ABOUT KATRINA (GUEST FACULTY)
Back in the 80s, in the suburbs of Chicago, there was a hyperactive gal named Katrina who wanted nothing more than to dance and sing all day. Fast forward, and she received her BFA in Dance at Western Michigan University to then live out her Broadway dreams in New York City. It was there where Katrina was mentored by greats such as Andy Blankenbeuhler (choreographer /Tony award winner for ‘In the Heights’ and ‘Hamilton’), Joshua Bergasse (choreographer and Emmy award winner for ’SMASH’), and Chet Walker (co-creator of the Tony award musical ‘Fosse’). Katrina danced and showcased her choreography on and off broadway theaters and regional theatres throughout the past fifteen years. More recently she has been diving into the world of straight theatre, film and playwriting. Ms. Phillip is absolutely thrilled to spread her lifelong passion for theatre and dance here in Nova Scotia.
What do you want people to get from your class?
I want students to have fun and to embrace the challenge; working on the musicality of the moments, working and building upon their technique, while opening up their mind and heart to the characters and storylines we will explore.
What motivates you to dance?
Music is the paramount factor that makes me want to move. What motivates me to choreograph? A character’s inner monologue, whatever the function of the scene of the story I’m telling is, while hitting and accentuating those musical accents.
What are some highlights of your career as a dancer/choreographer/instructor?
I am grateful for the opportunity to have been taken under the wing of greats such as Andy Blankenbuehler (Tony award winning choreographer for ‘In the Heights’ and ‘HAMILTON’), Joshua Bergasse (Emmy award winning choreographer for ’SMASH’ and Tony nominee for choreographing the revival of ‘On the Town’), and Chet Walker (co-creator of the Tony award winning musical ‘FOSSE’ and Tony award nominee for choreographing the revival of Pippin’).
Performing in theatres such as The Minskoff and The Duke on 42nd street for Broadway benefits such as Broadway fights against AIDS.
The hardest and most challenging things I have done in my career was not only choreographing, but organizing and producing the three showcases:
Band of Gypsies (held at the St. Luke’s Off Broadway theatre, featuring choreographers such as Richard Hinds (associate choreographer of Come From Away, associate director of Bway Disney’s Newsies, associate director / choreographer of Jekell and Hyde).
Band of Gypsies 2 (held at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Off Broadway theatre raising money for the Andrea Rizzo foundation, giving children battling cancer at Sloan Kettering dance therapy. This show featured up and coming choreographers such as Mark Kimelman (associate choreographer for Jagged Little Pill Bway), and my very last dance show
Spoken Motion that was to honor the late Maya Angelou. In this show I chose 7 NYC poets and 7 NYC composers of all genres, where they wove their words into music and I choreographed to their collaborations telling one fluid story.
As an instructor, I was known as the girl at cattle call auditions in New York City, that not only frequently crashed MALE calls, but who would candidly stand up on folding chairs to announce and advertise for my FREE DANCE CLASSES. I started these classes in order to meet other like-minded dancers, and then to recruit them for shows of mine and for other upcoming choreographer friends. I called this group “Strong Like Cattle.” It was here where I threw myself into teaching, directing, choreographing, and producing for professionals.