Katherine Boston, KDC Class of 2020
At KDC, we are so proud of all of our dancers: past, present, and future. We enjoy staying connected with our alumni, learning about their journey, and hearing about how Kennebec Dance Centre may have helped them prepare for their future. Here is what one of our KDC graduates shared about their dance journey after graduating from high school.
Q: What collegiate dance activities are you partaking in?
A: I am currently a second year drama major at New York university Tisch School for the Arts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, I was unable to partake in any dance classes at school. However, in the fall, I plan on taking classes regularly at Broadway Dance Center to continue my training. But while I am in Maine, I teach Jazz and Musical Theatre at Kennebec Dance Centre while also dancing professionally at Maine State Music Theatre.
Q: How did your time at KDC prepare you for the future?
A: My time at KDC wasn’t long enough. I owe so much to the amazing faculty for their talents, encouragement, and professionalism. One of the most important things I learned during my time at KDC is the importance of professionalism in the workplace; whether it be in school hallways, the dance studio, or now, the real entertainment industry. It is too often that we dismiss the work of others by forgetting the basic “please” and “thank you” after class or hyping one another up after a performance. This is something that has been ingrained within all KDC dancers since their very first class. This sense of awareness for the other professionals in the room as well as yourself, has been a skill learned at KDC that I will continue to carry with me throughout my career.
Q: What are some of your recent dance-related opportunities or experiences?
A: As mentioned previously, I am performing at Maine State Music Theatre this summer as a singer and dancer. During the school year there were little to no theatrical performances going on due to the pandemic, but as everyone in the industry says the show must go on. I took this time to work on my technique practicing ballet in my dorm room using my desk chair as a barre. Additionally, I acted in a couple of short films and even casted a feature film coming out this fall.
Q:What were some of your favorite things about KDC?
A: Some of my favorite memories at KDC are the competition fundraisers and memories made preparing to travel for competition. The full team dinners and supportive dress rehearsals were an experience that I very much needed during a time in my life in which I often second-guessed myself. The studio and performing as a whole have me the confidence to fully believe and be myself — as cheesy or cliche as that may sound.
Q: What would you say to someone debating whether or not KDC is right for them?
A: I believe wholeheartedly that Kennebec Dance Centre is a place for everyone. The environment that artistic director, Renee Black, and the other amazing teachers have created is the ideal learning space for any student wanting to grow artistically and intellectually as a dancer. Their professional work experience is like no other in the Augusta area and to learn from them is a privilege. Not only do the faculty members make the studio a second home, but the passionate students and their hard work makes the studio a place where you want to do better for your team but most importantly yourself. For any parent wanting to encourage their child to fully express themselves artistically and challenge them intellectually, without a doubt, they should send them directly to KDC.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories from your time at KDC?
A: I believe that I will always be involved with dance in some shape or form. Although we do not have a specific dance class in my acting curriculum at school, I have found ways to integrate it into my schedule on my own. I believe that this is part of the process. If you really love the craft you will find a way to make it work. Present dancers at KDC should never take any class or rehearsal for granted, I know it is easy for me to say now that I am not doing Thursday night conditioning before contemporary but after high school, it is very hard to find an allotted time to fully be with the music and others in the way that you are when you are in a dance class.
Q: Why do you love dancing?
A: I love to dance because I thrive within the blending of intellectual and artistic work that is created when preparing a piece. Especially in the professional world, you’re expected to pick up the choreography and fully understand the technique behind it at a rapid pace — this is part of the challenge. Not only do dancers have to be able to physically perform the piece but they have to be able to mentally anticipate the correct order of steps for multiple numbers in a show. It is the work for me that makes the performance almost cathartic in that by the time you are on stage all of the work done in the studio allows you to fully just let go.
Q: How has dance impacted you as a person?
A: Dance has made me a more reflective person. For quite some time, I was often intimidated by the judgment of others which forced me to stifle myself; whether it be on the stage sure in social settings, I always felt as though I was putting on a façade of who I thought I was supposed to be. The straight A+ student with everything put together, after high school, I realized that there is more to life than trying to be society’s definition of perfect. Obviously it is important to get good grades – I maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout my first year in college – but sometimes you have to put down the textbooks, put in your AirPods, and just go dance. Funny enough, throughout my years of dance, old videos and pictures allow me to see the progression of confidence in not only my ability but myself as a girl in today’s judgemental world. Although I still find it hard to watch myself, as it is for many dancers, I am so glad I have the captured memories of the past versions of myself to look back upon. I find this same pride and satisfaction in watching my current KDC students. I wish the same life lessons and experience I had at KDC to every boy and girl out there.
Interested in learning more about Miss Katie? Visit her amazing website: www.katherinesboston.com