Part of a series in which we interview our teachers and staff to learn more about them and get their insights into the world of performance. This week’s interview is with Kate Vallee, who has worked as a choreographer and teacher for PAA, choreographing “Peter Pan” this summer and currently working on “The Little Mermaid Jr.”
How long have you been working with PAA?
KV: 2 years
How long have you been working in the performing arts?
KV: 18 years
What is your performance background?
KV: I grew up dancing and doing musicals from the age of 4 and then attended the prestigious Musical Theater program at Syracuse University. Upon graduation I was hired for the national tour of Funny Girl. For fifteen years I performed and choreographed for international tours, New York City shows and regional professional theaters. During that time I represented the US in The World Tap Championships and became a Radio City Rockette.
What is your favorite role or production you’ve been involved in?
KV: My favorite role was Cassie in A Chorus Line and my favorite production was Cabaret
What is your top piece of advice for aspiring performers?
KV: Go for it! Do not hold back! Put your heart, soul, and passion into everything you do. If you wait for someone to push you to the excellence you are capable of, it may never happen. Only you have the exact key and only you can unlock your full potential in every moment.
Listen, watch, observe everything, take it in and allow it to inform, inspire, and motivate you to become better.
What do you think makes PAA special or unique?
KV: PAA offers classes and performance opportunities at the same time which allows students to learn technique in every discipline and immediately apply what they have learnt. Other programs focus upon just the classroom exercises, or just the performance. PAA also offers an accepting environment for diversity and creative exploration. The students learn life lessons that go beyond theatrical pursuits.
What is your most embarrassing performing arts moment?
KV: The top of my costume falling off of my body on stage in the spotlight because the clasp came undone. YIKES!
What is your favorite quote?
KV: The audience doesn’t come to watch you perform, they come to perform with you in their souls.