Ballet teaching has been Kathi’s primary professional focus since 1993. Teaching ballet is serious fun for Kathi as her classes are presented in a positive, encouraging, and motivational way while keeping and requiring high standards and expectations, striving for each student to achieve their personal best and greatest potential.
Starting at the age of 6, Kathi’s formative ballet teacher was Marsha Ismailoff Mark at the only ballet school in Newtown, CT. It was under Marsha that the beauty and art of the craft was engrained through training and dancing with her youth performing troupe, Malankee Repetoire Company, from the ages of 10 to 18. In 1984 Kathi traveled with that company to participate in an intensive at the Minsk Opera Ballet Theatre School under Clara Nickolovani Malishava. At the age of 13 Kathi began spending her summers training at Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) then Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. DTH provided Kathi a well-rounded training including not only ballet, pointe, variations, and partnering but also ballet history, character, world ethnic & folk dances, tap, and choreography, under the notable teachers Nancy Shaffenburg, Mette Spaniardi, Rachel Sekyi, Michael Thomas, Karl St. Charles, and Bessie Schönberg. Kathi continued her studies as an advanced-trainee at Joffrey Ballet School under Trinette Singleton, John Magnus, Dorothy Lister, and Francesca Corkle. Performance opportunities at both DTH and Joffrey included student public showcases, area choreographers, and performing as a student with the company. While in NYC, Kathi also took multiple classes with Wilhelm Burman, Madame Darvash, David Howard, and Zena Rommett. The quality of the training Kathi has received from these notable teachers and schools drives her to honor the art and skill by continuing the tradition of the instruction of ballet with quality.
At the age of 16 Kathi was accepted and performed with Connecticut Ballet as a corps member under Brett Raphael touring New England for two seasons.
Kathi’s teaching began as an assistant at Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and with Marsha Ismailoff Mark before. Teaching ballet was never Kathi’s intention for a career but in 1993 when asked to teach for Kim Kelley’s dance school (a highly notable tap teacher) Kathi acquiesced. Soon realizing her penchant, ability and success sharing the knowledge and art well, she pursued teaching further and was hired by many Houston dance schools to teach, build and expand their ballet programs including West University Dance Centre (WUDC) and Houston Metropolitan Dance Centre, Dance Tree, and Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts - MECA. Kathi also directed Evelyn Ireton’s WUDC youth performing troupe, Bayou City Dance Company, from 1997-1999. The highlight for Kathi was teaching at Houston Ballet Academy (HBA) under the direction of Clara Cravey and Ben Stevenson. While at HBA for over 5 years, Kathi had the opportunity to teach beginning to intermediate youth levels, pointe, adults, visiting international students and company members. As a Houston Ballet Academy representative, Kathi also sat as an adjudicator for many scholarship competitions for area ballet schools. Since moving to Colorado in 2003, Kathi has been teaching for Peak Academy of Dance in Conifer. In 2009, at his request, Kathi coordinated and taught with Nikoloz Makhateli (now teaching for Kirov Ballet Academy of Washington, DC) a summer intensive at the same studios.
Specific ballet teacher training includes Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Teacher Workshops in 1995 & 2006, Creative Dance with Anne Green Gilbert in 1998, Vail International Teacher’s Conference in 1998 with Gilbert Mayer of the Paris Opera Ballet School, and Kathi is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Kathi is also a trained pointe shoe fitter by Gamba, Ltd. in 1988.
Outside the ballet realm, raising 2 boys of her own and being a Cub Scout leader for 5 years added immensely to her ability to teach, guide, and inspire boys and children.
Joining Colorado Ballet Academy in 2013, Ms. Crum looks forward to supporting the quality ballet training program allowing all students a strong foundation of ballet technique, with the joy, discipline and self-confidence to achieve their greatest personal potential of artistic and technical expression.