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Colorado Ballet Academy: Q&A with instructor Kathi Crum

Sanya Andersen-Vie - Friday, March 07, 2014
Kathi Crum

Colorado Ballet is thrilled to present one of its newest instructors, Kathi Crum. Since August 2013, Kathi has supported the Academy’s quality training program, allowing all of her students a strong foundation of ballet technique, discipline, and self-confidence to achieve their greatest potential of artistic and technical expression. Teaching classes in creative movement through level 3 and eventually level 4, her inspiration has come from her passion for the art since a young child. “My philosophy for teaching ballet is to first honor the 400 year discipline, and my teachers, by maintaining high standards of technique, expectations, and artistry,” said Kathi.

During an interview with Colorado Ballet, Kathi revealed her true passion for dancing and shed light on what the art has meant to her. Below are a few Q&A’s with our new academy teacher:

What's your favorite part about teaching with Colorado Ballet?
Kathi: It is an honor to work with other distinguished members in the ballet community to maintain and elevate the caliber of ballet.  But having the company on-site to be an example for the students to strive for is a wonderful opportunity.

What’s your philosophy on dancing?
Kathi: Wow - a big question with a big answer... I'll try to make it short.  My philosophy for teaching ballet is to first honor the 400 year discipline, and my teachers, by maintaining high standards of technique, expectations, and artistry.  So I consistently evaluate the effectiveness of my own teaching and continue to learn from the best in the field internationally. To pass on the art I have to to get each child engaged, interested and excited about what they are learning.  Ballet and dance is a joyful expression at its essence, I take the balance of maintaining a hardworking, productive class in a positive, encouraging, atmosphere very seriously. Children thrive and learn best when acknowledged, are happy, and understand the expectations.  I insist that correct execution of the movement be strived for. I like smart dancers... when they are ready they learn why and how a movement is executed as well as to how to 'self-correct'.  In the end, I want each student to achieve their individual best technically, artistically and with good character.

Who do you look up to? Who are your mentors?
Kathi: My mother for always infusing the arts, beauty, curiosity, and compassion into my life. My first ballet teacher, Marsha Ismailoff Mark, for developing my eye for artistry. Trinette Singleton, for being exacting in her requirements for sound and clean ballet technique. And Marcia Dale-Weary for demonstrating the possibility of effective, high quality teaching and results with an unconventional performing career.

What does ballet mean to you?
Kathi: Ballet... I am honored to be a part of such a long-standing art. Ballet has been a part of my life since first watching it on TV as a 4-year and then live productions that my mother would take me too.  I have been very blessed to have had so many wonderful opportunities and to use those experiences to enrich my ability to teach my students.  Whether it's a student or an audience member, I get to brighten their day through the joy and beauty of ballet - how wonderful is that?!

What is your favorite ballet?
Kathi: I love watching the contemporary or neoclassical ballets, like Colorado Ballet's upcoming Ballet Director's Choice performances, for their innovation, creativity, and dynamics.  However, of the classical ballets, Don Quixote is always exciting to watch. 

*For information on Colorado Ballet Academy and classes please visit http://coloradoballet.org/academy/class-descriptions
*Kathi Crum’s full bio can be found at http://coloradoballet.org/faculty/kathi-crum

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