Q: What have been some challenges in either your pre-professional or professional dance career?
First off, my neighborhood in Dallas is primarily white. I was always the token black kid, and bullied in school. Eventually I went to New York University and got back to basically being the token. It was definitely hard, growing up, to actually see myself in some of the worlds that I wanted to be in. I am much more muscular. I build muscle in a different way. My body looks different, my skin looks different, my hair looks different. I definitely struggled and continued to struggle with my confidence. And in particular, when I was younger, with my self worth...I remember seeing AIM perform around the city and when I moved up to Harlem. I remember vividly, Rena Butler on stage and I was thinking about how amazing it was, and that I could never do that. Then, I go to this audition and we have to do it. And it's this thing that I've told myself I couldn’t do. I usually wouldn't really try, I would kind of fake it. But I was in the audition and I just told myself I had to try and I did. Ever since then, it was like a light turned on. From then on, I vowed to just at least try. At least give myself enough credit to take the chance and to take a risk. To fight for what I before couldn't even admit that I wanted. So, it's gone in stages but it's getting better. My confidence is still something that can kind of knock me down and keep me down.
Q: How is the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as a performing artist?
It changed everything. It changed my lifestyle obviously, it changed the financial support that I had. But as a performing artist, some of the things, honestly, have been positive. I can get really in my head. And I'm not now. I've been getting anxious before, I can get really overwhelmed. But I was talking to some of my friends and I was journaling the other day, and I was like, “If I actually have a chance to think about it, everything is so up in the air.” Everything is. So, it could go in so many different directions. You can be hypothetical about this and that, and get overwhelmed. But this is the first time where it's actually better for me to just be in the present moment. And I just, I don't know, I've been able to rest. I've been able to get to know myself. The only thing that I have done routinely and consistently has been meditating every day...
Catherine Kirk is a performing artist from Dallas, Texas. She cultivated her passion for dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before graduating from New York University Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. Catherine has completed programs with Springboard Danse Montreal, Movement Invention Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the Gaga Intensive in Tel Aviv where she performed works by Fernando Melo, Sharon Eyal, Ohad Naharin, Andrea Miller, and Robert Battle. Since then, Catherine has worked and performed with Helen Simoneau Danse, UNA Productions, Burr Johnson, and Jasmine Hearn. In 2013, Catherine gained her yoga certification through The Perri Institute for Mind and Body and became a member of Kyle Abraham’s dance company, A.I.M where she continues to perform and work as their Education and Marketing Associate. Catherine sustains a teaching yoga practice, dabbles in photography, continues to dedicate her time off stage in arts administration, and lives in her artistic practice through her ancestry, her faith, and her hope to remain curious.