Article written by dance company member, Melissa Reilly
Sister Kate has been on my radar for a very long time. The only problem was that I lived in a different state. It has taken a couple of years for me to get to where I am today – a brand new Sister Kate member.
My family moved from San Diego to Redmond in June 2022. It just so happened that Sister Kate was holding auditions the day before we moved. I reached out to the dance company because I really hadn’t seen many audition opportunities for Sister Kate. I wanted to see if I could submit a dance video. They said that it would be okay if I did a live Zoom call. Everyone auditioning was given the same opportunity. We had a few weeks to learn a piece of original Sister Kate choreography and choreograph our own 8 bars of music that they gave us.
Part of me wishes that the audition was in person so I could feel the motivation and inspiration from the other auditionees by being physically present. However, I was overwhelmed with joy that I had the opportunity to perform solo. I loved when at the end of auditioning a number, that I could see virtually on my laptop – my now fellow Katemates – all joyfully clapping away. It was amusing, but I also felt support and encouragement from them.
As new Katemates, several of us began the process of learning some of the most important choreographies in June during the “off season”, where we would meet in-person once a month. Everyone was extremely welcoming, helpful, and encouraging. There were even “new member training” sessions, providing us with extra practice time to help us with formations, choreography, and to answer any questions we might have. Since we only met once a month, we needed to work on our own and were encouraged to meet in groups or get together with older Sister Kate members to review choreography outside of our scheduled practice time.
Preparing for My First Sister Kate Cabaret
The goal was to prepare us for our first Cabaret show, Chorus Girls and Cocktails in November. We endeavored to learn four routines over the span of six months for us to be “show ready”. These routines are quite complex. With a large group, we have to make sure that we look synchronous, for example; our arms need to be at the correct angle or our heads are looking in the same direction. If we are off then we will not look like a cohesive dance troupe. This can be challenging as we strive towards perfection in each routine.
Along with older Sister Kate numbers, there was a brand new number debuted at Chorus Girls and Cocktails. This number included the entire cast ensemble. New members were spotlighted in different duets and trios, which provided us with amazing collaboration opportunities with older Katemates and showcased our creativity.
Sister Kate Dance Company pushes me to be a better dancer and I am over the moon with excitement that I get to work with these ladies once a week and we performed in our first cabaret show together on Saturday, November 12th.