A seven-year-old girl dreaming of owning her own dance studio: That was Katherine Kruger’s first memory of her passion and drive for dance. Now she’s 20 and enrolled full time at Centralia College, working toward that goal.
Kruger looks forward to opening a traveling dance studio to serve rural communities. Her plan is to have a studio based in Randle, Wash., with satellite studios in neighboring communities. “I would offer classes at a small studio as a base for a dance headquarters, and then set up other community centers to offer lessons,” she says.
At age seven, she performed in “The Sound of Music,” a production of the Fire Mountain Arts Council in Morton, where she acted, sang, and danced. After that, she performed in the traveling Missoula Children’s Theatre, and took part in MCT’s summer camp.
After dancing her way through lessons from age 16 at the Eatonville Dance Center, Kruger continued her dance studies while a student at Portland’s Lewis & Clark College, where she attended after graduating from White Pass High School. “I knew I loved dance and performing, but it wasn’t until I was at Lewis & Clark that I decided what to do with my life.”
Kruger says she chose Centralia College because “It’s convenient, I can live at home in Randle and commute.” Also, she was inspired by her mother, who went back to school when Kruger was in fourth grade and graduated from Centralia College.
As a first year Centralia College student (having transferred credits from Lewis & Clark), Kruger will graduate this June, then transfer to a four-year institution to complete her bachelor’s degree.
As a work-study student in the Office of College Relations, Kruger helps prepare for campus events and assists with social media. She selects and interviews students for the BlazerBite Student of the Week, posted on the college’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CentraliaCollege). The BlazerBite Student of the Week receives a coupon for a free coffee.
What’s the best thing about Centralia College? Kruger says, “I really like the class size. I have friends at other universities having trouble finding time to meet with professors. We have more opportunity to meet with the professor and be engaged in the subject.”
Kruger believes that Centralia College “is a really great school. I’m really pleased with my experiences here. The staff and faculty are helpful at getting the classes you need. It’s the same as classes at bigger colleges but a whole lot cheaper. It’s a really great thing!”
After completing her bachelor’s degree, her plan is to “be involved in different dance studios. I’ll see what opportunities arise,” she says. “I’m really passionate about learning, so it makes going to school easy. I’m just thankful for the opportunities to expand myself and have it [education] be so attainable, because I realize that’s not true for everyone. I enjoy my time here. It’s good stuff!”
Kruger is on her way to making dreams come true for other young dancers.