Aspiring Dancer Finds Her Feet at San Jose Dance Theatre

In 2010 a young Katie Manson, while Christmas shopping, saw the dancers of San Jose Dance Theatre in a store window she was passing. She knew from that moment she wanted to be a dancer and began her exciting new journey. Captured on film by NBC News at the link provided below, this was the day which would lead Katie on a path of success, creativity, and many memorable moments. 

Recently promoted to a Level 6 student at San Jose Dance Theatre, In her five years of training with SJDT she has come a long way. Originally participating in our annual Girl Scout community development activities for the nutcracker season, she has gone on to perform annually in SJDT’S Nutcracker – celebrating 55 years this year – and many other SJDT productions. 

Katie also recently worked with renowned Bay Area photographer Kyle Adler to capture some amazing pictures.   

We sat down with Katie and asked her a few questions about her journey in dance. 

What made you want to start ballet?

I wanted to start dancing because I grew up seeing the Nutcracker every Christmas and I was fascinated by the style, the costumes, and the story they could tell with the dance. I auditioned for the Nutcracker as a beginner and later joined SJDT as a full-fledged dancer.

What are your goals as a dancer? 

My goals as a dancer are to improve my skills as long as I am dancing. More specifically, my abilities on pointe, and I hope to eventually learn and master partnering. More short-term goals are to master fouettés and deepen the spring in my jumps.

What do you like best about San Jose Dance Theatre?

I love the environment the teachers and the director facilitate and encourage. Everyone is on task but none of it feels forced. You want to dance, you want to learn and improve, and that is the most important factor that I treasure about SJDT.

What did you miss most about not being in the studio at the moment? 

I miss the interactions between my friends and the teachers, and the large spacious studios. It was something I took for granted before, but I am glad for the opportunity to continue doing classes on Zoom.

SJDT has been able to return to the studio for training this week. Katie is excited to get back into her dance routine and with all of her dance friends again, preparing for this year’s Nutcracker activities. San Jose Dance Theatre has been training young dancers for over 55 years and has seen many of them go onto professional careers in the US and around the world. 

“Katie is one of the hardest working dancers at San Jose Dance Theatre. I first met Katie when she attended one of my Girl Scout Workshops on The Nutcracker. She was a total beginner but had the courage to audition for our Nutcracker. We have roles for beginners up to advanced dancers and professional dancers in our productions. Katie committed herself to rehearsals and performances and soon joined our academy to study ballet more seriously. In the 5 years she has been with us, Katie has been a pleasure to work with. I appreciate her absolute commitment.” Artistic Director, Linda Hurkmans says

Do you want to become a dancer or just have a little bit of fun? Join Katie and the SJDT family and begin your dance journey. 

NBC News link from the Article  – www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZQlnBDfXPo

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