Hanya Holm’s gift as a mentor was, as dance critic Walter Terry noted, not just to teach movement but to teach “the essence and the spirit of dancing."
Some of Holm’s best-known students (Alwin Nikolais, Valerie Bettis, Louise Kloepper, and Don Redlich) worked primarily in modern dance, but Holm’s influence extended into both ballet and theater. The Colorado Ballet was founded by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, both former students of Holm’s. Martha Wilcox, Vera Sears, and Carolyn Durand Brooks, all former students or Holm company members, worked in or with the Children’s Dance Theatre at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Al Brooks, former student and company member, and Maxine Munt, a former student, met, married, and started the Changing Scene Theatre in Denver in 1968.
Walter Terry noted that Holm’s commitment to not just one style of dance, but to the art of dance itself, uniquely placed her to teach individuals “not to become modern dancers…but how to be dancers.”