for your students and faculty throughout the department that is incomparable. You have graciously given me so much throughout these short years and I can’t thank you enough. I will miss you incredibly but am so happy for your next adventures to come.

All my love,
Julianna Williams

Rick Miranda, Colleague

Jane -

we thank you for all your hard work for many years on behalf of our students and our dance program. Enjoy the next stage!

- Rick Miranda

Heidi Larson, Colleague


It has been such a joy working with you these last few years. While we haven't had as many interactions as I might like, I've really appreciated your spirit and collaboration.

I wish you all the best as you move forward in this new chapter!

Heidi Larson

Madison Martinek, Current Student

Congratulations on your retirement. Thank you for all you have done for this dance program and all you have given me in my 3 years here so far. You have pushed me to choreograph more and expand on my technique. I will miss you in my last semester here! You will always be a big influential part of my dance career!

With love,
Madison Martinek

Mohammed York, Current Student

Thank you for being simply amazing. Your drive and commitment to this program and the things you love to do is impeccable. Thank you for being there for me, and someone I could look up to. Thank you professor for being unapologetically you, from knowledge chose to share and that big heart of yours. With love, I wish you a peaceful rewarding retirement.

Thank you again.

Kourtney Yadao, Current Student

Professor Jane,
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be your student through your last year here at CSU. Your love and passion for this dance program is beyond words and we will truly miss you!

Kourtney Yadao

Emily Kaiser, Current Student

Professor Jane,

Thank you for all of the wonderful opportunities in the CSU Dance program. You are a big part of the reason that I chose to finish my dance degree when I was unsure if I should continue or not. You are appreciated and we will miss having you around all the time. Happy retirement!

Thomas Grassia, Current Student

Thank you for all your support this year. Enjoy your retirement, God bless.

May Bogus, Current Student

Dear Jane,

Thank you so much for your investment in the CSU dance program and in each of us students. Your passions for ballet and for teaching are so inspiring. I appreciate your effort, support, and your desire for everyone to experience dancing. I wish you the best in your retirement!

Isabel Krull, Current Student

Thank you for sharing your love of dance with me throughout my first year of dancing in college! From each instructor, you take away something new and carry it with you throughout your dancing career. From this year, I will take away an appreciation for class unity, detail, and strength. I’m sad to see you go, but I’m so excited to see you have the chance to go live, explore, and celebrate all of your hard work! I love you Professor Jane, and thank you for this year!

Hannah Finnegan, Current Student

Dear Jane,

Thank you so much for all you have done for me and the students here at CSU. It has been an honor to learn from you, and you will be missed dearly.

Cara Doyle, CSU Alumna, 1998


You have been a wonderful teacher, friend, fellow dancer, and even neighbor to myself and my family these past years. We wish you the very best in your retirement from CSU, and can’t wait to hear all about your new adventures!

All my love,
Cara Smith Doyle

Susie Garifi, CSU Alumna, 1998

Congratulations Jane! It has been amazing to see how the dance program at CSU has grown over the years because of your dedication and drive! I hope you enjoy your 'graduation'! 🙂

Kim Lang, CSU Alumna, 1993


Thank you for being a wonderful part of keeping dance strong in Northern Colorado. You did a great job at pushing us to work hard and believe in our dreams. Thank you again! I wish you all the best!!!

Kim Lang

Brechen Santeramo, CSU Alumna, 1992; Parent of current CSU dancer

Wishing you a fantastic retirement, Jane! I know I told you in person, but I'm so thankful that I had you as an instructor for dance as part of my music therapy degree many moons ago, as well as my daughter, Taryn, this year-- she has learned and grown SO much. Thank you for your lasting legacy and best wishes to you and yours in the future.

Brianna Port, Current Student

Thank you for all that you have done for the dance program here at Colorado State University. You have taught me so much in the in one year that I have had you and I will really miss you next years. Thank you so much for believing in every student and giving us the once in a lifetime chance to learn dance from you! Thank you!

Richard Lugo, CSU Alum, 2009


Wow, what an amazing milestone, congratulations! Your influence is far reaching and you’ve made such an impression on my Dance journey. It was you who started me on this path, from the moment I took an audition class and you encouraged me to change my major to Dance.

I can’t even begin to thank you for the numerous opportunities you afforded all of us, and how you’ve always pushed for Dance to grow its artistic voice at CSU. Thank you for always making time for your students, offering advice, support and a great sense of humor. My time at CSU was life-changing and you have been an integral part of that.

It was also amazing to have been part of the Alumni Concert, and to spend time with you and others at a very different place in life. I will always stay on this path which you pushed me toward. You’re the best! I hope the next chapter brings you happiness and much deserved relaxation.

With love and admiration,

Rich Lugo