Kate Mainprize

Dancer Name

If you could see Kate Mainprize’s 180 degree arabesque, you’d be surprised to discover that she’s had to work really hard on her flexibility because she said she is not naturally flexible.

She describes herself as vivacious, hyperactive, and clumsy, and as soon as you meet Kate, you know the first one is definitely true.  Dance has been a life saver for Kate, and it makes her feel strong physically and emotionally.

Find out more about Kate by reading her answers to our Q&A below.

Tell us about your early dance journey?  Where did you start and what did you do as a child?

I have to give credit to my year 2/3 teacher as I possibly would have never gotten into dance if it wasn’t for her. When I was 8 (in year 4) we were offered electives at school. I was so lucky to get into the ‘dance elective’ which was run by this teacher. At the end of the year she suggested to my mum that I should enrol in dance as she saw ‘potential’. At the ‘late’ age of nine, I began taking ballet classes at Panache Dance Studio. I danced there for three years before my late teacher suggested to my mum that I attend Terry Simpson Studios. Whilst at Terry Simpson I trained in ballet, jazz and contemporary. It was a big commitment however I feel that I gained majority of my technique and skills at this school. I also was dancing at FLAVA however due to a torn hamstring, I had to take a year off from dance at the age of 14. Due to the increasing demands of high school, I made the decision to return to dance at a different school, this being Prestige Dance Academy. I took ballet, jazz and contemporary classes here up until Year 12 and absolutely loved the school!

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What is your earliest memory of dance?

Dancing in the schools’ ‘dance team’ in year 4.

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What have been some standout moments/achievements you’ve had with dance?

Winning ‘dancer of the year’ after my first year of lessons. Winning ‘most improved classical dancer’ after my first year of lessons. Teaching the kids Hip Hop classes at Hyperdance. Choreographing and running the Highgate Primary School Health Hussle for their annual sports day in 2012-2014. Being offered a position to study dance full time at Dance Factory in Melbourne.

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What is your favourite thing about dance?

For me it is my escape from reality. I love how positive and strong a feel physically and emotionally after I have danced. Dance is my favorite hobby and has saved me from some unhealthy habits in the past.

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What is your favourite thing about performing?

The whole experience! I love the costumes, the atmosphere back stage and then the feeling of the lights on you when you enter the stage. The moment I leave the stage I feel so good and proud of what myself and my co dancers have achieved together!

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What dance styles are you most drawn to?

I love all however I would say that my two strongest are lyrical and Jazz.

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What are your top three favourite dance movies?

Although they aren’t necessarily dance movies, I am still a sucker for Hairspray (mostly due to Zac Efron), Step Up and the Greatest Showman.

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What for you is the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of dance?

The most challenging part of dance for me is the strong commitment needed to maintain you technique, strength and skills. I know that if I want to dance to the best of my ability, I need to stretch, train and practice technique at least three times per week (outside of lessons). This is because I wasn’t born with ‘natural’ flexibility and have worked hard to become flexible so therefore if I do not practice it once every 2-3 days, I take a step backwards with my overall dance ability. The most rewarding aspect of dance for me would have to be when I am at work (working in primary schools) and the kids ask if I can do the splits. Being me (very immature), I join in with them and their reactions when I show them some other dance moves/tricks is seriously the best! They treat you like a celebrity haha

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What training or practice do you do at home?

I try to follow this routine weekly to keep myself fit, healthy, flexible and to maintain my technique. Three to four times per week I will do the following: 10 minutes of stretching, yoga and floor work 5-10 minutes of intense working out (push ups, squats etc) 10 minutes of ballet/barre work (plea’s, arabesques etc) 15 minutes of technique (kicks, leaps, pirouettes and spins etc) 5-10 minutes freestyle dancing

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What keeps you motivated when you are tired, discouraged, or down?

Definitely dance. It is my go to for whenever I am feeling down, stressed or uptight

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Why did you decide to audition for the MTL Performing Company?

I wanted to do something more than just take dance lessons! I had heard of Move Through Life Dance Studio so when I saw the post re auditions, I thought that for once I would seize the opportunity to audition.

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What is your favourite thing about being part of the MTL Performing Company?

The amazing girls and director. I have never met a group of dancers that are as genuine, passionate, friendly and talented than the girls at MTL Performing Company. I love Jo McDonald’s principles and standards of the company and how she includes all of us.

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What always makes you laugh?

The kids at work. There is never a dull day or moment in the classroom.

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What hobbies do you have outside of dance?

I am a sucker for Candy Crush. I love spending time with my family and partner and love to swim in the pool or at the beach!

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What is your ‘day job’? (could be working, studying, volunteering etc)

I am in the final stages of my degree- Bachelor of Primary Education (R-7/Special Education) Bachelor of Disability Studies. I work as a Student Support Officer at two beautiful primary schools five days a week. I also tutor a beautiful girl and work in one of the schools Out of School Hours Care Programme.

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Describe your personality in three (or so) words

Vivacious, hyperactive, clumsy