Lance Benishek, of Roseville, Minnesota died Friday, June 26, 2020, at the age of 59. He was born on October 31, 1960, in Antigo, a son of Robert and Marilyn (Bina) Benishek of Antigo.
Lance attended St. Mary Catholic Grade School and was a 1979 graduate of Antigo High School. He also attended the Universities of Wisconsin Stevens Point and River Falls.
Lance devoted decades of his life to researching social dances of the 1920s-1940s, with a special focus on the Big Apple. He published articles on his research, lectured, taught dance, and co-produced international events featuring dancers who had been involved in the Big Apple's history, including Betty Wood and Frankie Manning.
He generously shared his knowledge with dancers and researchers around the world and inspired others to delve into the history of dances of the jazz age and swing era. He was on the dance faculty of the University of Minnesota and co-authored the book, Swing Dancing.
In addition to his parents he is survived by two sisters, Bobbi (Dale) Emrick of Plover and Becky (Wayne) Whiting of McFarland; a nephew, Justin Young; and three nieces, Caitlyn Emrick, Tara (Justin) Superty and Tayna Whiting.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 2, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Bradley Funeral Home with Rev. Zach Weber officiating. Burial will take place in Antigo Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.
Memorials in Lance's name may be made to the Frankie Manning Foundation.
Visit https://www.frankiemanningfoundation.org/support-fmf/ click donate via Paypal, then fill in the Add a Note field with "In Memory of Lance Benishek."
Lindy Hop dancers all over the world can take comfort in the fact that Lance, after a period of physical limitation, is dancing again with Betty and Frankie...and Truckin' to the jazz sounds of Chick Webb, Count Basie and other incredible musicians from America's jazz tradition.
Those attending the visitation should wear a face mask and refrain from shaking hands or hugging the Benishek family. - Thank you
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I didn't know him well, but from what I heard about him, I would say he deserved one of those MacArthur genius awards for the work he did in researching historical dances.
Dance with some of his dance family
My heartfelt condolences to the family and praying for comfort, strength and peace.
Bob and Marilyn, we are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers
You are in our thoughts and prayers Bob and Marilyn. So sorry to hear of Lance's passing - condolences to your whole family.
Bob and Anne Bina
Our condolences Bob and Marilyn with the loss of your son Lance. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Dick and Penny Hurlbert
Condolences to Becky and family. Not sure where I got Shirley from. My apologies
Condolences to Becky and Family. Not sure where I got Shirley from. My apologies.
Lance was quite an inspirational and fun guy to be around. I met him in band in high school. He always had a smile on his face that would brighten your day regardless of how bad it was. I am so sorry to hear of this news and great loss. Praying God's comfort and strength at this time for family.
Lance taught me to jitterbug after hours in the halls of Antigo High School! I'm so sorry to hear that he's passed, and trust I will be seeing him again one day! May God comfort the family.
Lance was such a handsome nice man. The good Old Saint Mary's Days. I am so happy to hear what a wonderful exciting life he had and enjoyed what he did. So sorry for your loss. Today I hear the thunder, but I believe it is Lance having a dance party in heaven. God Bless
My husband met Lance around 1997 at a West Virginia workshop. They reconnected in the early 2000s when we visited my hometown of Mpls. with our baby son. Lance was a talker, especially once he got onto music, history and dance! We visited together and had Lance come to Chicago to teach. He was complex, humorous and never at a loss for a story. Rest In Peace, Lance. We miss you.
I have so many fond memories of Lance and playing with my cousins when we were young and lived in Antigo. Not to mention the annual summer visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house as we all grew up. I remember Lance loved nature as a little boy and had a butterfly/bug Collection that fascinated me. He also knew the names of all the wildflowers in the fields. We both loved nature and music and I wish I’d known him better as an adult. I am glad he followed his passion of big band music and made a life of dance. I’ll never forget Becky‘s wedding when Lance and I danced at the reception and he taught me to swing, waltz and fox trot. He had all the moves and was a great lead! I know he’s cuttin’ a rug in heaven now. My sincerest condolences to family. Rest In Peace, Lance 💖🕺💐 With love, Cousin Janice Bina-Smith.
So sorry to read this, my deepest sympathy to his family. I remember Lance from the neighborhood, nice guy! My prayers to his family. Mary(Young) Schofield
Our deepest sympathy to Lance's family. Class of 1979.
I will always remember the fun we had in band together in high school. Thanks for the laughs. Rest in peace my friend. You will be missed.
Hugs to Shirley and family.
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Antigo, Wisconsin 54409
Antigo, Wisconsin 54409
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