Executive Director, Dance for Joy SWFL
With her extensive experience in executive leadership in both the profit and nonprofit worlds, Cathy brings a wealth of knowledge to help create and bring Dance for Joy to SWFL. She has held roles as a senior executive in the financial services and health care sectors in finance, operations, strategic planning and project management.
Cathy has had a lifelong love of ballroom dance and a few years ago began pursuing it with a passion. She has trained and competed in both American and International styles. She also enjoys Argentine Tango and social dancing.
Through dance she has experienced and witnessed teamwork, social and emotional connections and sheer joy. She trained in New York and became a certified “Teaching Artist” for Dancing Classrooms. Her life’s mission is to share her joy of dance with others.
Karen began ballroom dancing in 2005 and was immediately hooked. Determined to compete, she trained and danced Pro/Am in Fort Myers, FL. She has trained and competed in both American and International styles. But her true love came when she stumbled across the local Dancing Classrooms program being taught in Lee County Schools.
Karen went to New York for training to become a certified “Teaching Artist” for Dancing Classrooms and taught the program in Lee County for over 8 years. The program was canceled as Covid closed public schools.
Karen has a business background and is a mother of two (both of whom ballroom dance), she believes that teaching Dancing Classrooms is by far the most rewarding career (outside of raising her children) she has ever encountered! It is a blessing to teach this program.
Through the joyful art and practice of social dances, Dancing Classrooms cultivates engaged learners, collaborative leaders and inclusive spaces.
Over the course of 10 weeks, students and teachers in the Dancing Classrooms Core Program learn six American Style social dances, including the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Swing and Waltz. These dance classes foster Social Emotional Learning – life skills like motivation, discipline, empathy, teamwork and respect – while teaching the basic steps and multicultural origins of the dance forms.
The Dancing Classrooms program was launched in 1994 by world-renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine as a not-for-profit project of the American Ballroom Theater Company (ABrT). What began over 25 years ago as an arts-in-education program teaching ballroom dance to 5th graders in NYC has grown to be a world-renowned organization that brings the joy of social dance to elementary, middle and high school students in- and out-of-school.
Your donation will help Dance For Joy SWFL bring the renowned Dancing Classrooms program to Southwest Florida students and provide training for our Teaching Artists.
To get started, please select a donation option below