Karin Vartowski, known informally throughout Northwest DC as the
‘Hat Lady’ or ‘Bike Lady’, spent the greater part of the 20th century as a
Washington based modern dancer, dance therapist and dance instructor.
A child refugee from World War II era Germany,
Karin dedicated most of her adult life and career to enriching the
childhood’s of the many students she taught out of the Vartowski Dance
Theater Studio Workshop in Northwest DC.
As a dancer, Karin performed her autobiographical Dance, entitled
“Moments: A Dancing Life” at the Lisner Auditorium, the Kennedy
Center, and St John the Cathedral Divine.
As a humanist, she considered dance the highest form of spiritual therapy,
and often volunteered as a dance therapist at the Children’s Hospital and
the Old Soldiers Home.
As a Washingtonian, Karin’s steadfast dedication to her bicycle and the art
of ‘dumpster diving’ earned her cult notoriety in the Chevy Chase DC area,
recognized by the Washington Post in a 2005 article, entitled, ‘Finding
Liberation on Two Wheels: NW Bike Lovers Never Owned a Car”
Karin is survived by her loving husband, Artist Gerald Wartofsky, her three
sons, Ben, Mischa and Gabriel, her grandson, Bruno Ignacio Wartofsky, and
in the many hearts of the people her free spirit inspired.