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DEBBIE RAMSEY (BOZ)

“Dance with Everyone, until Every can Dance”

Debbie Ramsey 

 

Debbie Ramsey has been on the stage and dance floor for most of her life. She started dancing when she was three years old, adding competitive Country Western with her brother, Don Ramsey in 1978, and swing with Avner Uzan in 1982. Debbie is not showing any signs of slowing down, with over 40 years of experience; she is still competing, performing, coaching, judging, DJing and choreographing. 

 

She is credited for developing her patented “Diamond Technique” for teaching West Coast Swing, initially created for visually impaired students, and now adapted for all dancers, in multiple styles of dance, to easily teach and improve patterns, body flight and core connection.

 

Debbie has been a champion dancer for over 40 years and continues today competing in invitational and master divisions. 

 

Debbie was a competitor and award winner in the first “Champions” Jack and Jill. The “Super Seven”, the “Great Eight” and the “Nifty Nine”. She continues to achieve top awards and is one of the top female instructors.

 

Debbie would like to recognize her first competitive dance partner Avner Uzan, and also Lance Shermoen. Both supported her creativity (and her body), and inspired her to continue to grow and push herself to be the best she could be. 

 

In 1984, Debbie and her brother Donny performed and provided dance lessons at both of the Olympic Villages. Debbie and Donny were on the “Dance Fever” Television Show and were seen by Peter Ueberroth (chairman of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee). He was so taken by the “Brother and Sister Team” that he actively tracked them down and offered them the job and they were able to teach dance to the Athletes from around the World.

 

A little known fact…Debbie is also a Rodeo Queen. An avid horseman, she competed in barrel racing and as a “California Rodeo Queen” she traveled all over California as a spokesperson for rodeos, producing and performing in TV and radio ads.

 

Awards & Accomplishments:

Public Recognition:

● Choreographer and dancer for TV, commercials and films since 1976 (featured dancer in movie with Donald Sutherland)

● Dance USA magazine article on her “Diamond Technique’ and other articles in top swing magazines and in National CD insert with acclaimed recording artist “Room Full Of Blues”

● Humanitarian Award from US Open Dance Championships for contributions to swing dance community

● Humanitarian Award from American Lindy Hop Championships (ALHC) for contributions to swing dance community

● California Swing Dance Hall of Fame

● World Swing Dance Council Hall of Fame

● 3 Time Feather Award Recipient, Best Female Instructor

● 1983 – 1996 “Top-Five” at the US Open 

● World Swing Dance Champion with Lance Shermoen

● Performed with her brother Donny at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

● Certified Golden State Dance Teachers Association, GSDTA dance teacher 

● U.S Open Swing Dance Judge 

● Most Importantly…… Mom to Ryan and Gavin and Wife to

Wesley

 

Dance Biography:

Debbie started Tap and Ballet class at 3 yrs. old and never looked back. 58 years later she is still dancing and travels nationally and internationally, coaching, teaching multiple styles of dance, judging, DJing, competing and choreographing dance routines and teams. With a broad dance background, she has taught Tap, Jazz and Ballet since 1975, Country Western since 1978, and Swing since 1983. 

 

From 1978 through 1984, Debbie and her brother and dance partner, Don Ramsey, taught Country Dance all over LA (Palomino Club), won top awards, produced and emceed the Cuervo Dance finals in front of over 10,000.00 people at the Forum Rodeo, booked bands (Asleep At the Wheel, Highway 101) and with Merle Haggard as the opening act, they opened The Golden West Club, one of the largest country bars in Southern California. 

 

In addition to being a working DJ, she is also a certified trained judge, dance coach, choreographer, and dance instructor. She is versed in all forms of swing era dances, including West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, Blues, Hustle, Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, and Charleston as well as Ballroom and Latin. She has choreographed and danced on multiple dance teams, including “Possibilities”, a dance team made up of professional dancers from across the country that competed at the US Open in the 90’s. Debbie created and choreographed award winning routines for her dance team “Swingalings”. For two years “Swingalings'' traveled across the country and won first place titles at both Lindy (International Lindy Hop Championships) and West Coast Events (US Open). They performed exhibitions at events, both large and small, including the grand opening of the PNC arena, in front of thousands of people. Debbie choreographed over 50 dancers who performed live with “Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy” one of the biggest “Neo Swing'' dance bands of that time. 

 

Over the years, Debbie has literally taught thousands of people the love of dance. She has taught dance at many local colleges and universities over the years, including UCLA, USC, El Camino College, and has continued in North Carolina at UNC, Duke, NC State and for 23 years in the surrounding counties K-12 school systems. 

 

Dance Event Producer:

Debbie has been active in growing dance communities across the country. Producing, DJing and teaching at “swing nights” at local bars in California (starting in 1978) and in New York in (1990), and continuing today, with her husband Wesley Boz. Debbie and Wesley also maintain a full time DJ (www.musicanddance.com) and dance business (www.carolinadanceclub.com) in Raleigh, NC, and together they run the largest and longest (26 years), weekly swing dance as well as weekly dance classes in Swing, Latin and Ballroom. They also support and teach for the Triangle Swing Dance Society in Durham, NC. 

 

As Event Directors, Debbie and Wesley hosted one of the largest mixed Lindy, Hustle and West Coast Events on the East Coast, “Boogie in the Mountains''. This event was one of the first educational only, crossover events, in the country. For 3 years in Upstate New York, this event brought professional instructors from around the world, teaching workshops in West Coast, Lindy and Hustle during the day and only social dancing at night, no competitions. Interested in further growing the education of dancers on the East Coast, they attached a week long dance training camp with Skippy Blair. 

 

Philanthropist:

Debbie has donated lessons and raised money at fundraisers for sick and injured dancers. For 10 years, Debbie provided dance instruction at the annual fundraiser for a Los Angeles based Downs Syndrome children’s group funded in part by actor Michael Landon. Working with medical professionals, Debbie developed and teaches a “Mindful Movement” program that helps people with neurological difficulties, including Parkinson’s, Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injuries, re-develop the neurotransmitters in the brain that sends information to the large muscle groups. 

 

Together with her son Ryan Boz (3-time Jr US Open Swing Dance Champion), she founded the “Carolina Youth Dance Academy”, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, to teach partner dancing, hip hop and line dancing for free to all youth and young adults, inclusive of those with disabilities.

 

Debbie and her youngest son, Gavin Boz (who competes at Dance Events and hopes to beat his brother one day) founded “Wildlife Rehab and Education of NC”. a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that rehabs and releases orphaned and injured wildlife like opossums, squirrels, raccoons and birds. Gavin (who is on the Autism Spectrum) helped Debbie develop a unique program, designed for youth and adults with disabilities to connect with their understanding of compassion and to give them an opportunity to be in a position to help someone/something, as they themselves have been helped.

 

Inventor: 

In 1986 Debbie invented and developed the patented “Diamond Technique”. She was one of the first, and may indeed be the first, instructor to teach a “lead back, stay back” style in West Coast Swing that has become popular today. At the time, West Coast Swing had a “rock step” type of back, forward motion for the leader and Debbie found that visually impaired followers feared “the leader was going to run into them.” The “Diamond Technique” changed the leader's footwork and effectiveness, to provide a better body lead for the followers. Debbie has adapted the “Diamond Technique” to be used in multiple styles of dance and to easily teach and improve patterns, body flight and core connection, for both visual and visually impaired dancers. The “Diamond Technique” was recognized for the innovative process and so was featured in multiple National Dance Magazines and Globally in CD inserts for the Award Winning Blues group “Room Full of Blues”.

 

Professional Actress: 

Starting out at 5 years old, as an actress and dancer in the “King and I” Debbie was bitten by the performing bug. Debbie continued her acting education through professional classes and performing in “Broadway Testing” shows through her teens, headlining in shows for the rich kids in Malibu and starring in a “fully flighted” professional production of Peter Pan. As a flying Wendy, complete with a British accent, Debbie scored a home-run when a Hollywood Casting Agent attended a performance.

 

Signing with the agent Debbie began a long and prosperous acting career. One of her first roles was as a Rodeo Queen (type casting) in the movie “Rodeo Girl” with “Kathrine Ross”, “Wilford Brimley” and “Bo Hopkins” and directed by “Jackie Cooper”. Through the years she worked as an actress, stunt person, stand-in, choreographer and dancer. Debbie portrayed many characters; she was a pregnant teen, a homeless kid and a stripper (not type casting). Debbie has worked with Film and TV greats like Clint Eastwood, Bert Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Brandon Fraser, Michel J Fox, Dennis France, Mel Gibson and Gerald McRaney to name a few. Her film and television dance credits include lead dancer with Donald Sutherland in Younger And Younger, Back To The Future 1 & 2, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Hill Street Blues, Murder She Wrote, Simon & Simon, The Fall Guy , Major Dad, CHiPs, Hunter, Knight Rider, The A Team, Family Ties, Murphy Brown, T.J. Hooker

 

Personal statement:

“I love teaching. When I started teaching full time, my fear was I would become ‘burned out”. My greatest joy has been realized – just the opposite has happened. I love the way people change as they grow in dance. I have seen terribly shy and unconfident people come out of their shell and experience confidence as they learn to dance, changing their lives forever. As far as dancing, I hope I can continue dancing until I’m called home! I see many folks in the dance community who helped me and danced with me when I first started, who continued dancing throughout their golden years. It gives me great pleasure to see and dance with them and so many of them continue to provide inspiration to each new generation of swing dancers. I hope to continue in their footsteps and help keep swing dance growing around the world”.

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