Katie’s passion for dance and movement started at a young age and has continued ever since. However, after a few years of tap, ballet, and jazz, she spent most of her younger years committed to life as an athlete, where she earned twelve junior national badminton titles and was a member of the gold-medal winning Pan-American team. It wasn’t until her early 20s, when she decided to take her first salsa class, that she would reignite her love for dance. One class turned into multiple weekly classes and she immersed herself in salsa, Latin Jazz, Afro-Cuban folklore, Afro-Haitian folklore and Afro-Brazilian modern dance.
Katie was thrilled when she was asked to join Mambo Romero’s training team, then taught by JC and Tellina. From there, she moved on to Mambo Romero’s semi-pro team and professional team, eventually co-directing Mambo Romero’s student group with Gabriel Romero. In 2008, Katie created Orile Obini, an all-female dance company, where she was privileged to dance and create with an incredible group of women and close friends. After some time off to be with her son, Katie deeply appreciates the opportunity to be part of the Afinkao family. In addition to co-directing Afinkao with JC, Katie practices Yoga and remains committed to the study of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance. She is forever grateful to her teachers Maiji Garcia, Gabriel Romero, JC Labio, Tellina Rezzoffi, Paco Gomes, Portsha Jefferson, Cheo Rojas, and her husband, Royland Lobato.