An article released in the Los Angeles Times at the beginning of the week sent shockwaves through the Los Angeles dance community when it revealed that the estate of the late Debbie Reynolds (which includes her home and beloved Hollywood dance studio) is to be auctioned off next month to the highest bidder.
You know who else was surprised? The entire dance studio staff!!
It seems the studio faculty and management had no idea the auction was happening. To the staff's knowledge (some of whom have been working at the studio for many years), though a potential transfer of ownership was in the cards, efforts were being made to keep the studio running. Several projects were considered to help the business grow, including a museum full of Ms. Reynold's memorabilia and an online venture. Others were already underway: A new website was released just a couple of weeks ago, and their 17-18 scholarship program just started.
So imagine the shock when they woke up to find - from an article making its way around Facebook, no less - that the studio was going to be auctioned off!
Of course they were aware this was a transitional time - after all, Ms. Reynolds passed several months ago - but the idea of an auction was completely out of the blue. And now, they have questions. What's going to happen to the studio and its unique content and history? Is there a buying interested who may keep it intact? What will happen to their jobs? And really: WHY WEREN'T THEY TOLD ANYTHING AT ALL?
We can only assume that the decision comes from Reynolds' son Todd, the current owner of the estate; it's clear that Mr. Fisher and his team have demonstrated a complete lack of interest for the studios' wellbeing and respect for its staff, even before his mother's passing.
Debbie Reynolds was an icon and treasured member of the dance world. It's a shame that her son is disregarding the community and studio she loved and worked so hard to build.