Deborah Denenfeld, Executive Director of Dancing Well, is a dancer, dance educator, and dance caller with over 25 years of experience teaching and leading community dance with individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
Dancing Well was born out of Denenfeld’s belief in the healing power of dance. In a pilot program with soldiers at Fort Knox, she worked closely with staff psychiatrist Edwin O. Walker to develop and implement a dance series specifically attuned to the needs of soldiers with PTSD and/or brain injury.
She has since led a similar series for afflicted veterans and families in Louisville, Kentucky, helping individuals improve mood, memory, physical health, interpersonal relationships, and hope for the future, while reducing anxiety and feelings of isolation and distress.
For over two decades, Denenfeld has also taught dance in schools throughout Kentucky and in several other states. She is a juried instructor for the Kentucky Arts Council and VSA Kentucky. Through an Appalachian music fellowship from Berea College, Denenfeld conducted original research on a unique form of community dance found in western Kentucky in the early twentieth century. Prior to moving to Kentucky in 1990, she taught in a refugee camp in Thailand.
Denenfeld holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Oakland University. Prior to her work as a dance educator, she worked as a project leader and systems analyst for a major health care provider, creating one of the first systems to use bar coding in the field. She also served on a national panel focused on bar coding and other technologies in health care and is a published author in this area.