In our second installment of introducing you to our founders, we’d like you to get to know Kristen! Kristen started dancing at the age of five, and hasn’t sat still since. She’s never met a dessert she didn’t like, she has a huge coffee bean selection at her house, she’s actually pretty good at golfing, and her favourite dance scene in a movie is the finale in Dirty Dancing.
What initially drew you to take dance? How long did you take classes for?
I was drawn right away to acrobatics. I couldn’t get enough of it! I took all types of classes. I was always excited for a new dance class each night. I would get so excited to dress up in tights and wear my hair perfectly in a bun. I remember crying once because my ponytail wasn’t perfect. But who didn’t? right?!! I trained until my first year as a professional dancer at the age of 19 and continued dancing ever since.
What is your favorite genre of dance to perform? Why?
That’s a tough question. I love jazz; I have always found Bob Fosse to be an inspiration in my dance career. What was important for me to learn as a young dancer is that it was no longer about just executing the steps, I realized that dance is an expression of art through movement. This is what helped me to grow as a professional dancer.
What was your favorite costume you ever got to wear?
My favourite costume was an entire white lace unitard including a head cover. This costume had hundreds of Swarovski crystals all over it. We had so much fun staying up all night and gluing them on individually while I wore it. The things we do for dance!
What was the most embarrassing moment you’ve had at a competition?
Where do I begin?! So many to choose from. Well, when I first started dancing on a cruise ship I had to practice my quick changes. Another dancer was helping me with my wig while I was tying up my shoes. I came out late for the entrance. They stopped the performance to ask why I hadn’t made it out on time. As I was explaining myself, everyone started staring at me in shock. I was quite confused as to why they were looking at me so horrified. I then felt something cold running down my face. It was not sweat however, it was blood. It turns out that the girl using the wig in the cast before me did not use wig pins to hold her wig on the holder she used straight pins. These were now in my head and had to be pulled out one by one, followed by a good old tetanus shot. I was so embarrassed to start of my contract with a trip to the doctor’s office. My nickname after that was China, they all said I was fragile like a China Doll. I still hear that nickname to this day.
What do you think we should know about Kelly?
Kelly is an amazing cook. She always turns nothing into something you would pay hundreds of dollars for in a restaurant. Her macarons are to die for!
What made you decide to start Simply The Best!?
I have always loved working with young dancers. I thought about opening a dance studio, but a dance competition gives me an opportunity to reach out to even more youth and promote dance as an art. I want to give dancers the same advantages that I had when I was a young dancer.