Jeanette Tannan Hoffman, Ballet Russe Soloist and Beloved Ballet Teacher, Dies at 88

May 31, 2018

Jeanette Tannan Hoffman was born in 1930 in Brooklyn. She began her dance training at age 4. At age 12, she had to choose between piano and ballet. At 16, she landed a part on Broadway in Sweethearts. Soon after, as the only dancer accepted by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1946, she went on to tour with that company for five years. She then danced at Radio City Music Hall and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and choreographed at Radio City. Dance was always one of her greatest loves: Indeed, her spark, spirit and musicality received numerous rave reviews.

In 1954, she married Edward S. Hoffman, and started a family. A devoted mother and wife, she was a beloved ballet teacher at the Irine Fokine School in Ridgewood, NJ for over 40 years. She then taught for 8 years at In the Spotlight Studio in Waldwick, NJ until age 87. She had a tremendous impact. Her commitment to superior teaching was extraordinary; many of her students went on to dance professionally. She also taught at Alvin Ailey Extension in Manhattan.

Hoffman is survived by daughter Madelyn, of Flanders, NJ, and son Steven, of Bow, WA, as well two grandsons, Galen and Forrest Hoffman, of Bow, WA.

A celebration of life will be held June 24th, 1-4pm, at In the Spotlight Studio in Waldwick. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Jeanette Tannan Hoffman Dance Scholarship Fund, c/o M. Hoffman, P.O. Box 485, Flanders, NJ 07836. Online condolences and full obituary are at