If movement is involved,
Katie Burks is an American dancer,
choreographer, educator, and adventurer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where (in the world) are you?
Home Base: Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Texas, USA
More often than not, my traveling whereabouts outside the Lone Star State are made public through my social media accounts. If you see that I've tagged your stomping ground, and you A) aren't psycho, B) are nearby, and C) are craving adventure, please message me! I love making new connections - so long as I'm not actively running a black ops mission in the middle of a jungle, facilitating a jewelry heist, or stowed away on a barge. In the event I am fully off-grid, your best chance of finding me is via bat signal. I suggest you use a moose instead of a bat to avoid confusion, but I respond to either.
Are you a ballerina? What kind of dancer are you?
Short Answer: No, and the kind that prefers to get paid for her work (a kind less prominent than you might think!)
Long, novel-length answer:
Growing up, I studied Ballet, Jazz, and Tap fundamentals alongside gymnastics, cheer tumbling, and musical theatre. Raised exceptionally Southern, I also trained in baton twirling... a lot. In fact, I spent so much of my childhood twirling that I had the privilege of being one of 16 to represent Team USA by performing at the Sydney Olympics - and you can bet those batons were dragged all the way down under for the show!
Soon after, a competitive dance studio introduced me to the world of Contemporary dance and I pursued focused training in Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. Following in the footsteps of the studio's Artistic Director, I auditioned for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts to study dance pre-professionally.
It was there, at 14 years old, that I was exposed to Modern Dance’s Martha Graham and Lester Horton techniques, and I fell madly in love with the idea of a concert dance career. Dallas’ premiere dance presenter, TITAS, exposed me to every dance company and dance performance imaginable; I took workshops and learned from more dance icons than I can currently count. By 18, I had worked alongside and learned from more dance professionals than most dancers get to meet in their lifetime - and that was only the beginning.
Studying Dance at Point Park University and spending three summers at The American Dance Festival, I continued training in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Dance. Point Park's curriculum taught in-depth Graham and Horton techniques as well as Katherine Dunham technique, while the ADF taught me José Limón technique and introduced me to the style of Postmodern dance. Along the way, I was also exposed to the styles and teachings of dance masters Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, David Parsons, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Shen Wei, Doug Varone, and more. I soon began dancing professionally for Contemporary and Jazz dance organizations across the USA.
Some years later, I moved to England to pursue graduate studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where I was exposed to interdisciplinary art and performance art. I watched a lot of dance and a lot of hyper-visual performance work that called itself dance but was absolutely not dance. I recognized the prevalence of dance in the museum and in site-specific locations abroad versus the traditionally stage-based work presented in the USA. But mostly, I held steadfast to the belief that my country (and the many great dance masters that came from it) pioneered Modern Dance, while my school's Hungarian namesake alongside many great other dance masters pioneered European Expressionist Dance.
So, I spend a lot of time calling myself a Modern dancer when abroad, mostly for the sake of American pride (moot that I don't work for a Modern Dance company like the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, etc.). When making dances, I tend to select dancers who have a rather Americanized Jazz dance background in addition to steadfast Ballet training (or in my favorite special case, a European heavily trained in Latin ballroom dance alongside Ballet). And to save everyone from the long-winded explanation, I just say I'm a "contemporary dancer" to cover everything!
Can you prove you're a real person?
I'm not a bot! I do tend to keep such late hours that many people are suspicious I'm a vampire, but my birth certificate says I'm human.
Can I join you?
What Are You Up To?
• Company Director + Dance Instructor | XD2 Dance, Garland, Texas