Vasey Valentines: Barby & Michael

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Hear from beloved dance instructor and choreographer Barby Hobyak Roche (VU BA, BS ’88) about how she did a double-take when she first saw her husband Michael Roche (VU MA ’99) in the stairwell in Vasey Hall.  Their love and enthusiasm for each other is palpable – and perhaps that’s why they don’t seem to age!

Barby: My Hubby (Michael Roche) and I met (literally, locked eyes for the first time) on the steps in Vasey:)!!!

Michael & Barby at their wedding officiated by Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD in St. Thomas of Villanova church.

The first show we did together was Into the Woods (Fr. Peter directed and later married us). Michael was The Baker and I was Cinderella, as you can see in the photo above. At the time I was teaching dance to undergrads in Vasey 206 and Michael was a first year Graduate Acting Scholar. First week of school I was walking up to teach one of my dance classes and he was walking down the steps towards the theatre with a prop…I did a double take:)!!! Let me add…I am definitely NOT the guy watcher-type… I don’t gawk at people…but there was something.  Something SO present about Michael…His twinkling, honest smile. Something even in that first glance. Michael has always made me laugh…he keeps us all laughing and feeling so happy to be alive.

Our romance budded at Villanova (Villanova Theatre has always been a part of our lives- still is). Fast forward to now. We have four beautiful children. I am still a dance professor at Villanova, and Michael teaches Theatre at William Penn Charter High School.

As you might guess, what we LOVE to do together most (and with our four kids) is sing, re-enact, or see Broadway Musicals. We endlessly research/watch musical clips on Broadway.com if/when we have any alone time:) Musicals are our favorite thing.( For the past few months our house was nothing but MEAN GIRLS!) AND…If you were a fly on our wall, you might actually believe we LIVE in a musical with full blown dance numbers and/or ballads(with accompanying harmony) on a daily basis. We sing and dance past each other in the kitchen, all the time. Its pretty funny. Crazy and funny…lots of music and dance in our home.

Michael and I are so grateful for each other (and for Villanova’s Theatre community, past and present:)