We had the good fortune of connecting with Kat Arias and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kat, what principle do you value most?
I started my business because I personally felt like I didn’t belong anywhere so I created a place for me; therefore inclusivity to people from all walks of life is very important to me. It is also something that I am continually learning about and trying to be better at because there’s so many layers to it. Dancing is something that is for everyone but so many people feel that it isn’t for them for a variety of reasons – whether it be because they’re not made to feel welcome for who they are, or what they look like or because the dancing structure is not made accessible to them. In my Company, I want people to know that there is a place for them to be who they are, and that I will continue to work towards that vision so that they feel seen, heard and valued but most importantly free to pursue the joy of dancing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have loved dancing my entire life but I didn’t get a chance to truly pursue it until I was an adult: in an industry where so many people start out as children, I have always felt like the odd one out because I am not as trained in various genres as some of my incredible colleagues in the community. But I have a lot of heart, an endless amount of passion for dancing, an unquenchable work ethic and an incredible love for everything dancing can be and is to me. I spend most of my time in the studio training my dancers and also pursuing opportunities to train myself with different dancers that I admire. I also travel for parts of the year to different places to teach and perform, when I’m not actively teaching I can say most of my time is spent trying to catch up with endless administrative work.
Dance has been the most difficult thing I have ever pursued in life, and also the one thing that I have sacrificed the most for – I would definitely say that I have failed many more times than I have won, but the lessons that have come from each failure are what have helped me grow the most. I had to put a rule on myself for dealing with the multitude of challenges throughout the years: I let myself feel whatever it is – angry, sad, frustrated – but I put a time limit on it based on how big it is. Once the time is up, I force myself to change gears and come up with solutions. This has given me permission to feel whatever I need to feel, but with a limitation. I have found that my mindset and outlook on life must remain positive and solution focused in order to continue to move forward.
Some lessons I’ve learned along the way:
– You have to be your own biggest fan.
– Do not make impulsive decisions.
– Commit and trust in your vision.
– Learn to say no.
– Set and enforce boundaries.
– It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
I want the world to know that I am certainly not the best dancer, choreographer or instructor out there – but I will work as hard as I can every second of my life to make my vision come to life. I will never stop working to be the best dancer, choreographer, director and instructor that I can be. My brand is a direct reflection of my heart, my soul and everything that is in my own personal story, it is my love personified and I work round the clock to make this a reality.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Truth be told, I’m one of the most boring people in the entire world, HAHA! But we’ll give this a shot.
Restaurants to visit:
2941 in Falls Church, VA
Bartaco in Mosaic District
Koobala in Fairfax, VA
La Granja de Oro in Falls Church, VA
Mom & Pop Coffee Shop in Mosaic District
Sequoia in Georgetown, DC
Barcelona in Washington, DC
UNO’s in Falls Church, VA (Specifically the White Sangria)
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Old Town Alexandria
Any of the Museums (They’re free in DC!)
Gravelly’s Point by the DC airport
The Monuments (Especially FDR, MLK and around the basin)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father, Dr. Jacinto Cesar Arias, is the biggest reason I have found the courage to pursue dance as a life vocation. Not only did he give up all of his dreams that he had worked for and achieved so that I could have a better life, but he was the best cheerleader I could have ever asked for. He showed me an amazing work ethic, and never ending optimism to combat everything in this life. He also showed me how to make space for people in your heart and how to give endlessly even when you think you have nothing to offer. He helped me get the funding together to get my studio, my home away from home that’s become a haven for so many of my dancers. Kidney cancer took my father from me in December of 2014, but everything I do is in honor of him, the dream he helped make come true for me, and the incredible person he was.
Instagram: ferocitydance & itskatarias
Instant Vintage Photography Media Rebel Tellez Photography RVA Salsa Bachata Congress World Latin Dance Cup