Helene Breazeale

Helene Breazeale (Cohen)

September 14, 1937 - May 18, 2021
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, May 21st, 2021 | 12:00pm
    Friday, May 21st, 2021 12:00pm
    Virtual Funeral in Levinson's Chapel
    Please click the view the webcast link above to watch the funeral service.
  • Shiva

    Family Residence
    4644 Huntley Dr.
    Ellicott City, MD 21043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Friday, after the burial 2pm-6pm
    Sunday 12pm-6pm
    All are Welcome


Donations are being accepted for:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

1212 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21210


Helene Breazeale, of Baltimore, MD, passed away on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 at the age of 83.

Performer/choreographer/teacher/historian/author/proud mother and grandmother and Baltimorean, Dr. Helene Breazeale did it all!

She is survived by her sister, Maxine Caplan, son Greg Breazeale, daughter-in-law Jamie
Breazeale and grandson’s Brandon and Andrew Breazeale. Dr. Breazeale earned a B.S./M.S. degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from The Juilliard School in New York, an M.A. degree in Dance Education from Columbia University in New York, and a Ph.D. in Dance Education from The Union Institute and University in Ohio. She had a 19-year professional performing career including the José Limón Dance Company, the Broadway revival of Oklahoma,; the Celtic Ballet of Scotland, industrial shows, off- Broadway, summer stock, concert stage and television. Her 50+-year teaching career included such institutions as The Juilliard School, Queens College, Peabody Institute, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University. She is the choreographer of over 20 major works including the TV Emmy Award winning production,The Singing Angels Christmas Show. Her writings are included in such publications as Fine Arts Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Now, Vestnik, Museums of Russia, and The Baltimore Sun.

As a Professor Emerita at Towson University, she continued to make generous contributions to the arts as a consultant, a Governing Member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and, until recently, Vice President for Special Services and Events for the Baltimore Symphony Associates.

During her 33-year tenure at Towson University (TU) in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Helene Breazeale was Professor of Dance, founder of the TU Dance Company in 1972, the dance major program in 1976, the Children’s Dance Division in 1981, TED (Towson Ensemble Dancers) in 1984, and the International Ballet Symposium in 1987.

Following her doctoral research in curriculum development, at TU she was the designer of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in Dance Performance and Dance Performance and Education that began in 1985. To date, TU is the only institution of higher education in the State of Maryland to offer a B.F.A. degree program in Dance that is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

Dr. Breazeale was Chair of the Dance Department for 18 years, and served as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication from 1990-1996. At the same time, in 1995, she was named Executive Director of the World Music Congresses. Working for the Institutional Advancement Division at TU, she produced and directed the World Cello Congress® II in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 1-8, 1997; the World Cello Congress® III, May 28-June 4, 2000 at TU and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, Maryland; and The First World Guitar Congress®, June 2-9, 2004, at TU and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

With all of these accomplishments she was most proud of her role as mother and grandmother. Devoted to her family and adoring of her grandchildren. Born in Baltimore, she lived most of her life here. Her parents, Harry and Sophia Cohen were 1st generation Americans with roots going back to Russia. Helene and her sister Maxine were raised in the Forrest Park neighborhood and graduated from Forrest Park High School in the 1950’s. After her teaching career began, she moved back to Baltimore where she continued to raise her son, Greg and where she would eventually dote over her daughter-in-law, Jamie and her grandsons, Brandon and Andrew. She was a passionate supporter of the Arts. If you would like to make a donation in her memory: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra or any Music and Arts organization that is near and dear to your heart. They are all struggling in this year of upheaval and are grateful of any support we can give them.
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We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Helene here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.


Susan R Joines-Sneddon

Posted at 12:48pm
My condolences in the passing of Helene Breazeale. She had a tremendous impact on my life, allowing me to join the newly started dance program at Towson State in 1973. She was such an excellent dance instructor and advisor. She guided me in so many ways - too numerous to count! Her consistent approach to expecting excellence from all her students was one thing that I carried with me throughout my life as a dance teacher. I am forever thankful for our time together.

virginia wilkinson

Posted at 09:59am
Dear Greg, Jamie & Family,
I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Helene was such a wonderful friend and her memory
will always be a blessing. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Libby Lovejoy

Posted at 10:55am
My deepest condolences to Greg and all the family on the passing on Helene. Helene gave me my first full-time university appointment at Towson State (now Towson University). I am forever grateful for the confidence she had in me. I know that many dancers and dance faculty experienced Helene’s gentle but firm guidance. And we have all benefited! Helene will be missed by many.

Libby Lovejoy

Posted at 10:55am
My deepest condolences to Greg and all the family on the passing on Helene. Helene gave me my first full-time university appointment at Towson State (now Towson University). I am forever grateful for the confidence she had in me. I know that many dancers and dance faculty experienced Helene’s gentle but firm guidance. And we have all benefited! Helene will be missed by many.

Howard and Sara Cohen

Posted at 01:06pm
Dear Greg, Jamie, Brandon and Andrew,
Helene / Ahma...what a sweet and loving Mother and grandmother. Our memories of her are, and will forever be, of her beautiful smile, her contagious laugh and her warm and welcoming personality. What a great lady. We are blessed to have had her in our lives. She will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Our deepest sympathy for your loss.

Love to you all,
Howie and Sara

Rachel Dubin

Posted at 10:57am
Greg, Maxine, and Jamie, my condolences. Cousin Helene was a wonderful woman and a delight to be around. I loved hearing about her trips to Russia. May her memory be for a blessing.

Oleg Tsygan

Posted at 08:40am
Her passions resonated with everyone around her. A great person, and a wonderful friend. Gone, but never forgotten.

Melody Ballan Cooper

Posted at 12:05am
To the family of Helene, my sincerest condolences on the loss of your Mother. I am a cousin on the Terren side of the family. Helene would send me New Year cards as well as stories of her children and travels. May she Rest In Peace.

Terren M. Himelfarb

Posted at 11:37pm
For Maxine, Greg and Jamie, Although we met infrequently these past several years, Helene always had a bright effervescent smile and demeanor. She shall be missed.

Gloria Friedman Greenspun

Posted at 11:21pm
Dear Maxine and family,
Helene and I were born 2 weeks apart and knew each other since our first day in kindergarten! We were friends all along the way. It was always fun to be together. From dance, to seeing her friends in Russia, to boat rides on the Chesapeake Bay and eating crabs,
and going to the symphony together, we always laughed and enjoyed seeing each other-even though the times between could be long, we could just pick up from where we left off. Please Rest In Peace and know that I will remember our friendship forever. My condolences to all of your family that mourn their beloved Helene. May all your memories of her bring you a smile.
Gloria Friedman Greenspun

Heidi Schloss

Posted at 04:48pm
I first met Helene through Debbie London, another local dance entrepreneur. I served with them on the MD Council for Dance. As a Towson U alumna, I have always been proud of the work she did with the Dance Department! It seems many of that generation that shaped us are gone, but not forgotten. May her memory be a blessing.

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation

Posted at 02:34pm

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation clergy, lay leaders and members offer their condolences to the family of Helene Breazeale.  We hope that you are comforted by warm memories and support of family, friends and community.  
May her memory be forever a blessing.

Marilyn M Savage

Posted at 11:48am
We have lost an outstanding human being. Helene was bright, articulate, caring, accomplished, worldly, and as Barry described above, a “pistol”. With all of her interests and activities, family was always first. We will miss her.

Susan J. Rotkovitz

Posted at 11:42am
May the memory of Helene be a comfort to you always, and bring you peace. She was a remarkable woman. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

Steffi Rudo

Posted at 09:39am
Dear Maxine and Family,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs filled with love, comfort, and support. May Helene's memory always be a blessing.


Posted at 09:03am
Greg and Jamie,
I’m so sorry for your loss. Helene seems like a bright, vibrant and beautiful woman, mother and grandmother. May you always remember her with blessing.

Ben Dubin

Posted at 06:55am
Greg, Jamie and Maxine
My heartfelt sympathy on the passing of Helene. Such an accomplished women who influenced many. May her memory be for a blessing.

Joel Simon

Posted at 06:39am
Greg, Jamie, and family, please accept my condolences on the passing of your mother and grandmother. May your memories of her provide you comfort

Martha and Stan Weiman

Posted at 06:34am
Dear Maxine & family,
Our deepest condolences on the passing of Helene. We remember her as an accomplished talented free spirit. May your fond memories sustain you at this difficult time and, always, going forward.

Dr. Ahmad Montazer

Posted at 09:04pm
It is with broken heart and sadness that my family and I hear of the passing of dear Dr. Helene Breazeale (Cohen). I am Zach Caplan's father-in-law and Laleh Caplan's father, Ahmad Montazer. My wife Suzanne, I and our other children Jaleh and Kaveh are all saddened and send our sincerest condolences to Aunt Helene's immediate family members, Caplan and Cohen immediate family members. I met Aunt Helene in Ben and Sherry's home during one of holiday celebrations. She walked towards me and said: "I heard you have a Ph.D"! I said yes. Then she started telling me all about her accomplishments in dance, arts, her teaching experience as a professor at Towson University and then she mentioned the fact that she also had a Ph.D in Dance Education. I found professor Breazeale a brilliant professional and a decent and wonderful human being. All of us members of Cohen and Caplan families must be proud of her accomplishments and her total dedication as a mother to her children and a being a beautiful AUNT HELENE to all of us. May we all celebrate her amazing life and her humanity for ever. May our Aunt Helene, Professor Breazeale REST in PEACE FOR EVER AND EVER. Blessings to all members of her family and friends. Please don't hesitate to ask us if we can be of any help to all family members during this sad times.

Barry D. Berman

Posted at 08:41pm
Helene was my classmate in June 1955 at Forest Park high school. More importantly, she was a distant cousin. She was a fabulous person, but the thing I can think of to say that would be most appropriate is: “she was a pistol“

Patty and Bob Anbinder

Posted at 07:15pm
Helene made me feel like family when I arrived in Baltimore 40 years ago. Her work ethic is a model to which I continue to aspire. Recently, Helene was still effusive in her pride in her family! Greg, Jamie, Brandon and Andrew, we are so sorry for your loss.

Judi and Steve Shaw

Posted at 04:22pm
Greg and Jamie and family, Steve and I send our deepest condolences. May her memory be for a blessing.

Dr. Ivan Rosengarden

Posted at 03:46pm
What an amazing career. Very proud to call you a classmate. Talent truly showed through. R.I.P.

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