A publication to engage the dance community. Learn. Discuss. Contribute. Enjoy.

Making a Difference

A Dedication to Lynn Lammer

By Christine Trask

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains, and is immortal.”

-– Albert Pike

Tom Larson, my first dance instructor, dear friend, and owner of the Ballroom & Wedding Dance Studio, asked me if I would be interested in writing about an admirable woman named Lynn Marie Lammer. Tom was hosting a ten-year anniversary dance party on January 4th dedicated to the memory of Lynn Lammer at the Phipps Center for the Arts located in Hudson, Wisconsin. Of course I agreed and began gathering information about Lynn through many sources, and in doing so discovered how remarkable this woman was.

Lynn Lammer, despite being severely handicapped from birth with allergies and asthma, became involved in competitive ballroom dancing. She was accomplished in the arts, law, homeopath therapy, and teaching. After graduating from Menomonie High School, she attended the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul for two years before transferring to the University of Wyoming, where she received a Bachelor of Arts. She later attended the University of Wisconsin - Stout for a master’s degree in counseling, as well as William Mitchell Law School in St. Paul for a law degree. Then, she worked for West Publishing until her health became a problem. At that point, she completed a four-year program at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in Minnesota and was a practicing homeopath physician at the time of her death.

Lynn dedicated much of her life to making a difference. She served as a member of the Stillwater School Board in Minnesota and was involved in building its new high school. She began a sailing and racing club with the St. Croix River Sailing Club. Lynn belonged to many organizations, including a gourmet cooking club, the Women’s Business Network, the Minnesota Bar Association, the Minnesota Homeopathic Association, and the United States Association of Ballroom Dance. According to her sister Lucy, one of her great accomplishments was winning a national lawyers' competition with her brother Michael despite her having just passed the Minnesota bar at age fifty-one and being considered a freshman.

Ten years ago Lynn started teaching ballroom dance lessons at the Phipps Center for the Arts. She asked Tom Larson to assist her, and shortly after Tom joined her, Lynn passed away at fifty-two years of age. Tom decided to continue the program that Lynn had started because it was what Lynn would have wanted. The class only had two or three couples at the time. Today, a decade later, there are classes for beginners to advanced dancers and two dance parties per month, including a live band. The dance program that Lynn started has enriched thousands of lives.

Through my research on Lynn, I was surprised to learn that she knew my deceased husband and that I know her brother Patrick and his wife, Jayne. Lynn's legacy has touched me in a personal way, because after my husband died, it was my higher power, family, friends, and taking dance classes at the Phipps Theater that got me through my grief. Dance strengthened my mind, core, and spirit.

I wish you strength, peace, health, fertility, and love this year. Let’s follow the example of Lynn and start the new year by making a difference in the lives of others.