People like to believe they can carefully choreograph everything — from what they think to what they do.

Elizabethtown native Alma Wiley humorously surmises that.

“We all like to think we’re in control,” said Wiley, who has spent most of the past three decades ploddingly and painstakingly deciding movements for hundreds of dancers.

“But my brain is full of madness,” Wiley said at Dancers Studio Inc., which she co-founded and has led as director for 27 years.

She laughed easily.

Area residents can judge for themselves at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Judson Erne Auditorium, 1400 25th St. in Columbus.

“Alma’s Attic” will be a 15-piece concert retrospective of the 62-year-old Wiley’s career — one that includes Indianapolis’ Dance Kaleidoscope Jaffe Hall Emerging Choreography Award near the beginning of her arts success.

The weekend marks her curtain call for the nonprofit arts agency that she never then imagined still would be thriving today. A free reception will follow at the studio at 2158 Cottage Ave. The evening will include at least four of her dancers returning to perform.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.