Catherine Livengood Lewellen has been teaching and coaching classical and contemporary ballet for the past 20 years in pre-professional training programs, homeschool training academies, competitive teams and coaching students and small groups towards YAGP and other ballet competitions. As a young dancer, she attended The Harid Conservatory in Florida on full scholarship in their year round program, as well as Booker T Washington High School, where she was in the repertory company and became a YoungArts scholarship recipient. During the summers she trained as a scholarship student at several prestigious schools including American Ballet Theatre, The School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, LINES Contemporary Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre where she joined the company as a trainee in 1997 after graduating two years early at the age of 16. While there Catherine met Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson who invited her to work with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. She also had the pleasure of working with Alonzo King during this time and performing his work. She attended The Juilliard School in 2000 and continued working with Complexions while in NYC. Catherine graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas at Dallas with a double major in Psychology and Early Childhood Development and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, where she specialized in working with children and adolescents.
In 2013, Catherine was awarded Outstanding Choreographer at Youth America Grand Prix where her classical and contemporary ensembles took first and second place and were invited to the New York City Finals along with some of her other soloists and duos. She has choreographed ensembles that have been performed at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's pre-professional summer program, The Meyerson with Turtle Creek Chorale, Juilliard's Choreography Composition program, Regional Dance America Emerging Choreographers Showcase, Joffrey Ballet School's pre professional trainee program showcase and choreographed and restaged several ballets including La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Coppelia and most recently staged an excerpt of Mercy on Complexions Contemporary Ballet Summer Intensive students. She has been a master teacher or on faculty at several prominent local schools including Dallas Ballet Center, Prodigy Dance Centre, Dance Industry, Complexions Contemporary Ballet (Dallas Summer Intensive), The Dallas Conservatory, and The Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program in Frisco, TX. Catherine has also coached soloists that have moved on to the Final Round and won the silver medal at YAGP finals in NYC. She has trained, mentored, and coached students that have become Presidential Scholars of the Arts and others who are now in prominent schools and companies all over the world, including The Juilliard School, Los Angeles Ballet, Semperoper Dresden Ballet, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, USC, SYTYCD, Oklahoma City Ballet, Ballet Austin and Miami City Ballet. Most recently Catherine coached 15 year old student Ava Arbuckle to win the Silver Medal and the Nureyev Young Talent award at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland in 2020. She was one of the youngest competitors there and was awarded a full scholarship to further her training year round at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart Germany.
Yearning for artistic freedom to fully train and coach serious ballet students in her own format and method, Catherine founded Elite Classical Coaching in August of 2017. Since then, she has received three Outstanding Teacher Awards (YAGP, WBAC, ADCIBC) and three Outstanding Choreographer Awards (WBAC 2017, 2018, WBC) and ECC was named Outstanding School at YAGP and WBC. Her students have won the Hope Award (two years in a row), the Youth Grand Prix award (two years in a row), First place ensembles, pas de Deux and JR Male, Second Place Junior Female at YAGP Finals, Top 12 Primary Female YAGP Finals, Grand Prix in the Primary Division and two Gold Medals at ADCIBC. They also won their divisions at World Ballet Art Competition and were awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals in their respective divisions at World Ballet Competition Finals. ECC and select students were sought out and personally invited to audition for NBC's hit show World of Dance. ECC has recently become an international training company with young students relocating from other countries to benefit from Catherine's training, coaching, and mentoring. Her students are being sought after for ambassadorships and to represent products, photographers, and brands such as Jule Dancewear, Grishko, The Pointe Shop, Black Swan Brand, and Dallas Dance Project. They have also been invited to perform in international galas around the world and regularly receive scholarships from most of the top schools across the nation for summer programs and year round programs. Some students have already been offered professional contracts for when they graduate or are ready to begin their professional careers.
Catherine and her husband currently reside in Frisco, TX with their three young children.