By Josie Gates
Youthlinks and Rockland After-School Alliance (RASA) are thrilled to announce that local dance teacher Katie Thompson of Rockland has signed on to teach another session of an after-school Hip Hop class to RDMS students. This will be Thompson’s third session volunteering for Youthlinks and RASA. Thompson is a 2006 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School and is currently a student at University College at Rockland.
Thompson has been an enthusiastic member of mid-coast Maine’s dance community since she was a little girl. She danced ballet when she was three years old, and was then trained through a wide variety of dance classes and workshops in Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, focusing on Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, plus Break Dancing, Street Jazz, and Yoga. While she focuses mostly in the style of Hip Hop technique, it is evident in her dance that she is comfortable transposing choreography from all genres into her pieces.
Thompson started teaching dance when she was fifteen alongside then local dance teacher and performer, Annie Laurita. Since then Thompson has taught all over the mid-coast area, from public workshops in crowded school gymnasiums to private studio classes. She is also a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher. Some of her most memorable experiences as a professional dancer and choreographer have been choreographing for large dance shows and musicals, like the recent CHRHS fall production. When she was seventeen she took on the endeavor of creating a show called “Whose Beat Is It Anyway” along with fellow local dancer, Morgan Cooper. The pair focused on every detail of the performance from directing, lighting, set design, as well as all of the choreography. She has also choreographed for the Camden Shakespeare Company, Ashwood Waldorf School, and North Haven Arts and Enrichment. One of her favorite choreographing experiences was this past year, as she took on the role of choreographer for CHRHS’s production of “West Side Story”. As a student at UROCK, Thompson is currently working on an independent study project for college credit with local educator, Jon Potter, on how kids find comfort in themselves through dance.
One of Thompson’s favorite parts of teaching is combining kids and adults from all walks of life into a class and giving them the same opportunity and experiences. She speaks very openly and passionately about her love of watching students “come into their own” through dance. Because Thompson has been teaching and choreographing in the mid-coast for so long, she’s had the pleasure of watching her young dancers grow and emerge as they reveal some tremendous talent. She sees lots of opportunity in the area for dancers of all ages and talents and looks forward to continuing to strengthen Mid-Coast’s Maine promising dance community. For more information, to register, or to find out how you can volunteer, please contact Youthlinks: 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org
Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983.