Dancer, teacher and choreographer
Dancer, teacher and choreographer Sue Ronson Levy, who made her Broadway debut at age 4 with Ethel Merman in “Annie Get Your Gun,” died May 1 of complications from diabetes in West Roxbury, Mass. She was 75.
Born in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, N.Y., she was only a toddler when she became interested in dance watching the students at a dance studio in her building. Later, when her father saw a sign seeking a “precocious” girl to appear in “Annie Get Your Gun,” the 4 year old Sue Aronson was brought in for an audition and handed a script. She blurted out that she couldn’t read yet as she was only a child, and won the part. She later dropped the “A” and appeared professionally as Sue Ronson.
As a teenager she appeared with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra, and when she was older she accompanied Bob Hope on two of his overseas USO tours. She also performed with Burl Ives, Paul Draper, and Larry Adler.
Although she continued to perform, she turned her attention to teaching and choreography. A stint as a dance instructor at Grossinger’s Hotel in the Catskills led to her meeting her husband, Norton Levy, who had signed up for lessons. In 1979 she joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music and, until her retirement in 2001, trained dancers who appeared on Broadway and on regional stages throughout the country. She was also involved in the “Dream of Artists,” project which combined American and Chinese dancers on a tour of 37 Chinese cities.
Living in Newton, Mass., she found time to choreograph productions for local theaters and WCVB-TV. She was honored by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for Public Service in the Arts in 1997.
In addition to her husband she is survived by her a daughter, a son, two grandchildren and two brothers.
Donations may made to the Sue Ronson Fund at the Boston Conservatory which will provide financial support to dance students.