Katie Zimmerman is currently dancing in her third season with the Nevada Ballet Theater. She is a graduate of Indiana University who received a Bachelor of Science in Ballet and an Outside Field in Business.
Katie was drawn to IU to further her dance training because the dance program at Indiana University is designed much like a professional ballet company. Katie would take academic classes in the morning or evening, but from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, you could find her in the Musical Arts Building taking ballet classes and rehearsing for upcoming shows. At IU, Katie performed in several Balanchine ballets, as well as works by Martha Graham, Anthony Tudor, and Violette Verdy. She also had the opportunity to teach ballet to elective students, and choreograph on other students for a program produced at a local theater.
Pedagogy and choreography are a large part of the IU Major. Each major spends two semesters teaching ballet to elective students; classes that can range from beginner to advanced levels. For choreography, majors create works on their peers for a production at the Buskirk Theater. Katie described this process, “As choreographers for this production, we were given free range to create in any style we chose, be that ballet, modern, or even hip-hop. I choreographed a Fosse-inspired piece for this. It was a very valuable experience, as not only were we responsible for choosing our dancers, music, and creating the piece, we became involved in the technical side, designing lighting, choosing costumes, etc.”
Katie reflected on her training at CVDA and how it has helped her dance career in and after college:
CVDA truly felt like my second home, and it was so wonderful to grow up there. The ever encouraging teachers and strong friendships continually inspired growth, hard work, dedication, and passion for dance. CVDA also provided me with invaluable experiences for a young dancer; plenty of performance opportunities, workshops, and chances learn from different choreographers. These experiences and the mentoring from wonderful teachers helped show me the many ways I could incorporate dance into my future.
Katie was kind enough to answer share more about her life at Nevada Ballet and gives some insight to her experience at the company:
I am currently in my third season with Nevada Ballet Theater. I was hired as a trainee for my first season, and have since been promoted to apprentice, and now company artist. On a typical week, we spend Monday through Saturday in the studio, with class from 10-11:30 am and rehearsals from 12-6pm, with an hour for lunch. During production weeks, we can spend up to 12 hours a day in the theater! It’s hard work, but the moments on stage and the wonderful co-workers I get to be surrounded by making it worth it!
During my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to perform repertoire by George Balanchine, Cynthia Gregory, and James Canfield, as well as in an annual collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. We are currently wrapping up this year’s collaboration, and moving on to our next program, featuring Balanchine’s Serenade and Western Symphony, and Paul Taylor’s Company B. It’s an exciting and rewarding experience working for a ballet company, where there is always something ahead to challenge you!
For CVDA Dancers that want to continue in the performing arts, enjoy every day you get to jump into the studio, keep working hard, and take advantage of the support system you have when looking for opportunities past high school! You are all so lucky to be in an environment filled teachers, staff, and alumni with an abundance of knowledge to share with you. The path past high school can be very open-ended, so keep in mind that it may not always be what you expect. Be open to what comes your way, take chances, and always remember what inspires you and fuels you to do this thing that you love. Best of luck to you all!
Follow Katie’s rehearsals, performances and more!