Posting Date: June 1, 2010
Meet Katherine Maxwell: Dancing to her own music
By Scott Singleton
Photos by Melissa Withers
Soon after Katherine Maxwell learned to walk, she started to dance. She has not stopped since. “Dancing is the best way for me to release and to express feelings or emotions,” she says.
Katherine attended Blessed Trinity High School, where she danced in the jazz company and ballet ensemble. After high school, Katherine attended another university for a year before transferring to Kennesaw State University. Upon arrival last year, she joined the KSU Dance Company and is continuing her dedication to dance.
“I absolutely love it here. I’ve grown so much in only one year. The opportunities to work with different people and learn new styles have been eye opening,” says Katherine. One of the new styles that Katherine has found particularly helpful is the Gaga technique, taught by KSU Instructor of Dance Lauri Stallings.
A new dance technique that focuses on movement from the inside out, the Gaga technique has allowed Katherine to continue her growth as a dancer. “It made me really think about the way I move and the choices I make. It has helped me take larger strides in dance and the way I’m able to take on movement.”
Katherine also appreciates the professional preparation that the Dance Company provides. The high level of preparation is largely due to the work of Ivan Pulinkala, director of the Program in Dance. According to Katherine, “Prof. Pulinkala is trying to show us what the professional life is going to be like. He’s wanting to get us the most prepared that we can be.”
Pulinkala also recognizes Katherine’s talent. “Katherine has the potential to pursue a professional career in the field of dance. She arrived at KSU last year with an enthusiasm to learn and grow as an artist,” says Pulinkala.
After dancing in the company’s fall production of “Chakra” and the spring Student Dance Concert, Katherine is looking forward to taking the next big step. She will be participating in a five-week summer intensive with Lauri Stallings. She also hopes to grow as a choreographer during her time at KSU and continue to work towards a career as a professional dancer.
Always up for a challenge, Katherine enjoys the difficulty of transferring thoughts and ideas to dance. “Being a kinesthetic person, taking sound or a noise and turning it into something you can see is naturally what I do. So I’m drawn to dance because that’s what it does.”Dance, according to Katherine, is unique in its ability to represent ideas. She says, “Dance is able to take a lot of things that the human brain does not have an object or a visual for and grasp a concept more than a painting or a sound could make or a song could say. It’s a physical, actual breathing thing.”