Judy Cook spent a week with our K-4 students through the Artist in the School program. She was organized, patient and pleasant with the students. Judy kept the classes busy learning and reviewing dance moves each class. By the end of the week they were ready to present their dance, that Judy choreographed, to an audience of other students and the public. I highly recommend booking Judy for a residency. The students were active and engaged the entire time.
Judy has also written a book called When Dinosaurs go Dancing. Students enjoyed listening to this book that combines dinosaurs and dance. One of the classes acted out/danced the book!
All the students from K-4 thoroughly enjoyed their week with Judy!
Grade 4 Teacher
"I would highly recommend inviting Judy Cook to your school. Judy is a creative and talented performer, author, singer and teacher whose enthusiasm for dance is contagious. She has the ability to adapt for students as needed and inspires all children to move to the music. What a wonderful experience for everyone involved!"
Thanks again Judy,
Debbie Bray Carpathia School May 2017
Judy Cook and Cathy Nosaty taught a musical theatre camp entitled: Theatre School of Rock: The Rock Musical! Their work with students age 9-12 included a rich array of original songs written by the participants, and a journey through various styles of music that inform the genre of rock and roll. They create original lyrics, music, movement, and dance with children of all ages, drawing on a wealth of experience creating and producing theatre and their brilliant imaginations. Their work in creating polished performances in enhanced by their ability to improvise: creating music scores to go with drama and storytelling exercises, music that supports improvisation and theatrical exploration, and the spontaneous invention of songs and dances. Their work is versatile and strong enough that it would serve both a dedicated group of students over a period of days, as well as for a drop-in program.
Theatre School Director
Manitoba Theatre for Young People
I am writing this letter as a reference for Judy Cook, who recently facilitated a
series of workshops on Creative Movement and Dance for L'Arche Winnipeg.
These sessions were open to adults with developmental disabilities, some
of whom also had physical limitations. The series was oversubscribed; there
were more adults in Winnipeg and surrounding areas wanting this kind of opportunity than we were able to accommodate.
Judy brings a great deal of skill to her work, as well as a joyful energy that makes people want to respond to her. She is well organized and is good at "reading" a group to get a sense of their interests and abilities.
Her choreography is fun and lively; the music and movements are easily understood but not aimed at the level of children. I found this important as I watched her work with adults with intellectual disabilities.
Judy is good at inviting adaptation (rather than attempting to get the same level of movement from everyone) and because of this, she is able to set a tone of inclusion and involvement.
I have no hesitation in recommending Judy as a workshop leader for future sessions.
Outreach & Accompaniment Coordinator
L'Arche Winnipeg Inc.
Re: Workshops for EPIC SMILE OF St. Malo
Judy, Thank you so much for the wonderful workshops you gave to the participants at EPIC. You give a dance class that anyone would enjoy. I always took the philosophy that anyone could learn to dance and your workshops proved that. The smiles on the participants' faces show how much they enjoyed it.
Alix /Starburst Productions
From the very first day, Judy was actively involved with the students. Her friendly, polite manner made the kids feel non-threatened and they were eager to share ideas and experiences with her. Her enthusiasm for dance was shared with the students who were enjoying every workout! The selections chosen for my class(kindergarten-grade 1) was great- everyone was able to perform and were excited about the results. We all had a great turn-out of parents and community to see our showcase. There were smiles on faces and parents were pleased and proud of what their child did. It was a great celebration. It was great to see how the range of abilities (nursery to grade 4) was presented. Each group Showcased" what they could do and the next group did the same but added a little more and so on.
Everyone was thoroughly impressed especially when the children learned everything in just one week (40 min/day)
I am going to continue to work with my class and do a performance for our Grandparents Day in May. The excitement and enthusiasm just seemed to grow and grow. Thank you, Judy, for teaching this "old dog" some new tricks!!!
P.S. I can't believe how focused the children were for the performance in front of their parents and community! They were certainly proud of their effort.( I should have booked Judy for 2 weeks instead of one!)
Thankyou so much for all your efforts with students and staff at Waverly Park. It was an impressive finale that was easy to see how everyone had enjoyed their week of "dance"! We would welcome you here anytime
Waverly Park students and staff
ACCOLADES FOR JUDY COOK AND SWINGSET
Your performance on Family Sunday was totally engaging for both children
and adults. The afternoon went very well with a turn out of over 600
people!!!! Thank you Judy, and your wonderful band, for taking part in
WAG Winnipeg Art Gallery
Dear Judy, Hal and Wayne,
Thank you so much for your wonderful participation in our Bug City Family Sunday. The kids really responded to your music and we appreciated your inclusion of your own, "bug-inspired" compositions! The total number of participants was over 550 and many mentioned that they particularly liked the music. The photos confirm(as if we didn't know) that a good time was had by all!
Head School Programs
Colonel Barker School
March 15, 2007
The students looked forward to the time they spent with Judy. Her program supported both our music and phys-ed programs
Great program on dance. Artist was very knowlegeable on various dance steps.
Both students and staff enjoyed having Judy at our school. Thank-you for an excellent program
Great variety of cultural dances were offered! Dances broken down into manageable age-appropriate components! Well done!
Sonia Blank-phys-ed teacher
Winnipeg International Children's Festival
Child and Family Services of Western Canada
Winnipeg International Children's Festival
201-One Forks Market Road
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4L9
Thank-you so much for donating 14 tickets to the Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre! Because of your generosity, we were able to bring four families and two staff on this special outing.
The kids especially enjoyed seeing "FRED PENNER" and "JUDY COOK AND SWINGSET" , having their faces painted and making wire jewelry. The positive bonding which occurred between the parents and their children was evident, and I'm sure they will have fond memories of the festival for years to come.
Summer program Coordinator
Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre
Thanks to you and your group for a great show. The kids are still talking
about it this morning. They liked the "cool" songs and the dancing,
especially to "Pearly Shells."
Best of luck with your trio.
Kent Road School
May 29, 2006
Please accept this reference letter on behalf of Judy Cook and the Swing Set. Judy, Hal and Wayne performed at a family evening recently for my Kindergarten children at Pinkham School. This trio totally engaged the group of children ranging from ages 2 to 8 years old. The performance was interactive inviting the audience to participate in song and dance. For example, each child was given a lei and taught steps and actions to a hula dance. The children loved it! The group performed a wide repertoire of original songs. The next day responses from parents were highly positive. Judy, Hal and Wayne were very "upbeat" and it was obvious they have a very good working relationship between them. Their enthusiasm for what they do is infectious.
Judy has entertained my children a number of times over the past few years. She has a wonderful, patient manner with children and is always professional and well prepared. I would highly recommend Judy and the Swing Set.
MANITOBA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Judy has been an important part of the festival. She communicates well with children and the children respond positively for her
Judy's approach, regardless of skill level, of allowing the student to be creative, not only provides a fun learning atmosphere, but also increases the sense of individual accomplishment.
Artistic Director of Manitoba Holiday Festival of the Arts (Neepawa)
October 6, 2006
Thanks for a great experience! Our kids have really enjoyed working with you and sharing your creative spirit.
David and Staff
Reston Elementary School