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JUANITA IS A multi-talented, amazingly active, artistic, alert and inspiring octogenarian. She began her pursuit in music at a very young age as a piano student. She was then tutored by Helen Mahler and went on to play leading roles in her High School in Arlington, Massachusetts in operettas and other local productions. Her formal training included voice and piano at the Mannes Music College.
After her marriage to a Colombian Harvard grad who she met at the very restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she waited tables with Beth Short, she traveled through Europe and lived in Paris, where she became fluent in French and added famous French songs of the era to her musical repertoire; she afterwards was a resident of New York City during a three year period. She then established herself in Colombia, her husband's country, and delighted in living in its capital city, Bogotá, because of its cultural advantages. She raised a family of four children, and at the same time, continued to pursue her goal as a singer and performer with incredible creative energy. This began with the Bach Choral Society, which led her to become a pioneer in radio and television in local shows during the early black and white and ‘static in the airwaves’ period of the 1960s, not only as creator and director but also as a performer.
She went on to produce two LP vinyl albums that, although not widely distributed, were masterfully executed and are a cultural and historical gem of the era. The first, Así Canto la Cumbia, is a careful and exquisite selection of Colombian music from different areas of the country, in which most songs have lyrics in English written by Juanita; these are a true legacy of her multilingual and multicultural integration to different cultures. Her second album, Así Canto Romántico, is an invitation to a profound musical experience and a window to her inner self and true spirituality.
After her return to Miami in 1970, having been a yoga devotee for many years, she taught yoga at Miami Dade Junior College and went on to publish her own book, Inspirational Yoga. At the same time, she began teaching Spanish and became so proficient that to this day she continues this activity, both at her local Community Center, as well as a private tutor. Once again, she has her own self-published book, Sailing with Spanish.
Now, with The Soul of Beth, Juanita pours out for the reader her soul and her innermost emotions, and brings to fruition a long-lived desire … to reveal the spirit and true nature of a friend like none other, and an unforgettable human being, infamously known as The Black Dahlia, an angel she will never forget.