Stephanie Bissonnette Obituary, Death – Stephanie Bissonnette, a 32-year-old American dancer, choreographer, and instructor, died suddenly. Ms. Bissonnette has been open about her battle with medulloblastoma, an extremely rare form of brain cancer, since she was diagnosed in 2019. Ms. Bissonnette made her Broadway debut in the original Broadway company of Mean Girls as Dawn Schweitzer. Ms. Bissonnette first felt a “twinge” in her brain after an aerial tumbling pass in the show’s choreography; she was transported to the hospital four days later. The incident occurred during the musical’s choreography.
Ms. Bissonnette owes her early diagnosis of the malignancy to her dancer’s body awareness. “I don’t think we would have found [the tumor] if I had had a conventional 9-to-5 job,” she told SurvivorNet. Although medulloblastoma most typically affects children, it can strike anyone at any age. I’ve been doing crazy things for a living since I was five, so just [that] small scene in the play made me ask, ‘Why am I having problems today?’ because I travel a lot and my job needs me to do crazy things.
‘There has to be more going on here,’ I think. Mean Girls the Musical was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ms. Bissonnette stayed until the finish. She appeared in Ensemble, a documentary about modern Broadway dancers dealing with the closure one year after March 12, 2020. Ensemble was released in 2019. The documentary can be viewed online via the Broadway on Demand streaming service.
She was a member of humanitarian performing organizations such as Broadway Bares, and she contributed to the book “When the Lights Are Bright Again,” a compilation of letters commemorating the period when Broadway was dark. The earnings from the book will be donated to the Entertainment Community Fund. Ms. Bissonnette spent nearly a decade as a dance instructor in New York City, primarily at the Broadway Dance Center, which she considered her “second home.” At the time, she was teaching students modern musical theater dance.