Katie Botkin started learning dance at the age of 6 from Yvonne Chouteau, a prima ballerina and the youngest person ever to dance with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Yvonne helped establish classical ballet in the United States, running her own ballet school in Oklahoma.
Katie danced into adulthood and has taken dance and movement classes around the world, from Bali to France to Argentina. In addition to ballet, she has studied forms such as hip hop, big-band swing, and tango — all with the goal of improving her own style. She focused in on belly dancing, particularly Datura’s fusion style. She has studied with Rachel Brice, the mother of this style, and has passed Level 1 of Rachel’s rigorous teacher training curriculum. She has also studied and performed with the world-renowned Ashley Lopez.
Katie has a master’s in teaching and has taught language on three continents. She knows that some things are easier to express in words, and others in movement. Like language, dance consists of vocabulary — small, repeatable expressions — that can be built into larger wholes, according to personal whim and without limit. Learning the structure of each piece of vocabulary, with proper alignment to prevent injury, allows dancers to move with grace and ease.