Kaitlyn Fitzgerald of Loretto, Ontario has been dancing since the age of two. She has studied ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, acro, musical theatre, hip hop, and contemporary at various studios including the National Ballet School of Canada. Kaitlyn is a member of the Royal Academy of Dance and is an Associate Member of the British Academy of Teachers of Dance.
Kaitlyn was the youngest contestant and Top 10 dancer on the first Season of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, and was part of the SYTYCD Canada Top 10 national tour. Since Kaitlyn’s success on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, she has performed in Blake McGrath’s Video, “The Night”, performed with Basshunter at Summer Rush, performed at the Toronto Choreographers Ball, was on the faculty of IDance convention, was a judge for the Eastern Canadian Dance Championships, participated in the Sick Kids Foundation Miracle treat day, was a choreographer’s assistant on Season 2 and 3 of “SYTYCD Canada”, and was a participant at the Rally for Kids with Cancer. Kaitlyn can also be seen in Joel Geleynse’s upcoming music video, “Oceanview.”
Kaitlyn’s proudest accomplishment was in 2009, when she co-founded “Dancing 4 a Cure”, a one day dance workshop to benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Dancing 4 a Cure Inc. has since raised over $20,000. Kaitlyn continues to travel across Canada for various projects, including teaching choreography and dance workshops, in hope of inspiring children through the art of dance.
Bio provided by Kaitlyn
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Kaitlyn: I don’t remember actually starting dance classes as I started when I was only 2. But, I do remember my first recital number. There were only 4 of us in the class and it was a Sesame Streetroutine. I was in love with the show and all I remember is that I was way too excited to be able to wear a Cookie Monster costume. I don’t remember much of the actually performance but I remember asking my mom every day if it was time to dress up as Cookie Monster.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Kaitlyn: I used to choreograph with friends from dance all the time when I was young. I remember choreographing a solo to “American Woman” by Lenny Kravitz when I was about 10 and thinking it was the best dance ever haha! But the first real number I choreographed was at my former dance studio, Joanne Chapman’s school of Dance. This is where I choreographed my first routine. It was a tap number with kids ages 5-7 and it was to “My Boyfriends Back” by the American Dreams. It worked because there were about 14 girls and only one little boy.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Kaitlyn: My advice for people when it comes to free styling is to stay true to yourself. It always looks better when a dancer shows of their best moves, rather than showing off what they think people want to see. Also, adapting to the music helps! Don’t get trapped in keeping to one style’ it the music calls for you to get a little funky, then get a little funky! I also think it helps if you have a few moves or tricks in mind that you know you want to showcase, that way you’ll never blank when it comes to your turn.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Kaitlyn: When I am preparing to choreograph, I listen to the song over and over again. For me, loving the song and knowing it inside and out is the most helpful tool. When you know all the little beats and accents in the music, it is easier to create movement that fits and flows.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Kaitlyn: I have a few… First of all I would have to say the teachers that shaped me to be the dancer I am today, Joanne Chapman and Barbara Chonin. Without them, I would have never succeeded the way I have. Other than them I would have to say Mandy Moore, Dee Caspary, and Mia Michaels. Each one of these choreographers has helped shaped my own style and each of their stories is so inspiring. They were the teachers and choreographers that allowed me to develop into who I am as a dancer today.
Nikki: What was it like being a part of So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s Top 10 season 1?
Kaitlyn: It was amazing! I would have never thought that I would have been chosen but I am so fortunate and lucky that I was. The show not only helped me in my career but I also made life long friends. The experience was unforgettable and I think it was because I was surrounded by the most amazing people!
Nikki: Name a Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Kaitlyn: I would have to say Mia Michaels. Working with such an inspiration in the dance world was such an honor and a blessing. It is amazing to see how focused she is when she works and how she knows exactly what she’s looking for from her dancers. She has a way of pushing you to achieve greatness, and that’s why all of her piece are so amazing and captivating.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Kaitlyn: I recently danced in the opening ceremony for IIFA. It was an amazing experience to be able to dance at the Rogers Center in front of a sold out crowd.
I am currently working on my non-profit organization, Dancing 4 a Cure Inc. It is a non-profit benefiting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Once a year, we put together a one-day dance workshop for dancers of all ages and levels and raise funds and awareness for an amazing cause. Other than that, I am enjoying the summer months off from school and waiting for more amazing opportunities to arise. http://www.dancing4acure.com/ for more information.
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Kaitlyn: There are a couple qualities that I think Toronto dancers possess that dancers from other places don’t. For one, dancers in Toronto are driven to succeed and be the best they can be; they don’t just sit around and wait for thing to happen, they make things happen for themselves. Secondly, I think Toronto dancers are so supportive of everyone else. There are a lot of places in the states that you go and it is so competitive and everyone is only looking out for themselves. Here, people support and encourage all dancers working in the industry and those trying to break into the industry.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Kaitlyn: My advice would be to listen to your heart and let it take you where it may. So many people get wrapped up in what friends and family has to say about their dreams and goals, but if you never try, you will never know if you would have succeeded.
THANK YOU KAITLYN FOR BEING PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT SOME OF KAITLYN’S SYTYCD EXPERIENCE…..