Rima Sokoloff (1930–2014)

April 16, 2014


Rima Sokoloff, president of the American Dance Guild from 1984—90, died at age 83 on March 30, 2014. The cause was leukemia.

Rima was a huge force in the success of The American Dance Guild. She was president of ADG for two terms, from 1984–88 and 1988–90. She started the “President’s Council,” which brought together presidents of numerous dance organizations to coordinate their conferences to avoid conflicts and support each other. She was honored by the Guild for her lifetime achievements at the ADG 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2007.

Rima edited and produced the ADG Conference Journals from 1976–1993. Rima was instrumental in creating ADG conference programs, soliciting ads from colleges, commercial costume makers and dance resource agencies, helping to raise funds for the Guild. She was one of the founders and writers of the Guild’s history book Branching Out. One of her many triumphs was organizing an ADG Conference in Beijing with visits to five cities in 1990, the year after the Tiananmen Square uprising. 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 studies with: Graham, Weidman, Humphrey, Limon, Joffrey, Arpino, Primus, Katya Delakova and Fred Berke, Maslow, 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 for and performed with NY Dance Workshop. She also co-founded 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, New York, for forty three years, teaching dance appreciation and criticism, dance history, choreography and composition, theatrical dance, modern dance and ballet. She also 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 Malloy 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. Rima also practiced as an early childhood specialist/motoric consultant in Queens and Long Island. She was an associate producer of the cable TV show “Gown and Town” 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. Her five grandchildren are Samantha, Sam, Juno, Will and Anaya.



*If you would like to Dance Magazine to post an obituary about a member of the dance community, email Kristin Schwab, [email protected]. Note that content in our “In Memoriam” section does not get fact checked.

*If you would like Dance Magazine to post an obituary about a member of the dance community, email Kristin Schwab, [email protected]. Note that content in our “In Memoriam” section is not fact checked.