Judith R. Woodruff '83 - 2008 Award of Honor

Judith Woodruff has enjoyed a diverse and challenging 35 years in the art of dance. Woodruff has taught dance at East Tennessee State University since 1980. In 1982 she co-founded Mountain Movers Dance Company, in residence at ETSU, with fellow dancer Doug Newton. Woodruff has taught dance in the private sector at the Kingsport Guild of Ballet (now Kingsport Ballet), Kingsport, Tenn., and the Holloway Dancing School in Johnson City, Tenn.; and as a guest artist for many studios, companies, and institutions. Prior to relocating to Johnson City in 1979 she taught dance at Middlebury College, Vt., and danced with Coincidance Company. Her choreography has been commissioned by Chattanooga Ballet, Virginia Intermont College, Girls Preparatory School (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Chattanooga High School for the Performing Arts, and others.

Woodruff was employed as the executive director of the Tennessee Association of Dance from November 1988 through June 2007. She provided management and leadership to the organization that significantly increased its membership base and tripled its budget. As executive director she produced 19 statewide dance conferences, five summer dance camps, and a plethora of regional conferences and dance teacher training workshops located in communities across the state, employing world-class dance artists from throughout the country to serve on the faculties of these programs. She established a regular publication schedule for the Association newsletter, edited it, contributed articles to it and laid it out for publication. She instituted publication of a statewide directory of dance professionals and services and established the organization's first web site. Under Woodruff's leadership, the Association cooperated with the State Department of Education on dance education initiatives that resulted in State Board of Education-approved curriculum guidelines in dance for public school grades K-12. The State of Tennessee now has licensure for dance teachers in grades K-12, two state universities that offer dance education majors leading to certification for dance educators, and the incidences of dance in K-12 fine arts curricula in public and private schools across the state is growing steadily.

Over the span of her career, she has served as a director on the boards of the Tennessee Association of Dance, the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education, the Tennesseans for the Arts, the State of Franklin Dance Alliance, the Johnson City Area Arts Council, and Kingsport Ballet. She has served on grant review panels for the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Johnson City Area Arts Council. Woodruff currently is a member of the National Dance Education Organization, the Tennessee Association of Dance and Tennesseans for the Arts.

Woodruff is a member of the Phi Cappa Phi Honor Society. Additional honors include the Governor's Award for Arts Leadership in Tennessee (2005); the Johnson City Area Arts Council Outstanding Arts Contribution Award (2005); the Tennessee Association of Dance Margaret Martin Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Dance (2007); ETSU's first Recognition Award for Non-Regular Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences (2008).

Woodruff has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History of Art from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in Physical Education from East Tennessee State University. She has trained in dance at many renowned programs including the American Dance Festival and the Bill Evans' Summer Dance Institute, studying under many notable teachers and performers.