Kay Englert began dancing at the age of 7, training with Patricia Cairns in the R.A.D. method. At age 16 she was dancing as a soloist with the Pacific Ballet in San Francisco under the direction of Alan Howard, formerly of the Ballet Russe. Later in her career, after working with BalleTacoma for over 8 years, she founded “The Dance Studio” in September 1987, now “Washington Contemporary Ballet”. She was dedicated to the formation of a school that would educate its students in the understanding and appreciation of all forms of dance, and produce dancers who would be capable to perform in all disciplines of their art.
Kay choreographed for numerous regional school companies in Washington State and for the Tacoma Opera for many years. She was a juror for the Artist Trust’s GAP awards, set musical numbers for local theater productions and was instrumental in bringing local, national and international professional dance companies to the community. Six weeks before her death, she organized and directed the dance celebration at the Pantages Theatre during “First Night” in Tacoma, WA - bringing together many performers throughout the area for this family New Years celebration. Ms. Englert won the “Best Choreography” award out of 178 entries in Canada’s “Symphony of Dance” competition in 1996. At her memorial, a local actor remarked that, Ms. Englert most likely would have had much more recognition for her brilliant choreography had she lived in a different part of the world.
Ever dedicated to excellence in dance, Miss Kay remained a student, choreographer, teacher and director until her passing. For all who knew her, the pursuit of excellence in all areas of life will no doubt be one of the many lasting elements of her legacy. Her teaching standards encompassed the highest and most dedicated level of classical ballet training, and will forever be a part of each student whom she taught.