One of the major reasons I became so deeply involved in dance is because of how much I believe in its community role. The way movement can transform and build a community, in all senses and ways (small or large), is continuously inspiring. And that’s why I am so thrilled to feature Catherine this week – because we’ve both remained dedicated to making dance accessible for everyone. We have known each other basically our whole lives, since we grew up in St. Croix together, and it makes me smile every time I think about the path she’s created for herself within the dance world. She became a rock-star ballerina growing up (I was always jealous because I dropped out of our ballet class in first grade…oops) but has continued to be true to herself… she’s an incredible performer, arts-advocate, friend, and all-around amazing person. Let’s see what moves her!
Catherine Roth: Dancer and Co-Founder of Agora Dance
Collaboration and community continue to drive and inspire me. When Agora Dance was created, I had the desire to serve the dance community. There are incredibly talented, hard-working artists out there, and I felt like I could help facilitate exciting projects that will feed them artistically and hopefully financially. But for dance to be effective, it needs to reach people- all people. With Agora Dance, along with traditional venues, we’re trying to bring dance into un-traditional spaces, like parks and restaurants, to demonstrate what I already feel- that contemporary dance isn’t esoteric- it can connect to any community and that there’s value in watching it.
Catherine grew up in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a small Caribbean island. She feels incredibly lucky to have had access to ballet training and two wonderful dance teachers, Heidi Wright and Sonja Dickerson-Faust. Catherine majored in Ballet Performance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where along with continuing to study ballet, she had my first serious experiences studying modern and jazz techniques. After graduating in 2010, she moved to NYC where she apprenticed with Brooklyn Ballet and participated in smaller choreographic projects. Catherine also spent time dancing, choreographing and teaching in St. Croix before moving to Maryland in 2012. In the DC Metro Area, Catherine has danced with Bowen McCauley Dance, Ballet ADI, and Moveius Contemporary Ballet. In September 2015, she co-founded Agora Dance, DC & Philadelphia based contemporary dance company, with Olivia Sabee and Niko Sommaripa.
Check out her company here!