Real Chicz of Douglas County

A passion for dance . . . barre none!

A passion for dance . . . barre none!

By Tara Bitzan

Katherine Evans of Alexandria describes herself as a reserved, quiet person. But when she applies a little makeup, dons her dance apparel and cranks up the music, she comes alive
She and her husband, Blake, moved to Alexandria from the Twin Cities 10 years ago.
Since then, she’s been busy caring for their children – Madeleine, 14, Gabriel, 11, and Abigail, 9, and spreading her love of dance to all ages throughout the area.

Besides dance, what are your hobbies or interests?
When not busy with mom duties, I enjoy sewing. It is something that my mom taught me when I was 2. She would sit me on her lap and I would run the fabric through the machine and she would work the pedal. I still have the first projects that she and I made together, and I haven’t stopped sewing since then. These days I enjoy quilting, designing and sewing elaborate Halloween costumes for my kids, and designing and sewing belly dance costume pieces.

When did you first become interested in dance?
My mom says that I wanted to dance since I could talk, but she had me wait for formal lessons until I was 6 years old, just to make sure that it was what I wanted.

Have you had formal
dance training?
I began my first dance classes (ballet and tap dance) in California. After moving to Nebraska, I studied with Ballet Omaha. I also studied with a Russian ballet instructor, Eda Krasova, and danced in her company, The Nebraska Junior Ballet. Later, I attended the University of Nebraska where I studied dance. Outside of my college courses, I studied with a former Radio City Rockette.

What kinds of dance
do you enjoy most?
I’ve studied ballet, tap, jazz, show choir, musical theater, dance team, modern and tribal belly dance. I haven’t discovered a style of dance that I don’t enjoy! Pushing myself to learn new styles and techniques is always exciting. My latest dance adventure was participating in an Irish step dance class.

What kinds of classes do you teach?
I am currently teaching adult belly dance and elementary kids ballet classes through District 206 Community Education. I will also offer an adult ballet class in the fall that will focus on balance, strengthening and flexibility, designed primarily for the non-dancer.
I am the director of The Johari Tribe, a performing tribal belly dance troupe. I also choreograph for The Johari Tribe and previously choreographed other productions, including Theatre L’Homme Dieu and the musicals Annie and South Pacific for my former high school in Nebraska.
I truly enjoy the opportunity of being able to share my love of dance with others in the community and also showing adult women what amazing things they are able to accomplish with a bit of work.
What do you love
about dancing?
Dance is something innate with me. I love expressing myself through movement and the
accompanying music. When I dance, I feel my heart sing. It
is who I am. It is something I have always done and will
continue to do as long as I am able.

One thing people don’t know about me:
My husband and I are restoring our 1918 bungalow.

If money was not an obstacle and you could do anything, what would it be?
I would travel extensively, studying dance along the way, learning from masters in various styles.

Tell us about your favorite extraordinary Douglas County woman! or call 320.763.1233.

Real Chicz of Douglas County

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