Her first paid job as a dance instructor was teaching a Quinceañera worthy waltz. Among Latinos in the United States, Quinceañera is a coming of age celebration on a girl’s 15th birthday. This cultural celebration is very popular and the traditional waltz is expected. While learning ballroom dancing was at one time a necessity, today it is a skill few have mastered. Word spread about the little girl who could teach dancers of all ages how to direct their feet in patterned steps while in the arms of their partner. She has been dancing herself and helping would-be dancers find the right steps ever since.
Many young girls dream of dancing in beautiful costumes and traveling to exotic places. Few of them dream of taking over a dance studio and choreographing routines for an entire company. Yet, this is exactly the situation Kate found herself in days before her 10th birthday. The dance company and studio had been founded by her mother who was a guiding force in Kate’s dance career. Physical challenges kept her mother from continuing as an active participant in the studio, so she essentially passed her legacy on to Kate.
With her mother’s blessing, Kate immediately started infusing her own style into the types of dance the company offered along with exploring incorporating other cultural influences. Over the years, the studio and company performances evolved from strictly Mexican folk dance to a teeming enterprise reflecting the tremendous spectrum known as dance from jazz, ballet, tap, salsa, and more.
Kate has spent her life in pursuit of using physical expression of dance as an art form along with her voice to speak up about the causes she believes in. While in college, she started a philanthropy endeavor supplying families of young children with holiday gifts and hot meals.
When it came time to go to college, Kate didn’t let go of teaching dance. Dance simply went wherever she went from Southern California up to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kate has been choreographing musicals throughout her career. Among them is “Sophisticated Ladies” co-choreographed with Laura E. Ellis.
In 2009, Kate had the opportunity to perform Sam Shepard’s “Tongues” in the Kennedy Center of the Arts in Washington DC. This show took her on tour for 7 years. She got to perform and sing with Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, bass singer from Sweet Honey on the Rocks. The tour has since come to an end.
While on tour Kate wrote, directed, composed, and choreographed an Original dance theater piece, Forbidden Trust.
From 2011-2013, Kate starred as “Elmo” in Sesame Street’s Live on Broadway and in SeaWorld San Diego. For over three years, she was performing and doing special appearances with children in a 50-pound costume.
Diagnosed with hereditary cervical cancer in 2013, health issues plagued Kate for the past several years where she had to slow down temporarily. Caught in the early stages, she battled this disease with various medical treatments and procedures. Now two years in remission, she is back in full force and branching out wanting to meet the unique needs of newly engaged couples, choreographing for special events such as bodybuilding or talent competitions, and parents of Quinceañera participants.
Kateetak Studios shares a space with United Studios of Self Defense in the Strawflower Shopping Center in Half Moon Bay. While this may appear to be an odd pairing, it makes perfect sense when you find out that the owner of the Self Defense studio is Kate’s husband, Kevin. A former Para-medic, Kevin jumped at the opportunity to open his own martial arts studio. A bonus is that the space is also a flexible setting to showcase Kate’s work as well.
Newly engaged couples, anniversary couples, or special event planners, who fear that the first dance will be a more of a disaster rather than part of a wonderful dream, seek out Kate who makes it her mission to deliver the most to her students and give them exactly what they ask for. You don’t have to be a celebrity on Dancing With the Stars to have a dance created for you and catering to the wants and needs of the couple doing the dancing. Kate’s expertise in designing a dance just for you allows you to shine in the spotlight.
Teaching is a huge part of life for this husband and wife team who are committed to inspiring and educating everyone coming to their shared space to leave nourished in body, mind and spirit. Not only sharing nutrition guidelines and positive thinking, Kate models what to eat and self-talk for her students.
Kate’s dream is that the company allows students to get in touch with their feelings. Choreography lets your feelings come out. Fostering a relationship with her students as they build a relationship with their emotions through movement fulfills a life-long dream for Kate. The school creates an environment of being part of something bigger; of being part of a family. Teaching is the biggest part of her life and an awakening to all the challenges of life. Having the opportunity and many blessings from her support, Kate has been seen on and off the newspaper, and television performing and teaching. She's recently been featured in GNC Commercials and Marketing Campaigns, representing the bay area as a dancer and NPC Bodybuilding Competitor. To this day, Kate is living her dream, passionately creating her art through teaching dance.