So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and Step Up Revolution star Kathryn McCormick is returning to Victorian Dance Festival (VDF) this March, sponsored by Energetiks and Dance Informa! You can feel the anticipation in the air as dancers across Australia get ready to embark for Melbourne for a weekend packed full of dance at the Melbourne Town Hall from March 17-19.
Social media has been exploding as it was recently announced that this year McCormick will be accompanied by her SYTYCD Next Generation partner, young Tate McRae! McRae is an international hit, with over 360,000 Instagram followers and a host of awards at only 13 years of age.
Here, McCormick talks about why she’s excited for VDF 2017.
What was the highlight of your visit to Victorian Dance Festival last year?
“I feel so grateful to get to share my love for dance with students from all around the world. I loved getting to know the students and watching how they approach movement. But let’s be honest, I’m in love with the accents. The absolute best!”
What are you most looking forward to this year?
“I’m looking forward to getting to build deeper relationships with everyone I spent time with last year. I also can’t wait to get to spend time with Tate and move with her again. We don’t get to see each other often, so to get to see her and her mother and show her Australia all at the same time, that will be wonderful!”
What can dancers expect from your class?
“I hope to create a safe environment where dancers can let go and discover a genuine/human quality inside of themselves. I hope for each dancer to leave the class inspired and feeling more connected to themselves and the community of dancers around them rather than feeling they are taking class on their own. Dance is way bigger than the movement; it is our way to meet new friends and empower each other through our time we have together.”
How excited are you to be coming out with your SYTYCD friend, Tate McRae?
“Very, very very! I cannot wait to spend some time with her!”
How will Tate inspire her young, fellow dancers?
“She is obviously an incredible mover, which will inspire others around her without question, but bigger than that she is a kind, open-hearted, genuine young lady. Her heart and work ethic will be something other dancers will not forget. She is a living example that you can have incredible ability and still stay humble and make others a priority. You will see…”
How do dance festivals like VDF benefit a dancer?
“They give dancers an opportunity to be inspired by other dancers in their community, to experience new styles and teachers they may not have the chance to be in class with on a daily basis, and a chance to challenge themselves physically while dancing their heart out for two days straight.”
What’s your favourite thing about dance?
“Dance is what carries me to new places and introduces me to new friends, and some of those relationships become family. Dance challenges me in such a deep way and has made me a stronger woman, physically and emotionally. It brings up real conflict within my soul and reveals what needs to be addressed and processed as I am growing and changing throughout the years. It also brings me great joy. I am forever grateful to get to move like I do.”
Birthday: July 7th
Favourite food: “Anything coconut. I love coconut ice cream. And sweet potatoes.”
Most amazing place you have visited: “I hiked the Salkantay Trek up to Machu Picchu in Peru with my husband in 2014. That trip to this day has been my favourite yet!”
Most amazing performance: “To be honest, I have a lot of personal favourite moments on stage, but one recently was at a camp called Perry-Mansfield last summer. I was working with Stacey Tookey, and we had a residency there for her company, Still Motion. We performed in a barn for college students. It was one of the most freeing weeks of rehearsal and performance I have ever experienced, and no one will ever see it. Just some of my best friends and I sharing the stage and doing what we love together and using our passions to inspire up-and-coming dancers. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Age you start dancing and why: “I started when I was three years old. My mom owned a studio when I was little, so you know how that goes.”
Favourite style of dance: “I love contemporary because of how much space it gives you to be human and tell a story. I absolutely love ballet and enjoy all styles I have had the opportunity of experiencing, but contemporary is where my heart feels the most at home.”
Top item on your bucket list: “My husband and I are constantly checking things off of our bucket lists together, but one for me that hasn’t been checked off yet is a safari in Africa. I would absolutely love to experience that!”
By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.