Magazine article Dance Magazine

The 2-Year Audition

Magazine article Dance Magazine

The 2-Year Audition

Article excerpt

Usually, the longer you're kept at an audition, the better your chances. But few last quite as long as Katie Dehler's did: almost two years. Growing up, Dehler was told by teachers that she didn't have the technique to dance professionally, and she believed them. She never once attended a formal audition. "I didn't have the self-esteem to listen to someone tell me I wasn't good enough," she says. Dehler knew that she had a special talent for performing, but her modest personality never stood out among other dancers in the context of a ballet class.

She received her BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Utah in 2000. Living in Aspen, she became an office manager for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet so she would be able to take class with the company and continue working on her technique. When the company hired extra women for The Nutcracker, Dehler got a chance to perform. "She really shocked us," says artistic director Tom Mossbrucker, who had been impressed with Dehler's work ethic in the office, but never before noticed her as a dancer. "She stood out onstage, and was strikingly beautiful." Just one of many in the "Waltz of the Flowers," Dehler abandoned her ordinarily demure persona and showed off an ability to be that girl in corps you simply can't stop watching. However, the contemporary company only performs classical ballet at Christmastime, so Dehler continued her efforts, taking class in the morning and doing office work in the afternoon.

It wasn't until contemporary choreographer Nicolo Fonte came to Santa Fe to set a piece on the company that Dehler got her big break. …

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