Ballroom Dance Instructor
Cathleen’s mother encouraged her to learn to dance from an early age, shuttling her to and from ballet, tap, and jazz classes. Her father never missed a recital, and her older brother was forced to endure them. After the death of her father, the bread winner of the family, she was required to retire her dance shoes for a long while.
Still, every time Cathleen heard music, she had to dance. As a tween, she attended Catholic Youth Organization’s dances. And when she became a teen, living in New Orleans, she was able to attend dances with live music; Irma Thomas, The Neville Brothers, etc. I don’t think she understood how blessed she was to have that original “soul” music at her fingertips.
Later, in her 20s, Cathleen answered a want ad for dance instructors for the Arthur Murray School of Dance. She was hired, and a dancer/instructor was born.
There were many twists and turns in her career; such as, suspending her teaching and dancing to raise a family, but Cathleen always returned to her love of dance. In Charlottesville, Cathleen helped open the Berkmar Ballroom, later joined Terry Dean’s staff, taught at the Senior Center (still does), and now has joined Adam Mehring at Smooth Sailing Ballroom.
When Cathleen is not dancing, her favorite thing to do is watch others learning and enjoying the art of dance. “It is a sheer joy to watch my students grow into the best dancers they can possibly be.”