Cathleen Karima Villapudua
Cathleen was born and raised in Los Angeles, California - also known as Show Choir land! Starting in the seventh grade, she began honing her musical theatre and dancing skills in competitive show choir. In high school, she realized she was more dance inclined and continued to study dance and create choreography throughout college.
Cathleen holds a B.A. in Black Studies and Art & the History of Art from Amherst College where she simultaneously trained in West African, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Silvestre Technique and Tribal Fusion.
Cathleen moved to New York City in 2012 after being awarded the Edward Poole Lay Dance Fellowship. After completing her one year intensive study, she continued to train and teach dance. In 2014, she transitioned almost exclusively to ballroom dancing and trained in Latin, Rhythm, Standard and Smooth styles. She is a competitive dancer and currently holds national titles in the Rhythm and Latin styles.
Cathleen is an elementary school dance instructor and enjoys shaping the way young minds experience and internalize dance movement and self awareness. She joined our wedding dance team while teaching with NYWD's sister non-profit, Rhythm Break Cares, that uses music, movement and touch to enhance the quality of life for those living with dementia and their caregivers.
Cathleen views dance as a form of non-verbal communication, and she loves helping couples create a fun, warm and lively conversation on the dance floor!