Caitlin Mack is in her eleventh year as a company member with Kansas City Ballet. She just finished performing in the fall show, which will be her last performances for this season. Why? Caitlin and her husband are expecting TWINS!
Below, read more about Caitlin, her love for performing, teaching ballet to children and the excitement of expecting two little ones of her own soon!
Q: When did you start dancing?
A: I started dancing when I was five. I have three older sisters and they did ballet, so I was excited to be just like my sisters. When I was eight, we switched to Pacific Northwest Ballet School, which is a great school in Seattle. Once that started, I felt that I knew at a really young age that I wanted to be a professional. I absolutely loved it and I loved it because of performing. I’ve personally just always loved performing.
Q: How did you end up at KCB?
A: When I was at Pacific Northwest Ballet, I graduated from high school and stayed with their professional division program. It’s like a trainee program. Then, Bill Whitener came out to watch class. At PNB, a bunch of directors will come and watch you take class, because it’s a class of 28 talented ballet dancers. As my husband says, “You were recruited,” because that’s how he relates to it! Bill offered me a corps contract. I was 19 and I was thrilled! I was so excited and felt really good about coming to KCB. I’d heard great things. I knew they had a wonderful repertoire as well as a healthy environment, which was really important to me.
Q: What is one thing people don’t know about you?
A: I’m sort of daring. I’ve been water skiing since I was a little kid and I love it. I also slalom ski and do a little bit of wake boarding, but I also cliff jump. We’ve got this place that we go to every summer in eastern Washington. It’s on the Columbia river and there’s this awesome cliff where you can jump off 10 feet or 60 feet. I usually go for 45 feet. I’m not crazy, but semi-crazy! I think that’s why I like doing Twyla Tharp ballets and other ballets where I’m being lifted and thrown, because it’s exciting and thrilling.
Q: This is your 11th season with KCB. What do you enjoy most about being here?
A: I have been very, very happy dancing with KCB. I think I’ve been given some great opportunities that I’m not sure I would’ve been able to do in a bigger ballet company. I’d say the repertoire is fabulous; I love it. It’s a good environment too; we’ve got a great artistic staff. Also the dancers; we’re all friends. Everyone is so nice and we spend time with each other outside of the studio. The relationships and the healthy working environment has really made me very happy with KCB. I’ve had no desire to go elsewhere, because when you’re happy somewhere, why would you leave?
Q: What do you keep in your dance bag?
A: Kimberly Cowen [recently retired company dancer] and I always thought we should be sponsored by Viva Paper towels, because that’s the paper towel brand we use. The reason I always have it in my ballet bag is because I use a paper towel in my Pointe shoes. Some people use lambs wool pads or gel pads, but I use a paper towel to wrap my feet. Then I stuff my foot into my Pointe shoe. For that reason, I always keep paper towels in my dance bag. Also, right now, because I’m pregnant, I keep some almonds because every two hours I have to have a snack!
Q: Do you have any fun stories from your time teaching here at KCB?
A: So, besides dancing, I’ve also been teaching here for 9 years. I teach the little kids, and I’ve always loved children. I just think they’re adorable and so funny. When I told my creative movement class, “Ok guys I have a really special announcement! I’m going to have two babies! There are two babies growing in my tummy!” One of the little girls looked at me and said, “Are they trying to get out??” I was cracking up. It was so precious! I don’t know if that’s why I love teaching, because you never know what they’re going to say, or what they’re going to do, but that was a really cute response!
I think the thing that is making me really excited, besides the fact that I know they can hear music is that it’s sort of a special experience knowing that you’re performing and there are two little babies inside of you. They’re performing with me.