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November 2022: Katie Cassady
Who is Katie Cassady in a sentence?
I am a dancer, choreographer, and teacher living and working on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, who loves reading, cooking, and spending time with loved ones.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
My practice as an artist is an experience which is informed by my work as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. These different roles create a full circle feeling for me of learning, sharing, and growing in community with others.
My interest in my practice currently lies in personal expression, curiosity, play, and sharing. My practice is also focussed on being present in my body and experiencing, interpreting, and expressing myself through all the nook and cranny’s of my body and being.
My practice in dance is one that is constantly evolving to hold the people, ideas, and spaces currently around me in the different contexts of my work.
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing for my whole life!
How does dance fit into your life currently?
Dance is a practice which is currently something I do as a freelance dancer, employed dance teacher, and an emerging choreographer. I work as a dance teacher at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts teaching ballet and modern, which I love. And then currently I am working as a performer on a project by Stephanie Cyr. As a choreographer, I received funding to continue work on a solo project which will happen in fall 2022 and spring 2023. So, lots of different ways currently!
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
Dance has taken me on a journey of growth and self-discovery over the course of my life. I feel grateful to have had a consistent practice over time, one which allows me to measure consistencies/inconsistencies against a structured practice and has allowed me to find physical accuracy and emotional freedom. I feel most myself when I am dancing.
What three core values drive your engagement with dance?
Three core values which drive my engagement with dance would be discovery, curiosity, and sharing.
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out each day or have you implemented new practices as a way of adapting to the current climate?
I take time every day to feel present in my body, which usually involves lying on the ground breathing, and honestly, I do my glute/core strengthening exercises every day! As my practice has aged with me, I feel there is a certain level of physical maintenance required for me to feel freedom in my body, and I am happy to do that every day.
What would you say are the most significant benefits for you in being a Dance Centre member?
Some aspects of being a Dance Centre member which I have benefited from include access to funding, performance and creation opportunities, and discounts on space rentals. In my experience The Dance Centre has been responsive and supportive of my changing needs in presentation as an artist over the past pandemic years.
How have you been spending your time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what are you most looking forward to doing moving forward?
I have been fortunate to spend my time during the pandemic engaging with dance in the many ways I love. I was able to teach, perform, and create during these past couple years with support from many local institutions including The Dance Centre. Moving forward I’m most looking forward to spending more time with friends and getting to be in dance classes again!
Katie’s Member Profile
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Photos by Dayna Szyndrowski