Rima Sokoloff, In Memoriam

RIMA SOKOLOFF – October 7, 1930 – March 30, 2014

Rima Sokoloff, former president of the American Dance Guild from 1984 – 88, died at age 83 on March 30, 2014. The cause was leukemia.

Rima was a huge force in the growth and success of The American Dance Guild, which she loved and worked hard for. She was president of ADG for two terms from 1984-86, and from 1986-88, but her influence and work went far beyond those years. While president of the Guild, she started the “President’s Council” which brought together presidents of numerous dance organizations to coordinate their conferences to avoid conflicts and to support each other. She served as advisor to ADG 1988-90, was NYC Conference ’89 Chair, and coordinator of the 1990/35th ADG Gala. She was honored by the Guild for her achievements at the ADG 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2007 in a salute to all Past Presidents of the Guild.

Rima conceived, edited and produced the ADG Souvenir
Conference Programs from 1985-1991, covering a world of topics. These journals alone represent a huge resource in the ADG archives. In designing the conference pograms, Rima also solicited ads from colleges, commercial costume makers, and dance resource agencies, helping to raise funds for the Guild through this effort.  While still on the board, one of her many triumphs was to help organize an ADG Conference in Beijing, China with visits to five cities in 1990, the year after the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989.

Her inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm for dance, dance education, and the mission of the Guild will be sorely missed.

Rima Sokoloff earned a BA in Dance/Theater from Queens College and an MFA from Brooklyn College in Performing Arts Administration. Her dance training included study with: Graham, Weidman, Humphrey, Limon, Joffrey, Arpino, Primus, Katya Delakova and Fred Berke, Sophie Maslow, William Bales, Jane Dudley, and others.

She also studied at The New Dance Group and performed in concerts with the original Merry – Go – Rounders Company at 92nd Street Y. She founded, choreographed, and performed with NY Dance Workshop, and co-founded, directed, and choreographed with The Danceabouts Company.

She received grants from Queens Council on Arts, NYC Council of Cultural Affairs, and NYSCA. She was a charter member, board member, and president of Queens Council of the Arts.

Rima was an Assistant Professor at Molloy College, in Rockville Centre, NY for forty three years, from 1969 – 2013(?). As a member of the Communication Arts and Physical Education Department, Professor Sokoloff taught Dance Appreciation and Criticism, Dance History, Choreography and Composition, Theatrical Dance and Modern Dance and Ballet Techniques. She taught Music for Dance within the Music Department and Creative Dance Movements for Special Education in the Education Department. From 1968-1985, she administered, directed, and choreographed under the Molloy Modern Dance Theater Collection for their performances on and off campus.

Professor Sokoloff’s excellence in teaching won her invitations to teach Dance History at Lehman College and to serve as the coordinator and professor of dance at Queens College where she taught “With an Eye on the Arts,” “An Appreciation of Dance,” and “The Jewish Experience in the Arts.”

Rima also practiced as an Early Childhood specialist/motoric consultant in Queens and Long Island. She was an Associate producer of cable tv’s Gown and Town from 1982 – 83 in Woodbury, Long Island.

Rima Sokoloff resided in Queens and was married to Stanley Turkel for 43 years and had four children: Joshua, Marc, Benay, and Allison and 5 grandchildren: Samantha, Sam, Juno, Will and Anaya.

Thank you, Rima, for your vibrant spirit, dedication, and service to the dance community. We will all miss you!

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