Senior Kate Beck has been dancing for most of her life. Specializing in classical ballet, her dance career started when she was a young child, excitedly asking her mother if she could sign up for ballet lessons. Her mother was forced to take dance lessons as a child, so she agreed, expecting Kate would drop them after only a few sessions. However, Kate greatly enjoyed ballet, and dance has since become a large part of her life.
In addition to classical ballet, Kate has done modern ballet and jazz. This year, she has begun taking tap lessons as well. However, classical ballet is still her favorite style of dance. “I enjoy the strict structure of ballet,” Kate said, “and I also like pointwork, which most people hate because it hurts, but it’s one of the most fun parts of ballet for me.”
Kate has been taking lessons with the Connecticut Concert Ballet for 11 years, and she recently began lessons with the Goodspeed Opera House as well. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kate has been taking lessons online. She even participated in a nine-week summer program over Zoom. “Usually, I would only be doing eight-week programs in person,” Kate said, “but with the pandemic and to prepare for colleges, I need a lot of prep work, so I’ve been practicing more.”
Throughout the summer, Kate was dancing in her own practice room, where she spent most of her time. Most of her lessons took place via Zoom, although there were occasional in-person classes. “I had to spend a lot of time trying to get into private lessons both online and in-person, but it was worth it,” she said.
Kate’s favorite performance has been in “The Nutcracker.” It’s a sharp, quick dance, which is her preferred style. Last year, she was the lead snowflake. It was one of the roles she really wanted, as it is above the normal roles, even if it is not one of the main leads. Unfortunately, “The Nutcracker” has been canceled this year due to COVID-19.
As for the future, Kate’s dream college is Butler University because it has a beautiful campus and, most importantly, a strong ballet program. Butler’s dance program has been consistently ranked as one of the top five in the country. Kate is looking to major in dance in college, with a possible double major or minor in political science. There is a lot of work involved in applying as a dance major, including sending an audition reel to colleges as well as doing prescreens or a dress rehearsal before the actual audition, but Kate is up for the challenge.
Kate is excited to continue her dance journey in college and hopes to pursue dance as a career. The hard work she has put into her dances will certainly pay off.