Artistic Director and VP/Program
Judi Nelson Baruck
Judi Nelson Baruck is Artistic Director and Vice President/Program for ReCreation Tappers of Southwest Florida. In this role, she conducts classes, rehearsals and members-only practice sessions, choreographs routines and oversees public and private appearances by the Portable Performance Troupe. She has been active with the organization since its inception in 2004.
Having studied various dance disciplines since early childhood, Judi established the Judi Nelson School of Dance in Miami, Fla., which she operated for more than 22 years. Her students have won many titles and scholarships, and a number have gone on to professional performing and teaching careers.
Judi has a lengthy history of significant contributions to dance arts. She is a long-time member of Florida Dance Masters, and has served as scholarship auditions teacher and membership examiner. She also is a National Performing Arts and Pageant judge and was a national representative for Fred Astaire Performing Arts and was a master tap teacher, performing arts judge and membership examiner for the organization. She served as jazz choreographer for the Cultural Arts Society Junior Ballet Company and was a performing member of their Senior Ballet Company. In addition, Judi co-founded South Dade Expressions Dance Company, where she was production coordinator. Judi also served as director/choreographer of the Miss North Miami Pageant (preliminary to the Miss America pageant) for five years.
More recently, Judi participated in the 2011 production of the initial TAPaerobics offering at the invitation of Linda Rose Iennaco, Broadway dancer of “No, No, Nanette” fame. TAPaerobics is a program created by Iennaco that uses tap techniques and steps to provide a safe and exhilarating aerobic workout.
Music and dance continue to be Judi’s passion and a major part of her life, and she is delighted to share her love of tap dancing with the wonderful members of ReCreation Tappers.
Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., Linda has a rich heritage of dance education. Her mother founded Buffalo’s Geraldine C. Hoffman School of Dance in 1930. This dance school, still operating under the same name, has the distinction of being the oldest existing dance school in western New York State.
Linda first graced the stage at three years of age and pursued the study of dance across the country, with a concentration in New York City. At 16, she dove into teaching, and by her eighteenth birthday, Linda was instructing students in ballet, jazz, tap, gymnastics and ballroom dance.
In 1980, Linda became sole owner and director of the Hoffman School of Dance, and it was her dance home for more than 25 years. The studio was sold in 2006 and continues to turn out well-trained, well-rounded dancers. Moving to Naples in 2009, Linda began teaching tap technique at various area studios. Linda is a member of Dance Educators of America and of Dance Masters of America. She has been an affiliated teacher with ReCreation Tappers since 2009.
He has been described by the Toronto Star as a "tap dancing tornado --- entirely too damn good to ignore!" Vince Parrell has been a "tap dance extraordinaire", musical theatre performer, emcee, and choreographer for over 30 years and he is now also producing for television and large scaled events including ceremonies and galas. Vince began his dance career performing in musical specials on CBC. From there he expanded his skills to include hosting and emceeing both theatrical shows as well as large and small scaled corporate and public events. For three years Vince was the producer and host of the annual "Light on Your Feet" events held at Yonge Dundas Square during Luminato. Last year he produced and hosted "DANCE Pan --- American Style" for the Redpath Waterfront Festival.
His choreography background includes "42 Street", "Sophisticated Ladies" and "Guys and Dolls" and Vince was also the Creator and Senior Producer of "Dancin At The Palais". This television series aired for three years on WTN and featured dance competitions highlighting Modern and Latin dance styles for Canadian and U.S. Dancesport couples.
Some of the stars that Vince has had the pleasure to work with include: Alan King, Michelle Wright, Our Lady Peace, Bob Newhart, Milton Berle, Dionne Warwick & Neil Sedaka
For 30 years, Vince was the proud owner of "Vince Parrells Dance Centre" in Toronto and continues to teach tap to over 75 seniors at Scarborough Village Recreation Centre.
As much as Vince loves his expanded producing career, he is a "Hoofer" at heart and nothing gives him more pleasure then combining his natural "Emcee" talent with his love of performing tap to captive audiences, including his students –truly a unique combination.
Dance has been a part of Marilyn’s life since she was four. However, at an early age, she developed a foot condition that required corrective shoes. After some consideration, Marilyn’s doctor suggested that along with the required braces, tap dancing might help strengthen the muscles in her ankles and feet. Well, he was right. And, as a bonus, Marilyn developed a love for tap dancing right from the beginning and has barely taken off her tap shoes since!
Marilyn studied tap, ballroom, acrobatics and jazz for 14 years. As a child, she appeared on the Horn & Hardart’s Children’s Hour television show and at Tony Grant’s Stars of Tomorrow Children’s Theater at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J. Seven-year-old Marilyn did four shows a day, seven days a week. Later, she frequently performed in shows in Delaware County and the tri-state area of Penn./Del./N.J.
As an adult, Marilyn returned to her childhood studio to take more challenging classes. She excelled and eventually joined the teaching staff, working mainly with children. Her responsibilities included music, choreography and production assistance at various performances.
However, Marilyn’s true love is teaching adult women. She finds it exhilarating to see students progress from knowing very little tap to learning new steps and -- after much drill and practice – “owning” those steps. She thoroughly enjoys her involvement with Rec Tappers and her classes.
Cindy Padgett began studying dance at age six, working on a diverse dance menu of tap, jazz, ballet and hula. It was the beginning of a lifelong career in performing arts.
While pursuing studies in Theater Arts, Performing Arts and Creative Arts in college, Cindy managed to find time to teach dance and perform, launching her professional singing and dancing career at Southern California theme parks.
Her career as an entertainer has taken Cindy across the country and across an ocean – she twice traveled to Japan for months-long engagements. As one of the Sahara Girls at the famous Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, her troupe opened for a bevy of superstar headliners. Cindy also was lead singer/dancer in a five-girl revue that ran for seven years in Las Vegas, and she later traveled to diverse venues – Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City and Aruba – performing cabaret style shows.
After leaving Nevada to live in Colorado, Cindy taught at the Ascot Theatre/Dance Studio in Littleton and also at her home studio. Arriving in Naples in 2007, Cindy quickly established herself as an entertainer and dance teacher/choreographer. She currently performs in the greater Naples/Ft. Myers and Sanibel area as a singer, and she MC’s and performs in ReCreation Tappers shows.