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A Dance Through Life – Morning Pointe of Chattanooga Resident Aline Maclin

photo of Aline as a Rockette

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, Tennessee, resident Aline Maclin has done a lot in her life. From marching as a majorette in high school to performing for a short time as a Rockette to owning her own dancing studios and dog grooming studios, her life itself has been like a dance, keeping time to her own beat.

photo of Aline as Miss Chattanooga First Runner-up in 1957
Aline as Miss Chattanooga First Runner-up in 1957


Aline was born Vera Aline Vanzant in 1938 and grew up in the historical family home at the top of Cameron Hill in Chattanooga. Her mother was very ambitious for her and enrolled her in dancing lessons from a young age.

“If there was a parade, she’d come and get me and put me in the back of a convertible,” Aline remembered.

Her mom even lied about her age to get her into the Miss Chattanooga pageant. She won first runner-up two years in a row. “I did not want to be Ms. Tennessee,” Aline said. “I just didn’t want to be tied up.”

Aline attended Central High School in Chattanooga, then Tennessee Technical University. The highlight of her school days was being a majorette under W. J. Julian, who went on to be the director of the University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Band. She was also class secretary and feature twirler in the band.

photo of Aline in 1957
Aline in 1957

Dance Instructor and Rockette

After school, Aline became a dance instructor and choreographer, specializing in ballet, tap, and baton. She choreographed the United States Military Academy’s 100th Night Show and taught at the DeMayo Ballet Studio.

While in New York City, Aline had the opportunity to be a Rockette for Radio City Music Hall. She danced in that role for less than a month before realizing that life wasn’t for her. For one thing, the choreographer was mean, and the dancers often had to perform outside in the freezing cold.

Although a friend of hers, Susan Quinton, stayed on for longer, Aline said, “I wasn’t going to stay there and kill myself like she did.”

During her dance instructing years, Aline married John O’Neal, a military officer. They had four children – three sons and a daughter – although the marriage didn’t end up working out long-term.

Aline returned to Chattanooga with her kids when John was deployed overseas. Once back in town, Aline started multiple dance schools in the Chattanooga area, including in Dayton, Hixson, Soddy-Daisy, and South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. O’Neal Academy of the Dance and The Dance Factory (which she ran with Susan Quinton) were the studios she owned. She was a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America.

Aline’s passion was teaching dance correctly. It always irked her when mothers pressured their young daughters to take dance.

“You can’t dance if it’s not in your head,” she said.

photo of Aline

Grooming Career, Horses, and Community Engagement

Aline eventually changed careers, becoming a stylist for a while and then a dog groomer. She owned several grooming shops in the Chattanooga area.

A dog lover since childhood, Aline had several show dogs, including German Shepherds and Great Pyrenees. One dog, a Pekingese named Kentucky Colonel Jr., was the son of a dog who had won the famous Westminster Dog Show. CJ (his nickname) himself was a Canadian Grand Champion in the late 1960s. Aline’s last show dogs were Great Pyrenees names Claude and Coolwhip. Even though she no longer goes to the shows, Aline still enjoys watching the competitions on TV.

Aline also owned several horses. One of them, a palomino stallion, had the quirk that he had to have country-western music on constantly in order to be kept happy.

In the community, Aline was also active in other areas. She was President of Chattanooga’s Crestwood Garden Club for two terms and was a certified Flower Show Judge.

In 1982, Aline remarried to Bill Maclin.

photo of Aline as Taylor Swift with Newman Stanley as Travis Kelce
Aline as Taylor Swift with Newman Stanley as Travis Kelce

Coming to Morning Pointe

More recently, Aline began to have more health concerns. With needing more medical care, her daughter looked around for an assisted living facility. The family chose Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, and she moved in in November 2022.

“It’s a good place to be,” said Aline. “I like the people. Holly [Holcomb], our Life Enrichment Director, is great. She adds so much life to this place.”

Aline participates in many activities. This year, she even joined her fellow resident Newman Stanley to dress up as Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce for Halloween.

Rebecca O’Neal, her daughter, shared, “In the [time] Mom has been a resident at Morning Pointe, she has flourished. Mom thrives on conversation and interaction with people. Mom couldn’t thrive without the ongoing support and encouragement of all the staff at Morning Pointe. She’s truly like a new person since joining the Morning Pointe family, and our family is thrilled with her all-around improvement.”

Thank you, Aline and family, for bringing your spunk and unique personality and life story. We are glad to have you as part of our Morning Pointe family!

photo of Aline as Barbie
Aline as Barbie

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