Hi, my name is Kate McDonald. I am 16 years old. I am originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the East Coast of Canada but I am currently living in New York City attending the Joffrey Ballet School. I initially began my training in the circus arts and immediately fell in love with performing! Captivated by the stage, I transitioned my focus to community theatre where I was cast in key roles in musicals such as Mama Mia, Hairspray, and Chicago. I started dancing at the age of 8 with a single jazz class and very quickly realized my true love of dance! I started taking more classes immersing myself in a variety of dance styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, acro, lyrical, modern and musical theatre.
When I started, I danced competitively earning many special awards and dance scholarships and had opportunities to perform throughout Atlantic Canada and in Niagara Falls, Montreal, Calgary, NYC and LA. When I was 13yo, I attended a Summer Intensive in Toronto, Canada at the National Ballet School of Canada and this is where I began to really fall in love with ballet. That same summer I went to Paris, France where I spent a week working with a number of European choreographers as part of the 5678 Showtime Paris Dance Tour.
During my stay in Paris, I met international fashion photographer Greg Sino who, later that fall invited me to shoot with him in NYC. Since then, I have been combining dance and modelling in collaborative projects with many talented photographers and designers in Atlantic Canada and New York. When I was 14, I auditioned for the Jazz and Contemporary summer dance intensive at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and was thrilled to not only be accepted for the summer program but to also be invited to enrol in the 4-year Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. During my first year at Joffrey, I auditioned for and was selected to dance with the Joffrey Elite – a competitive dance troupe comprised of a selected group of Joffrey Ballet School trainees.
The training and performances of the Joffrey Elite were filmed and aired as a docuseries on the YouTube Channel AwesomenessTV. Participating in the first season of Joffrey Elite was an absolutely amazing experience and really contributed to my growth both as a dancer and performance artist. Training extensively in modern and contemporary dance in my first year at the Joffrey really helped me to understand the language of dance and the need to be grounded, organic and real in my movement in order to convey the story I was trying to tell.
My experiences in the first year further solidified my desire to pursue a professional dance career but I realized that to fully explore my potential as a dancer I needed to further my technical ballet training. I attended the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive in NYC and was privileged to be chosen as one of the principle dancers for the finale performance piece. Following my Summer Intensive experience, I decided to transfer to the Ballet Trainee program at the Joffrey in order to focus more intensively on the development of my ballet technique and pointe work. My first year in the Ballet Trainee Program has been very challenging but also extremely rewarding. I truly love every minute of living and training in New York and feel very privileged to have this opportunity! This summer I will be heading to San Francisco to train with at the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Intensive and then to Vancouver, Canada to attend the Arts Umbrella International Summer Intensive. I will be returning to the Joffrey Ballet School in the fall of 2018 to continue my training in the Ballet trainee program.