Young Alumnus Award winner Katrina Toews has been dedicated to dance from a young age -- so much so that she made it part of her Bethel major, even though the college does not have a dance program.
Toews will lead a group of her students in a dance performance at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 28, and receive the Young Alumnus Award in convocation at 11 a.m. Monday, March 29. Both events in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center are free and open to the public. An offering will taken Sunday to help the group pay travel costs. Checks are to be made payable to "The Washington Ballet" with "Kansas Trip" on the memo line.
Toews is a 1998 graduate with a B.A. in fine arts and elementary education. She had begun studying dance with Annette Thornton at the Newton Dance Center as a child but quit in high school. Then when she came to Bethel, she picked up entry-level ballet. “I loved it so much,” she says, “I couldn’t stand not to keep taking it, so I decided to see if I could keep studying dance at Wichita State University.” She developed her fine arts major to incorporate dance and also started a dance studio and taught ballet and jazz to help pay her way through college.
Toews went on to a master’s program at American University, Washington, D.C. She earned the coveted ballet fellowship at AU and graduated in 2002 with a degree in dance education. From 2002-04, she taught at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
While Toews was at AU, The Washington School of Ballet founder Mary Day hired her as a teacher. In 2004, Toews returned to The Washington Ballet as director of education. In 2005, The Washington Ballet inaugurated its satellite campus with Toews as interim director. In 2006, she was appointed permanent director of The Washington Ballet@THEARC (TWB@THEARC; THEARC, pronounced “The Ark,” stands for Town Hall Education, Arts & Recreation Campus).