Dr. Judy Patterson Wright
Dance Scholar Award Honoree
Judy Patterson Wright earned her PhD in 1981 in motor learning and motor development from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she focused on the learning process for sequential dance skills and how teachers may facilitate the learning process. She is an accomplished dancer and educator who has taught social dance at the junior high, high school, college, and community levels since 1971. Dr. Wright’s dance experience included tap, jazz, modern, ballet, social, folk, square, country Western, line, and aerobic dancercise. She specializes in ballroom, social, and line dance, in which she has extensive experience as a competitor, author, and instructor. She has taught 18 years at the college level at Walsh College in Ohio, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Richland Community College in Illinois, and the Wright Way Dance Studio, which she co-owns.
In a career spanning 23 years as an acquisitions editor for Human Kinetics, Dr. Wright created the format for the Steps to Success Activity Series (of which her book, Social Dance, is a part) and pioneered over 125 books related to dance and exercise while remaining active in the dance community. Dr. Wright and her husband placed second overall in the UCWDC Silver Advanced Showcase Division at the world’s finals in both 1996 and 1997. They are the World’s 2009 UCWDC Couples Gold Combined Overall Champion. As Editor-in-Chief, she developed guidelines and coordinated the manuscript flow process for the first two volumes of the National Dance Society Journal.