Dancer/activist/organizer Joanne DiVito honored with PDS Gypsy Robe 1


Watching her react from across the huge ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the honor appeared to come as a total shock to Joanne DiVito. The Professional Dancer’s Society bequeathed to the diminutive-but powerhouse DiVito, a much loved and respected member of the Los Angeles dance community, its “Gypsy Robe” for 2018, an honor of supreme sentimental value to any dancer. The marvelous surprise took place at the PDS’s annual luncheon on April 15, 2018.

DiVito, is a dancer, choreographer, agent, and for many years the West Coast Office Director of Career Transition for Dancers. She worked for Jack Cole, George Abbott, Richard Rodgers, and Ethel Merman. She has directed and choreographed for commercials, Broadway, television and film. She is currently a professor of dance at California State University, Northridge.


In DiVito’s own words,

The “Gypsy Robe” one of the great honors presented by a Gypsy to a Gypsy. The incredible and talented Sandy Roveta, 2017 Honored Gypsy, presented this outrageously fabulous robe to me today at the Professional Dancers Society’s Luncheon.

Each Gypsy shares a memory from their amazing careers. Thank you Sandy, Walter and Charlene Painter…and the gorgeous Sandahl Bergman and Adele Yoshioka who made sure I didn’t miss this one…you tricky Gypsies. Love you all.

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A respectful footnote: arts•meme does not subscribe to the Actor’s Equity edict dated March 23, 2018 vanquishing use of the term “gypsy robe” — and by extension, “gypsy dancer.”

photo credit: Cheryl Baxter-Ratliff

One comment on “Dancer/activist/organizer Joanne DiVito honored with PDS Gypsy Robe

  1. Joanne DiVito Apr 23,2018 11:01 pm

    OMG Debra!! I didn’t see this…. thank you so much . I’m so honored to be mentioned in your Artsmeme.

    Just have to mention, the late Eddy Weston, of Broadway and Equity fame was the Founder of CTFD, beginning in New York. Ann Barry, our Executive Director in New York chose me to be the Director of the West Coast Office… A career I loved and created to serve West Coast dancers then expanded nationwide with our National Outreach Project and The Dancers Forum. I’m forever grateful to Ann. It allowed me to serve the community I love.

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