Run! Whatever you do, do not take this course. For starters Kathy does the same combinations for both Ballet II and Ballet III. Second, she has some social issues that make it rather difficult to enjoy ballet. Third, she takes her class very seriously and speaks to her students as if they are in kindergarten, telling them to "put their fun hats on!" If you are serious about ballet, avoid her. If you want to enjoy ballet, avoid her. If you want to have a fun dance class, avoid her.
I personally can't understand the negative reviews this wonderful professor has gotten. I have grown exponentially over the past semester in her class; my (awful) turnout has improved, i've learned so much helpful and important ballet vocabulary and my feet finally have caught up with the petit allegros I used to stumble through. I typically have a harder time picking up sequences, but she always repeats the instructions at least a second time so I feel more confident when the exercise begins. Her classes are always well structured and patterned so midway through the semester you know what to expect. She's very sweet and responds when reached out to! A lovely class
Tessa is WONDERFUL. She is extremely helpful, attentive, kind, and perceptive, and she has helped me improve my technique a great deal. She is the anti-Sabrina, but she's improved my technique more than Sabrina's class ever did. Tessa is also great at tailoring her corrections to any dancer's level of experience-- she's just as good at teaching very advanced dancers as she is at teaching people who haven't been dancing very long. She has a fantastic amount of anatomy/pilates/Feldenkrais knowledge and really knows how to deploy this knowledge to help individual dancers with individual technique problems. She's great. Take her class; you'll be so glad you did.
Before Katie's class, all the good ballet teachers I'd ever had had been somewhat of a nut. Katie is not only sane, she's also approachable, kind, and sincerely enthusiastic about her students. She emphasizes physical health in ballet instruction and her teaching style fosters a comfortable and engaging ballet class.
Katie is a great professor who made me WANT to be there every morning for class. She presents exercises clearly and encourages students to challenge themselves. Our class was small enough (about 10-15 daily) that everyone got feedback throughout the class. She also asked us to specify what we wanted to work on in the class (eg advanced moves, better placement, petite allegro, foot articulation, etc) and catered to that. Katie is very witty and offers metaphors that are fun as well as engaging, although sometimes I felt like the only one awake enough to appreciate it. Her accompanist John plays tunes that correspond to her jokes (when Katie told us we were moving our hips too much, John played the hula) and keeps things lively. Take this class if you appreciate humor (albiet sometimes very cheasey) in the classroom, but don't come half asleep or you'll miss it along with the opportunity to push yourself.
She spends most of the time at the barre. If the class does it very badly, she'll make everyone do it over again. She does loads of turns at the barre and in the center. Her exercises in the center were long and difficult to remember. Also, in my opinion SHE PLAYS FAVORITES BIGTIME!!! If you're not one of them, expect to hear feedback seldomly. I wouldn't recommend her.
I agree with the other reviewer that Katie is a modern dancer. Furthermore, while I am sure she is a really nice lady, she is patronizing. She uses metaphors and SAT words as though it were impressive. Despite the fact that her tone made me feel like she thought I was nine, I felt like she was more interested in impressing me than teaching me, which is a waste of class time. If you know what you are doing this class is fine, but don't expect any revelations from Katie.
I have taken this course with Katie for 4 semesters, and every semester it becomes more of a challenge. It's not because I'm regressing as a dancer (I hope), but because Katie constantly presents each student with new ideas and questions about the ballet vocabulary, the functions of the body, and how your mind and body work together when you dance. I'm never bored or frustrated in this class; I feel a constant pressure (nothing scary, just positive energy radiating from this great professor) to deepen my understanding of the art.
Katie may be a sweetheart but she is a MODERN dancer. This means that although she knows ballet, she sucks at teaching it. She may have amazing feet etc but she does things WAY too slowly and always does the most rudimentary routine. She doesn't employ other positions into one combination and repeats everything 5 million times to make sure EVERYONE got it.
Kathryn is an excellent dance instructor. Her barre routine is challenging, but it truly helps you develop your technique. Her center combinations are fun and invigorating. She is positive and energetic, and her comments are quite useful for improving your ballet technique. I recommend her to anybody who wants to excel.
While she's very serious about teaching you the proper technique, Katie is sweet, warm, funny, and genuinely wants you to enjoy the class. She's not an old ballet mistress with a severe bun and a cane ... she'll challenge you both at the barre and on the floor while making the combinations fun.