Catherine Horta-Hayden

Chairperson & Professor

Towson Tiger Statue

Contact Info

Center for the Arts, 1002D


Master of Fine Arts,
Florida State University

Areas of Expertise

Ballet Pedagogy
Pointe Technique
CORE Assessment


Catherine Horta-Hayden is a Professor in Towson University’s Department of Dance. Professor Horta-Hayden received her Master of Fine Arts from Florida State University and teaches all levels of the ballet technique, pointe, and ballet repertory. She also served as the Artistic Director of the Towson University Dance Company from 2000-2007coordinating residencies by renowned International Artists.  Professor Horta-Hayden served as Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs at Towson University from 2007-2010. In this capacity, she was responsible for the administration of internal and external academic proposals for the institution, represented the Division of Academic Affairs in institutional initiatives and oversaw all aspects of Towson University off campus programs and articulation agreements with Community Colleges, including programs at four satellite locations. She led the partnership to create the first Towson University satellite campus, Towson University North East (TUNE), which would provide students in Harford and Cecil Counties, as well as military and their families affected by the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC), the opportunity to obtain four-year college degrees from Towson University in Harford County. In addition, she lead the efforts to create and implement a University wide General Education Assessment plan and served as the Academic Affairs liaison to Student Affairs, strengthening the partnership between both Divisions. She was responsible for the coordination of the University’s eight yearly Commencement ceremonies and together with the Associate Provost; she assisted in the supervision of the Academic Advising and the Academic Achievement Departments. Through her outreach efforts and commitment to the Hispanic Community, she was instrumental in creating and strengthening partnerships with the Hispanic College Fund and the U.S Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education (USHYEE). Professor. Horta-Hayden played a significant role in bringing the 2008 Maryland’s Hispanic Youth Symposium to Towson University and is committed to creating opportunities for Hispanic youth in higher education and serving as an advocate for the Hispanic community

She is currently Past- President of the International Council of Researchers in Pedagogical Studies (CORPS) de Ballet Inc. This is a professional non-profit Corporation dedicated to the development, exploration, and advancement of ballet in higher education and to the service and promotion of the art of ballet. As President of CORPS de Ballet International, she designed and coordinated a historic conference in Sarasota, Florida titled, ““Traditions in Classical Training: Strengthening Communities”. For the first time in the U.S., faculty from the Cuban National Ballet School and the Cuban National Ballet came together to uncover and share the distinctive characteristics of the Cuban Ballet curriculum and pedagogy through master classes and panel discussions.  This conference featured Maestra Ramona de Saa, Director of the Cuban National Ballet School and Miguel Cabrera, Historian of the Cuban National Ballet.  Statewide, Professor Horta-Hayden has served on the Maryland State Arts in Communities Advisory Council, Maryland State Arts Council Local Host Committee for the 2006 National Performing Arts Exchange Conference and Maryland State Arts Council Local Host Committee for the 2007 National Assembly of State Art Agencies. She has also served as a panelist on the Ohio Arts Council's Individual Excellence Awards Choreography panel. Professor Horta-Hayden is also a National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) Evaluator and conducts onsite reviews of member and potential member institutions.

She has engaged in extensive performing nationally and has been invited to create and restage numerous works and teach master classes throughout the country.  In 2004, she was invited to research the pedagogy of the National Ballet School of Cuba and taught at the Lizt Alfonso Cuban Dance Company while in Havana, Cuba. She served as co-director and choreographer for the project “Love Through Time” which was an interdisciplinary and intercultural project performed in Germany and the United States. This project brought students from Germany, Cuba, and the U.S.A to create a concert through a cappella choral music, percussion, and dance. This concert was performed in Oldenburg and Berlin, Germany as well as in the United States. In addition, she authored the project “Cuban Dance; Enhancing the Cultural Fabric of Baltimore”, which brought 600 Baltimore County middle school youth and teachers to Towson University to expose them to Afro Cuban history, culture, music and dance. Her most recent research, “Integrating rotator discs into ballet classwork: collaboration of ballet professor, somatic expert, and medical team”, was invited for presentation at the 2014 International Association for Dance Medicine and Science 24th Annual Meeting in Basel, Switzerland; the 2015 Performing Arts Medicine Association Conference in Tampa, Florida; and for poster presentation at the 2015 World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress in Singapore. It was also published in the ScienceDirect Journal of  Physiotherapy, Volume 101, Supplement 1, May 2015.  Her abstract “Honoring Ballet’s Pedagogical History Through 21st Century Innovation: Integrating Rotator Discs into Traditional Ballet Class” was also accepted for presentation at the 20th Annual CORPS de Ballet International Conference in Florence, Italy this July 2018.

Profesor Horta-Hayden was approved by the National Endowment for the Arts to serve as an external evaluator for Morton Street Summer Dance Program in Baltimore City and was appointed by former Baltimore County Executive, James Smith, as a Commissioner on the Baltimore County Commission for Women and served from 2006-2008. She served on the Board of Trustees for WYPR 88.1 Maryland’s NPR news station and was invited by the former University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan to serve on the Towson University Presidential Search and Screening Committee 2011.