What has your life been like since you’ve left White Mountain?
I’m about to enter my second year at The University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia, and I’m studying dance there. After I graduated from WMS I was at Smith College for a year, and then I transferred to UArts last year. Smith is an incredible place, it has an outstanding dance program that opened my eyes to the ways that dance can look and be and feel, but I knew that I wanted to focus solely on dance and be around other people with similar mindsets/ambitions, and UArts has done that for me. I feel really really lucky that I get to study what I love, essentially all day everyday. I’ve also realized that I want to make dance and teach dance as well as perform, which is really exciting because I’ve always loved working with kids so it kind of combines all my passions.
Could you speak a bit about your passion for dance and how it developed?
Where to even start with my passion for dance, there’s so much to say. I started dancing when I was a sophomore at WMS as part of the dance winter sport. Then I started dancing year round at Creative Edge Dance Studio (CEDS). Creative Edge is a remarkable place, the teachers there are the reason why I am so passionate about dance, why I love to push myself artistically and athletically, and why I was able to get into an amazing dance program like UArts! Now, being at UArts, I feel like I’ve found my purpose in life. (I know that’s super cheesy but there’s no other way to say it.) Dance has an ability unlike any other art form to bring people together, to create communities, to expose problems that we face and to bring to light their solutions. That’s really powerful to me, and I love exploring the ways dance and life feed into each other.
I love exploring the ways dance and life feed into each other.
Could you speak a little bit about your time at White Mountain and how you felt it prepared you for college?
My years at WMS were really really special. I think what impacted me the most was the community bond that was present at WMS, the way that I felt held and safe when I was there. I was able to be my truest and best self at WMS. The social aspect of WMS prepared me to recognize and create spaces that foster similarly supportive communities, which is a super important aspect of my life. In a more academic sense, the focus on curiosity at WMS prepared me to be authentically invested in everything I’ve done in college, and to constantly ask questions, both of myself and others. Those values, of curiosity and research and digging, are really crucial skills for me as an engaged student and artist.
What advice do you have for current White Mountain students?
Go to school for what you love, even if it seems impractical (like studying dance, for example). To quote Jim Carrey, “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying, I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it.” I understand the desire to feel safe and do what feels practical, I really do, but I have also seen a lot of friends studying subjects that they aren’t especially passionate about, and to be frank it makes me sad. We have such an amazing opportunity at WMS to explore and figure out our passions, and I think it’s a waste to not put all that exploration and passion to use!
Be sure to also check out Katherine’s profile in our 2016 issue of Echoes here!