Each month we will highlight a new teacher and use a Q & A format so you can hear their answers to our intriguing and informative questions. This month we profile Katie Balfanz.
Teaching Experience: First year at Prairie School of Dance, 10 years teaching dance
Teaches at PSOD: Jazz and Hip Hop, and also assists with Ballet/Jazz/Tap class
What is your favorite style of dance?
My favorite style of dance is jazz. I love moving to music that has a strong, driving beat that makes you want to propel through space. I really like the natural expression jazz brings to performers’ faces.
Where is the coolest place you have ever performed?
I’ve had wonderful opportunities to perform and teach internationally. I’ve seen my students perform in London, Rome, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’ve also taught in Malaysia, China, and Korea!
What is one thing you were taught and will always remember?
I will always remember the importance of practice. Dancing requires daily practice and devotion. You cannot expect to achieve a new dance skill or dance without hard work and lots of practice. “Practice makes perfection.”
What inspires you?
I am inspired by passionate, young dancers. I love their eagerness. I love when dancers ask to “do the dance ONE MORE TIME!” because they love moving so much. I am also inspired by other teachers who seek to pass their passion for dance on to others.
What brings you joy when you’re not at Prairie School of Dance?
When I’m not teaching at Prairie, I find great joy coaching the Eden Prairie High School Pom Squad. This team of young ladies is extremely motivated and talented, and I love spending time with them. I also enjoy cooking with my boyfriend, playing with my family’s new dog, Zoe, and traveling!
Have you created a pre-performance regiment/routine or a tip you’d like to share?
For me, keeping a dance notebook has always been helpful. I always keep it in my dance bag to write down any notes I want to remember. I keep all my notebooks, and it’s wonderful to look back on notebooks from the past.