Sunday, October 6, 2019

Kaitlin Hines-Vargas

Kaitlin Hines-Vargas, in her second season with MDTC, performs Khaleegi dance from the Persian Gulf area. (Photo by Bob Greenwald)

I never could have predicted that I would become a dancer. I was focused on the quiet art form of writing until I felt the need to express myself without words. Dancing, to me, creates a place where you can live fully and deeply in the moment while uniting with music. To find and achieve that over and over again is a really wonderful goal, one that I never tire of. That, and the excitement of improv, keep me going. 

    I came to Middle Eastern Dance as a teenager, and at the time I was just eager to learn how to express myself through movement. What kept me connected was the intensely personal focus each dancer has in interpreting music. There are so many exciting choices in this rich vocabulary of dance, and so many evocative stories to tell -- I’m constantly surprised by what the dance has to offer! Over time, what has surprised me the most is how this long-standing form has been influenced by and evolved through exposure to other dance forms and dancers across the world, and still retains an earthy, communicative dynamism that is truly unique.  I enjoy most folklore but really enjoy the swing and groove of Khaleegi. 

   It’s a real challenge to balance daily life and needs with my desire to focus on dance, but that’s necessary.  It’s become mostly about managing my energy and trying to create a schedule for myself that values my creativity and health as a dancer while upholding other commitments as necessary. 

   Performing with Mosaic has been incredibly rewarding in the last year. I am grateful for the opportunity to get onstage so often at very different venues. Over and above that, I really love the mix of repertoire - it’s rewarding to perform folkloric material alongside classical oriental and modern fusion. You don’t get that variety very often!

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