Posting Date: March 5, 2012
Meet Kyle Whitaker: From cheerleader to choreographer
By Kendrick Gaston
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
Kyle Whitaker and Devon Sims in
"D-Man in the Waters"
Photo by Robert Pack
In high school, Kyle wasn’t big enough for most sports, so a friend talked him into auditioning for cheerleading. Not only was he accepted on the squad, Kyle also discovered he had a talent for choreography. Throughout high school, he choreographed cheerleading routines all over the state of Georgia and realized his skills could be applied to dancing.
However, it wasn’t until junior college that he discovered his true passion was dancing. At the time, he was studying education and choreographing dance routines on the side. To improve his skills, he began taking college dance courses and attending dance-related events. While attending the American College Dance Festival, Kyle saw a performance by the KSU Dance Company. He was completely in awe and knew he wanted to continue his dance education at KSU.
Since coming to Kennesaw State, Kyle has earned a reputation for his attention to detail and his eye for being in sync, skills he gained from cheerleading. Kyle possesses “many great qualities as a student and artist,” says Sandra Parks, assistant professor of dance. “His willingness to accept new ways of learning, his openness to face challenges and his positive attitude to feedback on his work essentially helped him become a young and humble choreographer.”
In Spring 2011, his senior choreography project was selected for the annual student dance concert, where it was performed by the KSU Dance Company. In addition, Kyle has performed in a number of shows including “D-Man in the Waters,” choreographed by Bill T. Jones, and “Cocoon,” choreographed by Ivan Pulinkala.
Kyle is happy with his decision to attend KSU. “KSU is a major university with a small home town feeling,” he explains. “I know every single person in the dance program. I’m excited to be working professionally while still in college.”
After graduation Kyle plans to audition for musical theater shows on cruise lines and later move to New York to perform on Broadway. Kyle’s advice to dancers who may lack the formal dancing education of their peers is “if dancing is your dream, never give up.”