Catherine studied under Kumu Esther Correa, fondly referred to as Auntie Esther, on the Mainland in California for five years. Auntie Esther studied hula in Hawai‘i for many years in her youth, then went on to perform with Johnny Almeida throughout Waikīkī. John Kameaaloha Almeida (November 28, 1897 – October 9, 1985) was a blind musician and songwriter from O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. His 1930s radio program on Hawai‘i radio station KGU earned him the sobriquet “The Dean of Hawaiian Music”. By the time of his death, he had composed hundreds of meles that have today become Hawaiian music standards. Auntie Esther is the very first Kumu to come to the Mainland to live permanently, arriving circa 1961 in the San Francisco Bay Area.