When Katie was five years old, she was so shy that she would barely speak — so her mom put her in her first dance class — and it changed her life. It was through dance and musical theater that she found an outlet to express herself, gain confidence, and form a bond with others. In fact, as a little girl, she was obsessed with Eponine from Les Miserables, and would sing the part incessantly around the house. And, as a grown woman, on a whim, she walked into an audition in Cleveland and got the part of Eponine and toured with the production for six months!
Today, Katie lives in New England with her two beloved cats, Magda and Noel, and is a dance teacher and regional theater actress. She works with young women (ages 3 to 18) in the hopes of guiding them to find their own inner strength and resilience through dance and theater education. Katie teaches ballet, jazz and musical theatre at five different studios — and she is quick to say that, “When it’s your passion, it doesn’t feel like work.” Katie views herself as a teacher of life-skills through movement. She uses dance as a vehicle to empower girls to become strong women who will speak up for themselves and achieve their goals through hard-work, dedication, and by simply, “going after it!”
Katie is no stranger to having to advocate for herself. For decades, Katie suffered from undiagnosed endometriosis. She didn’t speak up in the doctor’s office and instead suffered in silence … “soldiering on to be polite.” For years she had unbelievable abdominal pain, painful periods, bloating and severe digestive issues and tried everything to feel better, including drastically changing her diet and cooking all of her meals from scratch. And while this would work for a while, eventually her agonizing symptoms would return — and they became progressively worse. It eventually became so bad that it was ruining her life, and she could no longer fulfill her life’s purpose. Katie decided enough is enough. It took 2 years and 14 doctors until she finally found the diagnosis she was searching for via a Facebook group for endometriosis. All of her symptoms aligned, and she was connected to a Boston specialist who saved her life. She is finally symptom free and is grateful every day to be able to work with women in yet another powerful way, by sharing the story of her journey to diagnosis. She knows it is no accident that she has endometriosis, she actually thinks it was a blessing in disguise — “Everything has a purpose, it makes you who you are.”
During these trying times, Katie fell in love with her very first pair of Laurie Felt jeans.
“I can’t thank Laurie and her team enough for creating a dream jean that makes me feel and look so confident and happy,” Katie shared. “When I was going through endometriosis, I hardly recognized myself and every morning I would dread putting on my jeans due to the fact that they were so incredibly tight on my inflamed, then-bloated stomach. I eventually threw my hands up in the air and resigned myself to just wearing my yoga pants/sweats. Lauries on-air presentation on QVC ultimately changed my life. Laurie is such a beautiful soul. She’s the real deal, and so heartfelt in her mission. That’s what drew me in. I was nervous, because I had thrown away all of my other jeans, but I ordered a pair of her jeans, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I put them on! I’ve worn Paige, Joe’s, Hudson…some really big brands of jeans, and these fit better than the high-end jeans! But the most important part about them is the fact that my delicate, inflamed, bloated frame felt like it was being hugged; not strangled. I actually cried in my bedroom when I tried them on, because it was the first time, in such a long time, that I felt normal in my own skin. I’m telling you, I will not wear any other jean. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your brand is life changing.”
Now that Katie is feeling better, she’s worn Laurie Felt – Los Angeles jeans to auditions, performance galas, to garden in, and out dancing with friends.
Katie is also a yogi and practices Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes twice a day — both of these practices have transformed her life. Through meditation, she is able to find her true self, and she believes that only when you know your true soul, can you impact others. During one of her meditations, Katie asked, “show me the way to give back,” and it was that very day that she received the news that she was selected as a Heartfelt Role Model.