Cathy's goal as an instructor is to provide a fun environment where students not only learn technique, but have a few laughs, feel confident, and enjoy the journey of learning the dance.
The wide range of music styles speaks to Cathy and the versatility of the dance allows for more individual freedom, making each dance an interesting conversation between partners. Her greatest joy is in sharing this with students and watching the development of their artistry within the dance.
Cathy's earliest memories involve dance, performing as a child at recitals in Tap, Ballet and Baton. Yes, Cathy was that girl in parades twirling and throwing 2 fire batons in the air! She moved on to become an Ottawa Rough Rider cheerleader and then competed in ballroom. After a serious injury, she started line dancing to concentrate on solo movement and it led to performing and/or competing on 6 linedance teams. This developed her interest in choreography which led to choreographed routines for line dance and WCS and later the development of Ottawa’s first WCS team with Nelson Clarke.
In 2007, Cathy started her journey back to couples dancing by competing with Nelson Clarke in UCWDC-country dancing and continued with WCS and Hustle at WSDC-swing events. From 2007 to 2011 they competed WCS Strictly (Novice through Advanced) where their chemistry consistently placed them top 3. Cathy continues to compete in Intermediate Hustle as well as Intermediate and Masters WCS.
Cathy joined Swing Dynamite Dance Studios in 2009 as a member of the Westie Bombers WCS competitive team and remained with the team until 2014. This developed into teaching WCS with the studio from 2011-2115. During that time period, she also enjoyed the experience of teaching internationally at both UCWDC and WCS events. In addition to WCS she currently teaches Hustle and Country Two-Step for The Underground.
Cathy believes that if you stay “young at heart,” you are never too old to follow your passion and she is excited to help build the community and share this love of dance with you.
Katie Le Blanc
Asked to pick two words to describe herself, Katie would say energetic and sassy. She has trouble sitting still; that’s one of the things she's always loved about dancing. It’s a great and positive way to channel energy and create something artistic and meaningful.
Katie has always loved music and enjoys finding new ways to experience and appreciate the music she dances to. She loves the freedom WCS provides; she gets to dance to all the different genres of music she loves and move in ways that inspire her. Katie took her first steps in WCS in 2008; started competing in 2011 (currently competes as an intermediate follower and novice leader) and spent 3 years dancing on a competitive team. Katie has been teaching for 5 years including two years as coach of the Underground Roots and in 2018 has had the honour of performing a rising star routine with Steve Csuth. Katie is also known as DJKO and doesn't just DJ some Saturdays with the Underground, she performs genre-bent sets of high quality, high energy music.
As a teacher and coach, Steve is honest, detail-oriented and pragmatic in working with students. More importantly though, he is invested in sharing his passion for West Coast Swing and enabling his students to learn, grow, and have fun.
Once upon a time, a friend convinced Steve to take an East Coast Swing class. He was dreadfully bad at it, but he loved every minute. Steve sought out classes in every dance style he could find, eventually training for a couple of years in International Ballroom/Latin and Salsa. It wasn't until finding West Coast Swing in 2009 that he knew he had found his dance. The variety of music and the emphasis on improvisation were exactly what he'd been looking for.
Steve has put a lot of time and energy into improving his dancing since then, and has no intentions of stopping now. He frequently travels to events throughout Canada and the US to learn and compete, placing in many competitions so far. He was also part of a competitive team for three years and is now coaching Westie Underground's amateur team, the Underground Roots.
With his easygoing demeanor and eye for detail, Thomas is an efficient and fun teacher who is constantly striving to better understand the dance that is the fuel to his passion. Oh yeah, he also loves it when students ask questions. He has also been dabbling in Brazilian Zouk since January 2017
Thomas was introduced to Lindy Hop at the young age of 12 by his father. Four years later he started to develop an interest for West Coast Swing. He kept at it and gradually his interest transformed into a passion for the dance, growing stronger every day.
Thomas started competing in 2011 and since then has travelled to many events in Canada and the United States, consistently making finals in West Coast Swing competitions. He currently competes at the Advanced level in West Coast Swing and recently placed 2nd in the Advanced Jack and Jill at the 2018 Toronto Open Swing and Hustle Championships and also snagged 1st place in the Advanced Strictly Swing at Montreal Westie Fest 2018.
Patrice was first introduced to ballroom in the late 90’s. He completed bronze and silver levels before concentrating on the Latin dances. He concentrated most of his effort in Salsa. He started teaching salsa by 2008 and participated in dance teams, choreographed routines, and performed at countless events and national congresses in Canada and the United States.
Since discovering West Coast Swing, Patrice has focused on the dance he is now most passionate about. His Latin dance background adds a different perspective and flavour to his dancing, and helps him coach students transitioning to West Coast Swing. His training in Ballroom and Latin dance has given him a keen eye for details. Patrice also has competition experience as both a lead and follow, which gives him a balanced approach to teaching and explaining concepts.
Why West Coast Swing? West Coast Swing is a dance where you can have hundreds or thousands of dances with the same or different people and those dances will never be the same. The variety of songs used, people who dance the dance and even the space and atmosphere of where you are dancing makes sure that no two songs are alike.
Patrick started Swing dancing with Lindy Hop socially and casually in 2009, but it wasn’t until September 2014 that he found West Coast Swing. At a crossover dance Patrick experienced a connection with a dancer like no other, a euphoric moment if you will; it had opened a door to a new world of partner dancing, a conversation.
He worked really hard to improve his dancing, joining all the teams and taking all the available lessons and was dancing up to six days a week. Patrick started competing in the summer of 2015 and quickly found a new thrill in the dance under the spotlight. He has had major successes over the years 2nd place at two different New Year’s events and is now consistently making finals in Intermediate.
Patrick started helping out with classes and then teaching with the Westie Underground in May 2016. His passion for continuing to learn but never forgetting the basics leads helps him stay on track, and nothing keeps him more on track then teaching beginner classes. Many people learn by example and you need to have clean basics to teach good basics. Patrick loves to share the love of dance and encouraging dancers of all skill levels to enjoy the journey they’re on. Ask him to dance; he leads and follows!
Dominique is a teacher that meets her students where they are. She strongly believes that anyone can dance and seeks to instill to joy of dancing in all her students. Dominique is analytical and detail-oriented without losing sight of the bigger picture. Her approach to teaching is fun, relaxing, and informative.
Dominique discovered partner dancing in 2010 and started her journey in Lindy Hop where she was on a team that performed at the National Arts Centre. Since 2014, Dominique's passion has extended to West Coast Swing. She particularly enjoys the dynamic, the "conversational" aspect of the dance, and that it can be done to a wide variety of music. Dominique is an accomplished lead and follow. When she's not dancing West Coast Swing, you can find Dominique on the dance floor doing Hustle, Salsa, or Bachata.