In Memoriam 2019


Juanita “Nita” Boyle & Eleanor Bakalis

Juanita “Nita” Boyle

Juanita “Nita” Boyle

Juanita Boyle, longtime member of Dancers Over 40, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 24th, 2019 in NYC following a short illness. She was born in Allentown, PA.  Her long and successful dance career began with a season at the Taminent Playhouse after which she came to New York to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She went on to perform in the National Companies of Sweet Charity and Carnival!, followed by Guber, Ford & Gross productions of Carnival! and The King and I

Her beauty and talent graced the stages of the most famous nightclubs of the era, including the Latin Quarter, Copacabana, and Minsky’s.  After retiring from dance she became director of both the John Robert Powers and Barbizon modeling schools.  Another career change led to the New York Daily News where she became an award winning sales rep.  In between all these activities, she passed on her dance and performing arts skills by teaching ballet and jazz at the Montclair Academy of Dance owned by fellow dancer July Alexander. She is survived by grieving family and friends.

Eleanor Bakalis

Eleanor Bakalis

Submitted by DO40 member and daughter of Eleanor, Melissa Milbank:  On July 12, 2019, Eleanor Frum Bakalis left this world to teach dance in heaven and choreograph the angels. Nini, to her beloved grandchildren Nathan and Lucas Milbank; Eleanor was just too big a personality to be called Granny! 

While Eleanor would never brag that she could do 50 men's push-ups well into her 80's, her beloved daughter Melissa Bakalis Milbank was happy to share that fun fact with everyone. Eleanor's response would always be "But I don't go all the way down!"

Eleanor Frum Bakalis was a dance teacher whose indelible mark on students from Pittsburgh to Florida with performers dancing all around the world is everlasting.  With Audrey Butler (deceased) and Virginia Stirling her two best friends she opened her own dance studio. She also coached award winning high school Majorettes, the Honeybears, for many years and after moving to New Jersey. She had the privilege of studying Jazz, Tap, and Ballet with many of greats, especially Luigi, who created the platforms on which most dance technique was born. While dragging her students all over the country always insisting on dedicated study, her students improved and her choreography won numerous awards wherever she taught.  Just when you thought you could not do it again, you did do it again and again ...only because she said so.  Eleanor was married for 48 years to the Greek God Nick Bakalis.  Her husband passed in 2002.  70 years was just not enough time on this earth for such a wonderful husband and Pappou.  

She is survived by her brother, James P. Frum, Pat Ross, her "adopted" daughter and daughter Melissa and her husband Greg Milbank, along with their sons Nathan and Lucas. They would like to thank everyone who loved, feared and adored Eleanor.  Their love for her lives on and on.  We are all better people having known Miss Eleanor.


Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc