Longtime dance studio owner who established Butler Kickline dies

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

            Horst Bischoff and Gloria Esposito Bischoff in a 2007 photo. FILE
Horst Bischoff and Gloria Esposito Bischoff in a 2007 photo. FILE

A Vandalia native whose love of dance led her to establish the Butler Kickline and join the Ringling Bros. Circus before running her own dance studio for more than 40 years will be buried Friday.

Gloria J. Bischoff, who formerly owned the Gloria Esposito School of Dance, died Sunday at 80. Her husband, Horst Bischoff, died in October, according to the Dayton Daily News obituaries.

OBITUARIES: Read Dayton Daily News obituaries

Bischoff, most recently of Huber Heights, was born in Dayton and attended Butler High School, where she started the still-continuing Butler Kickline.

She moved to New York after high school and joined the New York Ballet but was recruited by the Ringling Bros. Circus, where she was an aerial ballet dancer. She met her husband there and returned to the area.

A gathering of family and friends will be held Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Blessing-Zerkle Funeral Home in Tipp City. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m., according to her obituary.

Below, republished in full, is a 2002 Dayton Daily News article originally published to mark the 50th anniversary of the Butler Kickline.


By Debra Gaskill for the Dayton Daily News

Published Sept. 26, 2002

VANDALIA — If you’ve ever been a high-stepper in the Butler Kickline, you might want to dig out those dancing shoes.

The Butler Kickline turns 50 years old this year and there’s a movement afoot (pardon the pun) to put together an alumni performance.

Founded in 1952, the original kickline consisted of 16 girls who wore white blouses, socks and tennis shoes and purple toreador pants made by their mothers, according to founding member Gloria Esposito.

The idea for the kickline originated in the high school’s annual minstrel shows, which always ended with a dance line by the upperclass men.

“Fairmont had a dance team and Fairview had the Scotchettes that performed at football games,” Esposito said. “We wanted something like that, too.”

Esposito met with the Butler principal and the district superintendent to get permission to form the group, but there was no financial support from the school, nor was there any adult supervision.

“We kind of stayed after school to practice, and just kind of made up a dance,” Esposito said, and then finally asked if the group could perform at halftime at a football game.

That first performance was to the St. Louis Blues March, Esposito said. A second performance was held during an away game against Oakwood.

“Then, the next week, the band director came to us and asked us if we wanted to perform again.”

And the rest is high-kicking history.

In the 1950s, there weren’t many extra-curricular options for girls.

“You had the football team and the basketball team and there were cheerleaders, but that was about it,” community development coordinator Margo Steinbaugh said.

“What Gloria really did was provide something for girls to do. It was fun to do, it was a group they could belong to and something they could pursue together.”

After graduation, the kickline had enough members to keep going. Esposito, who studied dance throughout her childhood and teen-age years, would go on to New York, where she took a job as an aerial ballet dancer with the Ringling Bros. Circus.

She returned to Vandalia with her husband and started the Gloria Esposito Dance Studio, which she ran for 40 years before family health concerns resulted in her retirement.

The kickline has grown to the point where it now is considered an auxiliary to the marching band, according to director Pam Drewry, and receives funding for uniforms and equipment from the boosters.

It’s also become a nearly yearlong commitment.

“We start in July with the Air Show parade and then a week later, start at band,” Drewry said. “We serve as a color guard during marching band season. It’s a huge commitment - we have only the month of June off.

“It’s something the girls just have to love and be very dedicated to do it.”

Lori Downey serves as the kickline coach/choreographer, a position she’s held for three years.

“She took it to a different level of competition in the winter,” Drewry said.

“She brought discipline and rules, a demerit system and started teaching them some dance technique. Now many of the color guard units are not just flags and rifle and sabers any more, they’re incorporating more dance. We feel we’re a step ahead as a result.”

The kickline won the National Pom Championship four years in a row; last year they came in second.

The unit performs at football games and a few basketball games, in addition to competitions. They’ve also performed at University of Dayton basketball games, at the Dayton Veteran’s Hospital and at area nursing homes.

“It’s a little bit of community service for the girls,” Drewry said. “The community has been so supportive of us and we’re extremely grateful for their support.”

The effect of the Butler Kickline was impressed on Gloria Esposito when she met a young woman who had performed with the group while in high school.

“She told me that kickline made school so much more fun,” Esposito said.

“You can’t take that away from someone.”

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BREAKING: What is the building on fire in Downtown Dayton?

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:49 PM

A Caresource building under construction in downtown Dayton is on fire. STAFF PHOTO/Cory Frolik
A Caresource building under construction in downtown Dayton is on fire. STAFF PHOTO/Cory Frolik

UPDATE @ 1:32 p.m. (March 22):

The vice president for the company constructing the new CareSource building in downtown Dayton said all employees and construction workers are accounted for and there were no injuries in the fire this afternoon.

“We had an incident on the roof of the building,” said Troy Erbes, Vice President with Danis.  “Some roof insulation caught on fire.”

Erbes said they are still working to determine what caused the fire to start.

“Now we’re in the investigation state,” Erbes said.


CareSource planned to open its new downtown Dayton campus in the spring of 2019.

The company had started construction last year on what is to be the first newly constructed office tower in downtown Dayton in a decade. 

>>TRENDING: Latest information on building fire in Downtown Dayton

The six-story CareSource Center City is the first newly constructed downtown office project underway since the nonprofit - a fast growing Medicaid managed care company - broke ground on its Main Street headquarters. 

The building, with construction led by Danis, will be at the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street. 

It will have the space to house 800 employees from CareSource, have a similar design to its headquarters and is intended create a walkable, campus like environment for its employees. 

CareSource, which now has about 2,000 employees in downtown Dayton, has been rapidly growing in recent years into a nonprofit with more than $7 billion in revenue and members in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and now Georgia, which it just expanded into this year.

The insurer has become a major employer in Dayton, anchoring downtown with its employment base. It struck a deal with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority late last year to increase its job-creation commitment to 1,920 jobs by 2019 — including current positions being filled and the new jobs promised — raising the company’s annual payroll in Dayton to more than $129 million. 

Along with its 230 N. Main St. headquarters, CareSource bought a building it had been leasing called Ballpark Village, across from Fifth Third Field.

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Dayton Fire Department: CareSource fire involves roofing materials

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:14 PM


A fire at a construction site for a new CareSource building on North Jefferson Street is believed to involving roofing materials, according to the Dayton Fire Department.

PHOTO GALLERY: CareSource construction fire

According to Dayton fire officials, everyone has been able to get out of the building and the only people believed to have been inside at the time the fire started were construction workers.

UPDATE: CareSource construction site on fire in downtown Dayton

“All of the occupants are out of the building,” said Bryan Adams, spokesman for the fire department.  “There’s lots of material up there.”

An exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Numerous roads in downtown Dayton closed due to building fire 

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:50 PM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Roads are closed in Downtown Dayton from Jefferson St. to St. Clair and from Second St. to Monument St. due to a working fire. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. 

Major Highway Incidents

  • On the ramp from northbound I-75 to northbound I-675, there is a crash in the right shoulder.
  • On southbound Interstate 75 in the area of Wagner Ford Road and Needmore Road, a crash was reported around 8:06 a.m. A vehicle reportedly crashed into the center divider and antifreeze is down on the ground. Traffic is backed up in the area.

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Indian Ripple Road at the I675 overpass in Beavercreek, a crash was reported around 7:50 a.m.
  • At Main and Franklin streets in Centerville, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • At County Line and Dorothy Lane roads in Kettering, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • A crash at Bird and National Road in Clark County was reported shortly before 8 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closures March 19 - April 1. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • US 35 east between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Jefferson Street, Overnight lane closures March 19 at 8 p.m. - March 20 at 6 a.m. Two eastbound lanes will remain open.


  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • I-75 south near CR 25A (Piqua), Lane closure March 19 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. One southbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 
  • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 


  • SR 121 between Washington Street and Fairview Street, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Harter Road, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 


  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north


  • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 

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2 Troy school superintendent finalists will meet with public

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

            Troy schools superintendent Eric Herman announced Jan. 25, 2018, that he will retire at the end of the school year. CONTRIBUTED
Troy schools superintendent Eric Herman announced Jan. 25, 2018, that he will retire at the end of the school year. CONTRIBUTED

TROY – Two finalists for superintendent have been selected by the Troy City Schools Board of Education.

Jeremy Miller, current district assistant superintendent, and Christopher Piper, superintendent of the Triad Local Schools, were selected from among 16 applicants and eight semi-finalists.

District staff and stakeholders were notified about the selections on Thursday by Jeff Price, the district’s treasurer and chief financial officer.

TRENDING: Feds: Postal worker on disability got $94,000, was in 35 motorcycle races

The public will have the opportunity to meet the finalists on April 10 for Miller and April 11 for Piper at 4:15 p.m. at the Troy Junior High School Library. The board of education will meet both days at 6:30 p.m. in a closed executive session to interview the candidates.

District Superintendent Eric Herman announced earlier this year he would retire at the end of July.

Doug Trostle, board of education president, said a new superintendent would be hired by the end of April.

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