Katharine Wildish

Katharine "Kat" Wildish (born 21 September 1959) is a ballerina from Tampa, Florida, U.S.A. She danced with the New York City Ballet (1981-1983), American Ballet Theatre (1985-1987), and performed as a guest artist for a number of companies worldwide before retiring from stage work in 2007.

Katharine "Kat" Wildish
Born (1959-09-21) 21 September 1959 (age 61)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.
Years active1974–2007
Former groupsNew York City Ballet
Metropolitan Opera Ballet
American Ballet Theatre
Fokine Ballet
Kat Wildish and Slawomir Wozniak dancing The Nutcracker with the Fokine Ballet

Wildish is a Master Teacher of Ballet, certified from primary through Level 7 (the highest) of the ABT® National Training Curriculum, and a proponent of dance education and performance for adults.

Wildish has also functioned as a director, producer, and choreographer.

Early life and educationEdit

Katharine "Kat" Wildish was born in Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.[1] At the age of 15, she toured the southern United States as a member of Ballet Gala.[2][3] On a two-year full scholarship from the Ford Foundation,[3] she was trained at the School of American Ballet.[4] Wildish studied Vaganova, Cecchetti, Balanchine, and many other styles.[5] "She was schooled in all of ballet’s great pedagogical traditions: Vaganova technique at Milan’s La Scala under the direction of Rudolf Nureyev, and studies with her personal coach, former Kirov ballerina Kaleria Fedicheva; Cechetti tutelage from her mentor and friend Dick Andros; and Balanchine style from her time at SAB."[1]


Kat Wildish, Painting by Scott Rose

New York City BalletEdit

Wildish danced with the New York City Ballet from 1981 to 1983,[1][6] where she performed a variety of Balanchine pieces. She was hand-picked to perform in Adagio Lamentoso, one of his last works.[1][4]

American Ballet TheatreEdit

Wildish danced with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) from 1985 to 1987.[1][6] Under artistic direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov, she performed in traditional works. Sir Kenneth MacMillan, in his version of Sleeping Beauty for ABT, created the role of the "knitting lady" for Wildish.[1][4]

Guest appearancesEdit

Wildish performed as a guest artist with a number of prominent companies, including The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, Bernhard Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Louisville Ballet, The American Dance Machine, Dances Patrelle,[7] Fokine Ballet (as the Sugar Plum Fairy),[6] and the Eglevsky Ballet.[1][8][9]

Critical reviewEdit

Wildish was described by The New York Times as "a strong dancer with an adorably comic, wide-eyed presence,"[7] "a delightful young colt of a dancer,"[8] and "vivacious."[10]

Teacher and advisorEdit

Wildish is a Certified Teacher of Primary through Level 7 (the highest) of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.[11] She participated in ABT's project of establishing uniform country-wide standards of instruction. She has trained and mentored other teachers, notably for the Dance Educators of America, and as a member of the U.S. Faculty of Education of the United Kingdom's Royal Academy of Dance.[1]

An outspoken advocate for non-professional adult dance education and performance,[12] Wildish states, "Once you get out of school, you know, adults just have class. What else do they have... unless the teacher organizes an opportunity?"[13] In the span of a 40+ year career, Wildish has served as a faculty member of the Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey Extension,[2] and Peridance.[14] She continues to teach in the New York City metropolitan area.[15][16][17]

Director, producer, choreographerEdit

Performing in New York ShowcaseEdit

Following her retirement in 2007, Wildish founded a dance variety show called the "Performing in New York Showcase," for which she functions as Producer and Artistic Director. This event is intended to give adult students an opportunity to perform, and a variety of dance companies are invited to participate. As part of this effort, Wildish also choreographs and stages an act danced by students from her classes.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]

New York City Festival of Dance SchoolsEdit

Wildish produced the first annual NYC Festival of Dance Schools in 2011.[27][28] This event showcases the top talent from prominent studios from New York City and surrounding areas.[21][27][29]

New York City Dance ParadeEdit

Wildish served as the Grand Marshall of the New York City Dance parade in 2011.[28]

Other workEdit

"Awake" (1986) by Jonathan James was choreographed in collaboration with Wildish.[30]

Private lifeEdit

Wildish is married to Arthur Coopchick, and resides in New York City.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kat Wildish / Each Generation is the Custodian of Passing on Knowledge".
  2. ^ a b "Behind the Scenes with Kat Wildish".
  3. ^ a b "2hours Int. Ballet with Kat Wildish".
  4. ^ a b c "Kat Wildish". DANCE 'n TELL. Archived from the original on 13 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Kat Wildish Interview". Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "GENERATIONS ; Leaping Through the Years With Grace and Discipline". The New York Times. 7 December 1997.
  7. ^ a b "Dance in Review". The New York Times. 13 April 1992.
  8. ^ a b "BALLET: NEW DIRECTIONS FOR EGELVSKY COMPANY". The New York Times. 8 February 1983.
  9. ^ "The World Dances".
  10. ^ "BALLET: EGLEVSKY OPENER HONORS THE ROMANTICS". The New York Times. 27 September 1982.
  11. ^ http://www.abt.org/pdfs/2014_6-7CertTeachers.pdf
  12. ^ "Teaching Dance to Adults". Dance Informa Magazine.
  13. ^ "The World Dances".
  14. ^ "Kat Wildish - Faculty - Peridance Capezio Center".
  15. ^ "The Pride of Columbus". The New York Times. 11 December 2005.
  16. ^ "See You at the Barre". The New York Times. 23 March 2007.
  17. ^ "The Freelance Zone - Dance Teacher magazine". Dance Teacher magazine.
  18. ^ "Performing in New York Showcase". Time Out New York.
  19. ^ "Kat Wildish Presents Performing in New York Showcase". Time Out New York.
  20. ^ "Kat Wildish Presents Performing in NY Showcase". Time Out New York.
  21. ^ a b "Videos: The Kat Wildish Performing in NY Showcase".
  22. ^ "February 2012 - A Walk on the 'Wildish' Side".
  23. ^ "Kat Wildish Presents PERFORMING IN NEW YORK SHOWCASE 11/29-30". 31 October 2013.
  24. ^ "Kat Wildish to Present Performing in NY Showcase at Ailey Citigroup Theater, 8/16-17". BroadwayWorld.com. 31 July 2014.
  25. ^ "Performing in NY Showcase To Be Presented by Kat Wildish 8/27-28". BroadwayWorld.com. 10 August 2011.
  26. ^ "Kat Wildish to Present the Semi-Annual Performing in NY Showcase at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, 3/2-3". BroadwayWorld.com. 21 February 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Shopping for NYC dance schools just got easier... - Dance Teacher magazine". Dance Teacher magazine.
  28. ^ a b "Dance Parade 2011 Grand Marshal : Kat Wildish". Register Today For The 10th Annual Dance Parade & Festival Saturday, May 21, 2016 in NYC!.
  29. ^ "NYC Festival of Dance Schools".
  30. ^ "DANCE: NEW WORKS IN 'SHOWCASE I'". The New York Times. 27 September 1986.
  31. ^ "Kat Wildish Retires from Fairy-hood but Still Spreads Magic".

External linksEdit