Judi Rivkin has been dancing all her life, and started on her path as a dance leader when she moved to Seattle from New York in 1991. Weekly English country dance workshops she started in Seattle have been the source not only for dancers of all experience levels to grow and expand their knowledge and repertoire, but also for several Seattle bands to develop. She is very proud to be a regular member of the teaching staff for Country Dancers of Westchester.
Judi's goals as a dance leader are to maximize dancing time through initial clear and concise teaching; offer "style points" to raise the level of dance; to prompt in such a way that dancers feel she is their “personal prompter” – hearing the calls if you need to, without intruding on the music; and to create an atmosphere that is comfortable for all, and conducive to goodwill and learning. She never forgets that dancing and socializing in the community is meant to be fun, that discretionary time (and funds) are at a premium, and that there's more than one way to learn a dance.
Judi's main influences in dance leadership have been Genny Shimer, Sue Salmons, Brad Foster, Fried de Metz Herman, Bruce Hamilton, Helene Cornelius, Christine Helwig, and her parents, who met while folkdancing in New York City. Her dad (a former Pinewoods camper and lifeguard) was at one time a ballroom dance teacher at Arthur Murray's own Fifth Avenue studio; later on, for many years, he led square and round dancing.
In November 2001, Judi left Seattle for the East Coast so as to be closer to her nieces and nephews. She currently resides in Ewing, NJ (between Princeton and Trenton), and is an active participant in dance communities up and down the coast.
Her latest endeavor is a well-received annual series of intermediate/advanced English Country Dance workshops, entitled "Stepping Up." taught in Princeton with Sue Dupré.
Nearly every Valentine's Day for many years, Judi has presented an evening of “Romantic English Country Dances in Waltz & Triple Time,” and December would not be the same without her dance programming toasting the holidays. Judi has been on staff at dance camps and festivals across the US and in Canada. She is currently planning the programming for the 2012 Head for the Hills weekend.
Judi is a long-time member of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), and an active participant with Lambertville Country Dancers and Princeton Country Dancers. She helped produce the Fried-for-All Northwest weekends in Seattle in 1996 and 2006. She was also a founding board member of Country Dance*New York. In addition to her work as a dance leader, Judi has produced many English and contra dance events, weekends, and English country balls in both New York and Seattle, as well as a couple of dance websites, including one featuring several animated ECD figures, with music by Bare Necessities.
When not dancing, Judi enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, singing, and working in the garden.
If you would like to contact her about leading a dance for your group, please email her at judi.rivkin-AT SIGN-alumni.usc.edu
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