Ms. Ragsdale earned a B.A. in Art History from Harvard/Radcliffe College and an M.A. in Movement Studies from Wesleyan. After graduation she performed with Impulse Dance Co. in Boston and Fred Benjamin Dance Co., Laughing Stone, and Ze’eva Cohen and Dancers in New York. She moved to Montana in 1988 to become the Head of the Dance Program at The University of Montana, where she taught for 20 years, becoming a Full Professor. She has also taught contemporary dance in Spain, Indonesia, Mozambique, and Brazil.
While living in Missoula, she returned to New York as a guest performer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. and Douglas Dunn and Dancers. In 1993, she co-founded Mo-Trans, which toured the state and region for 12 years. Her choreographic work has been performed in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and New York, and televised on Montana PBS, KSPS, and CNN’s World News. She is the recipient of a Montana Arts Council Fellowship, The University of Montana’s Outstanding Faculty award and a 2009 Governor’s Arts Award for the State of Montana. Her work has been funded by the NEA, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Montana Arts Council, and the Chutney and PROP Foundations. In 2004 she founded Headwaters Dance Co.