Kay Newhouse is known for her positive influence, friendly warmth and community leadership. She is a west coast swing teacher, judge, current competitor and event director [MADjam, Swing Fling, and DC Swing eXperience], and constant cheerleader for welcoming people into this fun and social dance.
Believing that the essential soul of West Coast Swing is social dancing, Kay is known for group classes that emphasize responsiveness within both leader and follower roles. Her workshops are elegantly planned, rich in deep information for dancers of multiple levels, accessible, and fun. As a one-on-one teacher, Kay is knowledgeable, encouraging, and supportive. She enjoys customizing instruction to your learning style and pace, while keeping an eye on the prize: happy dancing to music you love.
The best dancing comes from sharing your own joy on the dance floor, and learning how to find the wonderful connection that dance brings with another person, through music, in your own voice.
Kay is also a sought-after consultant on sustainable, inclusive dance communities and how we as individuals can interact with them.
As “Newcomer Program” designer she brought a focus on the experience of those new to the multi-day event experience to MADjam, Swing Fling, and DCSX, and encouraged community support for our newest participants. Multiple other events have since brought her onto their staff in a consulting and leadership role to focus on enriching the experience of newcomers at their own events.
Her work with Dance Jam Productions produced a Code of Conduct and a statement of Expectations of Professional Staff which have been widely shared and emulated by those seeking to strengthen WCS communities, including the World Swing Dance Council.
The movement towards role-based rather than gender-based framing in WCS has benefited from her calm, positive and community-focused leadership.
Her uniquely designed “What the Judges See” experiential workshop is frequently cited as providing a transformative shift in competitors’ Jack & Jill experience.
Since with falling in love with West Coast Swing at Craig Hutchinson’s Potomac Swing Dance Club, and sharing the halcyon days of the North River Bar in Manhattan (while earning a master’s degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University), Kay has spent twenty years making dance friends and influencing the social milieu of our national scene. Confirmed as a “Global Dance Professional Instructors Association”-certified West Coast Swing teacher by “Grand Master” Michael Kiehm, she is also a current competitor and GPDIA-certified WCS judge with years of national and international judging experience.
She combines familiarity with the roots of our dance and its true social dance form with a solid understanding of the most current iteration of this rapidly-changing street dance, deep knowledge of the universal underpinnings to its variety, strong pedagogical skills, and a desire to help each student progress in the way that is best for that person as an individual.
Outside of dance, Kay works towards breaking the cycle of poverty through short- and long-term interventions with Interfaith Works, a 501(c)(3) social services organization with a long history of community leadership. Visit Kay’s Interfaith Works peer-to-peer page to learn more or to support her work as board chair for IW. She holds a B.A. in Physics & English literature from Amherst College (academic honors: magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, sigma xi) and a master’s degree in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.