Posting Date: June 11, 2012

Meet Katie Veldhuis: A dancer never stops growing

By Shira Zobrist

Katie Veldhuis

Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant

Katie Veldhuis started dancing when she was three years old and hasn’t stopped since. After 15 years of training with renowned Artistic Director Jonnie Kelley at Atlanta Dance Theatre, Katie is now a junior in the Kennesaw State Program in Dance with a concentration in modern dance.


Initially, Katie chose KSU because of its proximity to her family.  Plus, through her work at Atlanta Dance Theatre, Katie was already familiar with Ivan Pulinkala, director of the Program in Dance.  Soon, however, Katie realized there was more to KSU than simply a convenient locale. “As soon as I auditioned here I knew that KSU was right for me,” Katie recalls. “It is a really tight-knit community and a positive environment. I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else.”


During her three years in the program Katie has had the opportunity to work with a number of great choreographers. “I have had the chance to experience almost all facets of the program,” Katie explains. “The program always finds a way to stay fresh and new and there are always exciting and innovative people to work with.” Katie had the privilege to perform in the Bill T. Jones production of “D-Man in the Waters” in November 2010, an experience she calls “life-changing.”


Assistant Professor of Dance Sandra Parks has also had a significant influence on Katie and her dance career. “Professor Parks is a great mentor,” Katie says, “and she works really well with students. She knows how to focus in on a student’s individual needs and how to help them best achieve their goals.”


Parks has worked with Katie in several different classes and productions as well as a number of off-campus projects. “Katie’s passion for dance, her amazing work ethic and willingness to be challenged physically, emotionally and artistically make her a great student to teach as well as a great dancer to work with,” Parks remarks. “She has matured into a well-rounded dancer and artist and I am very proud of her growth.”


Katie is a member of Nu Delta Alpha and the KSU Dance Company. She recently received the Outstanding Junior Scholarship. After graduation, Katie hopes to move to New York City to join a professional dance company. “Whether it is ballet, modern or contemporary or perhaps on Broadway, I am open to any opportunity,” Katie says. “As an artist I am always growing and learning, and I hope to continue to grow even after graduating.”



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