“The exemplary passion and dedication of Katherine are the sole reason I continue to dance today.”
I had always been fascinated by dancers of a more elegant era. An era of the past allowing it to be remembered as we wish whilst we get rushed away by its overwhelming grandeur. The era of Gatsby. The single most defining character of the American Dream and a pure Renaissance Man. Any man that strives for excellence would benefit to take note of the passages in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. A true gentleman is well versed in dance.
My desire to learn brought me to a studio where I was lucky enough to meet Katherine Hayes. I remember the surprise I felt after she told me her age as it seemed unfeasible for someone to be so accomplished so young. Clearly, I was just starting to learn of this impressive woman, and of the passion she had of her craft.
The only beat I knew was that of the drum. However, dancing is far different from that of marching, or so I thought. Her patience and desire to learn about why I may have my certain tendencies allowed my robotic drill to start flowing into a waltz. My youthful energy was released learning first to swing like I had long wanted to learn, and then in her introduction of salsa into my life.
She constantly put up with my over analysis of just about every step, stopping her instruction to ask question after question as I got thoroughly flustered as I would make mistakes and then just stop to analyze it. I seemed to believe that dancing could be understood by understanding how a foot should be placed with formulas and equations. She knew she had finally taught me the art, rather than the science, of dancing when I finally held a conversation while simply just dancing. It was beauty. Beauty is best to be appreciated, rather than ripped apart as to why it’s beautiful. She learned my personality to understand how to best instruct me by getting me over me.
“She is the only instructor that could have ever taught me”
~ Phil Spadano
As a student of Katherine's a little over 2 years, I went from knowing some basic salsa and Merengue to being able to hold my own in Waltz, Tango, Salsa, Cha Cha, and Rumba. I’ve also performed in two showcases and am starting to venture out into other styles such as Bolero, Bachata, and Argentine Tango. I owe all this progress to Katherine’s teaching approach, flexibility, and bubbly personality. I am a visual learner so Katherine was able to change her approach to fit my learning style: 1) watch the steps; 2) walk through the steps, and 3) practice the steps. This approach allowed me to more quickly internalize basic styles. After I started taking classes, I realized my work schedule was not very conducive to taking lessons on a regular schedule so Katherine was able to frequently swap lessons around with other students to fit me in. Most of my private lessons ended up being later at night or on Saturdays.
Finally, Katherine’s energy while teaching is ridiculously infectious. She is able to turn up the energy even when teaching her 8th lesson on a Friday night. Learning is so much more fun and enjoyable with Katherine’s bubbly personality. She truly is happy teaching dance and it shows she wants her students to succeed. So what’s the end result after lessons with Katherine? I recently went to a formal party and after several dances, a young lady tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Would you like to dance since you’re the only guy out here who knows what he’s doing?”. Thanks Katherine!
~ Rody Toms
"When my wife and I finally decided to take ballroom dancing lessons, it was our tremendous good fortune that we were teamed with Katherine Hayes. She is an accomplished dance instructor whose methods allow for facile progression through the various dances, which for us were Waltz, Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Swing and, to a lesser extent, Salsa, Rumba, Tango and the like.
The highlight of our tenure with Kasia was when she choreographed and trained us for a recital number, which, thanks to her, we performed far better than we could ever have expected. Her patience is unlimited – if you don’t get a particular dance step the first time, she’ll repeat it for you and with you until you do.
To sum up: Katherine makes it fun to learn to dance. We always looked forward to our time with her. If you get the opportunity to learn ballroom dancing from her, take it."
~ Pete & Helen Wegman
If you are talking about professionalism, personality, talent, smarts, genuineness, fun, love, and respect then you are talking about Katherine! I met this young lady a few months ago, and nothing I can say about her will do her justice. She is so positive and inspires everyone around her. She is very giving and supportive in all aspects! She can be your teacher as well as your friend. She is a happy person, which is infectious. Don't miss any chance to be around this wonderful young lady because she is simply filled with positive energy which you can feel. I love you Katherine, and wish you the best of luck with life because you simply deserve it!