Max Levy and Belle Levin married in Pittsburgh in 1921 and soon after moved to Detroit, Michigan. The family later returned to Pittsburgh to be closer to relatives, including Belle’s father Joseph Levin. They had two children, Jules, who was born in Pittsburgh before the family moved, and Ruth, who was born in Detroit.
Ruth Levy (b.1929) started a lifelong love affair with dancing as a child of four when her mother began taking her to classes. “I was pretty good, rather shy, though, still I liked the feeling of moving through space,” she wrote in an essay titled I Am A Dancer. “It was a very easy and happy direction for me to take.” She appeared in such plays as Seven Sisters and sang in the a cappella choir at Schenley High School. While earning a degree in physical education at the University of Pittsburgh, she often performed with the Pitt Players in shows at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, including during its 1949 run of A Connecticut Yankee. She graduated from college in 1951.
Ruth Levy married Robert Westerman in December 1954. They had three children, Jeff, Mark and Diane. Robert died in 1984. Ruth married J. Robert Myers.
After college, Ruth Westerman began performing and teaching with the Contemporary Dance Association, a modern dance troupe in the city. After the Association disbanded, she continued teaching at the Arts and Crafts Center, now Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Dance Alloy Theater. She studied and taught at the Genevieve Jones Dance Studio on Forbes Avenue where Martha Graham also started her career. Westerman later served on the board of the Pittsburgh Dance Council.
Throughout her career, Westerman sought innovative ways to make dancing relevant to the public. She taught a series of interpretive dance classes for children in the 1970s. In 1986, she created Silver Motion, which used creative movement to provide exercise regimens for the elderly. The successful program spawned a series of national speaking engagements.
Jules Levy married Elaine Holzman, proprietor of Klein’s Restaurant in Pittsburgh.