Judy Patterson Wright earned her PhD in 1981 in motor learning and motor development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she focused on the learning process for sequential dance skills and how teachers may facilitate that 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 includes tap, jazz, modern, ballet, social, folk, square, country Western, line, and aerobic dance. She specializes in ballroom and social dance in which she has extensive experience as a competitor, coach, author, and instructor. She has taught courses 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. She has also presented workshops at the state and national levels for the National Dance Association and AAHPERD, the National Teachers Association for Country Western Dance Instructors, and the National Dance Educators Organization.
Wright has judged and competed in dance competitions and specializes in teaching progressive classes and workshops for both social and competitive dancers. Wright and her husband placed second overall in the UCWDC Silver Advanced Showcase Division at the world finals in both 1996 and 1997. They are the 2009 UCWDC couples gold combined world champions. They also won first place in both strictly swing and strictly hustle at the 2012 world finals in Orlando, Florida.
In a career spanning 23 years as an acquisitions editor for Human Kinetics, Wright created the format for the Steps to Success activity series (of which her book is a part) while acquiring numerous books related to dance and exercise and remaining active in the dance community. She resides in North Carolina, where she is a member of the Charlotte USA Dance chapter, the Carolina Ballroom Dance Club, and Lynn’s Dance Club.
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