Carolyn Okoomian Rapkievian has been teaching and performing dance in a professional capacity since 1988. Her experience and training have included classical and character ballet, social ballroom dance, and international folk dance, focusing in particular on Armenian dance.
Carolyn grew up dancing at Armenian picnics and at home. She has studied Armenian dance with Antranig, an Armenian dance ensemble, from 1992 to 1999. Antranig's artistic director, Gagik Karapetian, also directs the Armenian State Dance Ensemble in Yerevan, Armenia.
Carolyn has studied Russian and Ukrainian dance and character ballet with Marina Popova and Sergej Zubitov from Kiev, Ukraine. She has also studied ballet, ballroom dance, and international folk dance with a variety of teachers.
Carolyn has directed the Arax Armenian Dance Ensemble, the Washington Grove Ballet, and the Hye Akchigneroo Armenian Dance Ensemble. She has performed with the Antranig Armenian Dance Ensemble, the Palamakia Dancers (a Greek Dance Ensemble), Dancefolk International Folkdance Ensemble (specializing in Polish and Hungarian dance), the Nashville Ballet, and the Texas Tech University Dance Hungarian Folk Ballet.
Among her many Armenian and international folk dance teaching venues are the New England Folk Festival Association, the Mainwoods Dance Camp, Vanderbilt University, the Balalaika & Domra Association of America, Cumberland Science Museum, Girl Scouts of America, as well as recreational folk dance organizations in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, and churches, camps, and clubs.
Carolyn also has taught ballet at the Nashville Ballet, the Classic Ballet Studio, and the Washington Grove Ballet, and ballroom dance at the Vanderbilt University dance department, the Myung Sook Chun Dance Center, and the Red Gables Academy, as well as at churches and schools.