Dr. Kathleen Tenniswood, Ph.D., DFCCA, CICB, President, Cecchetti Council of America

Dance! What a journey it has been. I cannot remember a time that I did not know I would be a dancer. My sister, Laurie Papovich, and I decided that we did not choose dance; dance chose us. There was never a question about our career plans.

Classes in ballet started when I was eight years old and have continued throughout my life. With a background of ten years teaching for others, I opened my own dance school, Kathleen Tenniswood School of Dance in Warren, MI. After 16 years, I turned it over to Laurie and returned to academic studies earning my BGS, MA, and Ph.D. in Dance and Related Arts.

Active in both the CCA and Dance Masters, I was appointed to the CCA NEBD in 1972, held the position of President of Dance Masters of Michigan from 1976-78, and was an examiner for Dance Masters of America. In 1996, I became a CCA Examiner and am also a Liaison Officer.

After finishing my doctoral coursework, I was hired at the University of North Texas where I taught for 13 years. While living in Denton, TX, I became President of the Denton Branch of the American Association of University Women and twice was President of the Denton Civic Ballet.

Offered a teaching position at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, TX, I remained there for another 13 years where I became interim Fine Arts Chairman and, later, Director of Dance. In 2004, I earned the Maestro Cecchetti Diploma and became one of only two persons internationally to hold both a Ph.D. in Dance and the Diploma. Moving to Houston in 2010, I became active in the Houston Ballet Society, volunteered to teach ballet at two elementary schools in impoverished areas, and choreographed for a liturgical dance group.

In 2017, I returned to Michigan to be Grandma to my precious Tabby and, in 2019, my equally precious Winnie. Again, I became a member of the CCA NEBD, and in 2019 was elected President for the 2020-2022 term. I continue to examine, teach workshops, lecture on dance related subjects, teach students, and coach teachers. My liturgical dance group – Grace-Full Dancers – is a joy. I am grateful my dance journey continues and remains a source of pleasure. My dance family is dear to me and has provided experiences and opportunities beyond measure.

Photo Credit-BTW Photography