Nanciana Dill

In 1990 Walter Dill and Nancianna Dill (Maitri) co-created Living Traditions
Dance in Seattle, WA. What began as a small grass roots organization
steadily grew until, at its peak, it was serving over 1000 people at a time. In
its 14-year history Living Traditions Dance (LT) served over 14,000 people,
with classes, dances, and workshops. Numerous dancers in the Northwest
took their first dance classes with LT. In 2004, LT was
turned into a non-profit organization called Northwest Dance Network.
Nancianna was forced to limit her involvement with dance when she was
diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Many Seattle dancers are thankful for the
dance lessons and encouragement they received from Nancianna.

Excerpt of letter from Merna Holloway and Sarah Westerveldt:

“At her request, we plan to have a gathering of anyone who would like to attend a ‘life celebration’ with Nancianna before she goes. It is to be held on May 4th starting at noon with a pot luck at Quimper Grange until 3:30 p.m.  This will be her chance to thank all of you for the truly incredible support you have sustained for all these years, and your opportunity to share with her and her community your parting words or simply to be present. It is a Celebration of Life — a unique life from which we have all been enriched. The Grange address is: 1219 Corona St, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Please feel free to invite anyone else who knows Nancianna and may want to come to this gathering.”

If you have further questions, please contact Merna and Sarah.

Merna Holloway and Sarah Westervelt
574-210-4114                  206-729-6541


UPDATE: (excerpts of letter dated April 11, 2019)

Dear Friends and Family of Nancianna,

Things are changing rapidly, and it is important for you to know. Please feel free to share this information with others. . . .

She will be discharged from Life Care Center and transported to a friend’s home in PT, in order to meet her longstanding wishes not to die in the nursing home. We expect a peaceful and loving process for her. . . .

A choice Nancianna has made is not to see friends as of now! What she says is, “I am not well enough for visits.” If that changes, we’ll let you know, as we’re assuming many of you would like a chance to say goodbye. . . .

If you would like to write anything to Nancianna, Merna will arrive in PT this Saturday 13th, and she can read your messages to Nancianna if Nancianna has the capacity to be present. Please send messages to Merna’s email at  or deliver hardcopy messages to LCC to be delivered to room 143. Twyla, Celina, and Sarah will also be coming over for the duration at some point in the upcoming week or two. Thank you to those offering housing for us.

There seems to be widespread support for keeping the May 4th event for anyone wishing to celebrate her life and grieve her loss after she has passed. More details about this event will be forthcoming, but please keep your afternoon open on that day if you would like to be present for this gathering of people in honor of Nancianna.

In case you haven’t seen some of the videos below, links are provided.

With deep appreciation to all of you for all that you have done for years and years to make Nancianna’s life as rich and tolerable as possible, and with much love,

Sarah and Merna

Nancianna Maitri’s Story  (4 min) (Nanacianna’s bright smile, twinkling eyes and glow 9/2013)

Resilience – An Interview with Nancianna Maitri (10 min) June 2017

Nancianna Maitri: Dance. Live. Love  (3 min)

Nancianna Dance Videos:

Walter and Nancianna Dill (young dancers!)   3 minutes

Walter & Nancianna Dill – Corvallis Demo 1990   (5 min) (Swing, Blues, Charleston…Nancianna in a ponytail ! 🙂

Walter & Nancianna – Waltz & Mazurka demo 1989  (3 min) Suttle Lake Dance Camp 1989

Nancianna’s Website:

Facebook:  Friends of Nancianna


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