Vivian Woll

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Deceased
International
International

Vivian Woll

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Vivian Woll was born on April 21, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas. Even before high school graduation, she was an accomplished ballroom dancer – taught by her father and grandfather. She worked as a waitress and trained for work in accounting in Topeka and Minneapolis. She was twice married and divorced and had an adopted baby who died very young.

She began teaching folk dance in 1948 in Santa Barbara, California, and moved to San Diego in 1950. She joined the San Diego Folk Dancers that year. In 1954, she founded the Cabrillo Folk Dancers, a recreational folk dance club (that also performed Early California dances) where she continued to teach a beginners class and and advanced class until her retirement in 1985.

Vivian led an accomplished performance group of young dancers. In 1953, she was named to a committee to run the Idyllwild Folk Dance Workshop, a folk dance camp in the mountains on the grounds of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation. Vivian was the chairperson of the camp from 1972 to 1982. Vivian taught at the Idyllwild camp and the San Diego State University Folk Dance Conference, often re-teaching a neglected dance.

Vivian organized what became the International Dance Association (IDA), a liaison group to the Parks and Recreation Department composed of all the dance clubs that met in San Diego's Balboa Park. For many years, Vivian carried on an active role in the Folk Dance Federation of California, South, including as chairperson of its Idyllwild Workshop committee for many years, as well as its Scholarship and Statewide Festival committees.

In 1966, along with Evelyn Prewett, she started a class for beginners on Wednesday nights. In March of 1978, they separated from that class and it became the San Diego International Folk Dance Club.

In February of 2000, Vivian was honored at the Cabrillo Anniversary Party for her years of devotion to the club and to folk dance in general. She was honored again in April of 2002 on her 85th birthday at the Cabrillo club's class with more than 60 people in attendance.

After sixty years of living in California, she moved to Harrison, Arkansas, to live with friends. Requiring more medical attention, she moved to the Cedars nursing home in McPherson, Kansas, where her niece cared for her until her death on August 10, 2007.

Dances Vivian taught include Baily Kujawiak, Čardáš Śląski, Dobierany, Evangelina, Na Talarku Kujawiak, Potpourri Norteño, and Russian Folk Dance Medley.