Meet Your Katie Hughes Award Nominees

Each year, the Trinity teachers are asked to nominate one of their Waterford/Wexford/Wicklow dancers for the prestigious Katie Hughes award. The Katie Hughes award is named after a long time Trinity Dancer. Katie was one of the hardest working dancers ever to come out of the Trinity program, but she did so with humility, poise and grace. She overcame challenge after challenge as she rose to the top of her game on the competitive side of Irish dance, all the while staying true to herself as a team player, great friend, and a leader. Here are the 2022 Katie Hughes award nominees. The winner will be announced at Winter Weekend during the Ceili on Saturday night.

Caitlin Wenborne

I started at Trinity when I was seven and I was very excited. I had seen the dancers in parades and performances and was very interested. Now, I’m very glad I joined. I’ve learned a lot about leadership, sportsmanship, and friendship while being at Trinity. I’ve made best friends and I appreciate how they have helped me become a better dancer.

One of my favorite things about Trinity is TPT. I love performing and all the craziness that happens before you go on stage. I love that Trinity has a lot of opportunities to do things like teams and performance chances. I also love going to feises and cheering on my friends before they go on stage to compete or when they do well and I can congratulate them. I’ve had a lot of good memories at Trinity and will continue to make more.

Charlotte Stapley

Hi! My name is Charlotte Stapley and I dance out of the Elmhurst studio. I'm 15 years old and a sophomore at Downers Grove South. I've been dancing for 8 years at Trinity and am a show captain and driller at Elmhurst. My favorite thing about Trinity has been performing at St. Patrick's Day shows, especially school shows. I also enjoyed performing with Ensemble in the summer and getting to know other dancers. Outside of dance, I am on my school's speech team and badminton team. I also am active in the church youth group where I volunteer on mission trips.

Emilia Payne

Hello! My name is Emilia Payne. I have been dancing at Trinity for 8 years now, though it feels like I just started yesterday. These years have gone by so fast and I have made many amazing friends from both locations in Wisconsin through teams, TPT, and now through Ensemble which I recently joined.

I first began my dancing journey with my best friend from 1st grade who was already in Irish dance with another company. She would teach me a few steps during recess. After trying to teach myself by watching videos on youtube, my mom noticed how much I got into it and supported me from the beginning. She signed me up for “Taste of Trinity” and after the first day I knew it was my thing. I’ve had a lot of different teachers over the years, dancing at three different locations, but the entire time I have had teachers who are great at pushing me to be better than I ever thought I could be. I love dancing and I will never forget this time in my life. Little me would probably be screaming right now if she saw where I am today.

Hailey Hallman

I’ve been dancing for 9 years and started in the Western Springs location. I have worked very hard as a dancer and do a number of different sports as well. I am dedicated, hardworking, and passionate about Irish dance and have worked my way up through the years. I recently placed into the province program and dance out of Elmhurst now. I enjoy dancing with my friends and putting smiles on people’s faces when dancing. I enjoy both the performance side as well as the competitive side of dance and feel blessed to have both opportunities available through Trinity. My dancing experience at Trinity has helped me grow not only as a dancer but as a someone who can navigate hard things and push through fears in order to accomplish long term goals.

Jaden Bauer

Hi, I’m Jaden. I’m 17 years old and have been dancing with Trinity for 14 years. Trinity has been a huge part of my life ever since I started here and I would not be who I am today without it. I am mostly involved with the preforming aspect Trinity, like TPT and the Ensemble program. I really love performing because sharing this amazing art form with other people makes me so happy. I love dancing with friends and displaying all of the hard work we do so people can find joy in our shows. I am a big fan of hardshoe and love any dance that has fun and complicated rhythms.

Kirsten Roberts

Kirsten Roberts is in the 8th grade at St Philip Lutheran School in Chicago. Kirsten’s been dancing with Trinity since kindergarten. She loves all the opportunities Trinity has brought her from teams to St Patrick’s Day and everything in between! Trinity has been so much more than just dance and she’s grateful to all of her teachers for their encouragement.


Sarah Greenhill

I started dancing at Trinity in Palatine 11 years ago. In the years prior, I’ve been involved in TPT, and it has always been so much fun. I love dancing for people and being able to help put on such an incredible show. I am looking forward to the upcoming year, as I have joined ensemble for the first time. Looking back to when I was younger, I was never fond of feising, yet now I find the challenge of competing thrilling. While there have been bumps along the way; I find that everything has sorted itself out as it should be. I am pleased to be in the position I find myself in now. I'm so grateful to have met so many amazing people including the instructors who gave me encouragement and support when I needed it most. I am truly proud to be a part of the Trinity family.