The Ignite Select Team performs Katie Black’s “Unsteady” at the Spotlight Dance Competition in March 2017. (Courtesy Photo)

Valley dance teacher nominated for national choreography award

Local dance teacher and choreographer Katie Black will be heading to Hollywood on Aug. 15 for the Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show, where she is in the running for an award for Best Jazz Performance for her original dance “Unsteady.”

Black, founder of Ignite: Dance and Yoga in North Bend, created and choreographed the dance herself and is now being recognized for her work as one of nine nominees for the national award.

The Industry Dance Awards recognizes dancers, educators and choreographers for their artistic achievements. The event also has a fundraising goal of $1 million to help support charities such as Dancers Against Cancer and Right Action for Women.

“The Industry Dance Awards honors different choreographers studios and dancers from around the nation,” she said. “Our jazz routine, the one I choreographed, got nominated as one of nine in the nation. This is like a new level, something that you work toward your entire dance career for.”

Ignite’s competition dance team performed the dance, called “Unsteady,” at several competitions around the country that are partnered with the awards program, Black said. The performance features the 12 highest-level dancers at the studio bringing Black’s choreography to life.

Beginning as a dancer herself, Black has been dancing and teaching for more than 12 years. In 2010, she started Ignite in North Bend and has watched the business grow for eight years.

Throughout that time teaching, she has also been working on choreography. This nomination is the culmination of her work in teaching and in choreography.

“As I get deeper into (it), the best choreography comes out when I stick to my gut, I put on the music and I can see something I want to create by listening to the music,” she said. “(The dancers) give 120 percent to the choreography. My vision was seen on stage, it was a really great marriage of choreography and dancers… It’s been really fun exploring choreography, I found a passion for it that I didn’t know was there.”

Katie Black

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