When Ann Robinson started dancing at age 5, no one could have guessed that her negative introduction into dance would finally lead to a lifetime spent in the world of dance, performing, teaching, directing and choreographing. Ann’s mother enrolled her in a tap class, which was the popular thing for little girls to become trained in early in life at that time. Ann’s teacher’s method to assure her students became proficient was to crack them on the legs with her cane when they didn’t do the steps right. Needless to say, Ann wanted “out” and never to dance again. At about age 10 at camp she was introduced to the joy of international ethnic folk dance, took to it like a “fish in water”, and never looked back. By the time she was in high school she was teaching the art of folk dance and while at West Virginia University she chose “Recreational Arts” as her four-year degree, because it included folk dancing, where she found herself often being asked by the professors to teach their classes when they were not be available. While at the university she also studied choreography and modern dance and went on to perform modern dance with the Orchesis Dance Company and folk dance with the Folksters in West Virginia.
American Square Dance was considered to be a division of international folk dance which led to her meeting her husband, Danny Robinson, one of the most renowned square dance callers in the industry. After moving to Orlando to raise their young family they formed the Whirl and Twirl Square Dance Club which became the most popular square dance club in the area with continuous classes, dances, exhibitions, and performances for almost 60 years, and still continues today under different leadership after Danny unexpectedly passed away; and Ann still recreationally square dances with them every opportunity she has.
While raising her young family and beyond, Ann continued in her dance profession teaching the art of Mid-Eastern cultural dance, often referred to as “belly-dancing” for over 40 years in the Orlando area and founded the Mosaic Dancers, the performing division of her academy, in which she was the Director, did all the choreography, costume designs, and performed as a principal dancer. She also became a member of the local recreational folk dance group, Orlando International Folk Dancers, in which she is still an active member, and for many years a performer in the professional Orlando-based International Folk Dance Ensemble, Alpine Festival Dancers, Italian Festival Dancers, and the Daytona-based Hungarian Cefra Folk Dance Ensemble.
Ann is a long-time member of the Florida Folk Dance Council and attends all of their workshops wherein internationally recognized folk dance directors and instructors are staffed to teach their art, as well as workshops in other states and countries constantly increasing her knowledge in the art of international ethnic folk dance.
Ann is also a visual artist, being an educator as well as award-winning clay artist with works in art shows and many galleries; and has recently branched out into the art of glass specializing in jewelry. Her studio, Firesong Studios, in which she works and creates almost daily, is located in Oviedo, Florida.