Catherine Hurlin

Catherine Hurlin has long limbs, sky-high extensions and super-archy feet, complemented by a keen sense of line and port de bras. When given a correction, she works on it intently. Ballet is her element.

She’s only 13, but Catherine’s resumé is already impressive. Most notably, this tiny dancer (she’s only 4'7"!) was one of two Claras in the Nutcracker portion of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in 2007 and 2008 (performing in more than 100 shows each season!). She also had a small role in American Ballet Theatre’s Le Corsaire at the Metropolitan Opera House in May 2008.

A native of Westchester County, NY, Catherine started dancing at age 3 at the Scarsdale Ballet Studio before transferring to Westchester Dance Academy. She found success on the competition circuit, taking home awards like New York City Dance Alliance’s 2008 National Junior Outstanding Dancer. At Youth America Grand Prix, Catherine received the Hope Award, the highest honor given in the pre-competitive age division. Through YAGP she also received a career-changing opportunity: a scholarship to study full-time at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School during the 2008–2009 school year.

At JKO, Catherine takes ballet and pointe classes five afternoons a week. “It’s been more challenging than the classes I used to take,” she says, “but I think being challenged is good!”

Catherine’s talent is unmistakable. “Since Catherine has been [with us],” says Franco De Vita, principal of the JKO School and one of Catherine’s teachers, “it has been a pleasure to have not only an exceptionally talented young dancer in the school but, most importantly, a humble young lady who is a team player. Those qualities are indispensable for a dancer’s survival, success and happiness as a member of a ballet company.”

What’s next for Catherine? She’ll be performing in Mozartiana with ABT this May, and she hopes to keep training at the JKO School—and to eventually join ABT! Though she doesn’t plan to do the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in 2009 (she wants to have an uninterrupted eighth-grade year), Catherine does hope more opportunities of that type lie in her future. But her goals also go beyond the stage: “I want to be a dance teacher,” she explains. “I would love to go back to Westchester and teach there because I know the studio’s style.”

In the meantime, she intends to enjoy her training and take in everything she can. “People have different ways to express themselves,” she says. “Ballet is a good way to express who I am.”

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search