Kittie Mae
(She/Her) Kittie Mae is a Chicago-born and raised artist with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has spent most of her professional dance career in Chicago but is excited about her dance journey in DC. She continues to receive grant funding for dance education and individual artistic endeavors. Her favorite performing styles are contemporary, modern, jazz, and commercial. Some of her dance credits are Rasta Dance Company, The Chicago Blackhawks, The Steve Harvey Show, Trifecta Dance Collective, and Chicago Dance Supply.
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Kittie Mae

“The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” -Toni Cade Bambara 

She is a namesake, Kittie Mae, named after powerhouse women in her family lineage from Mississippi and West Africa. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, IL. She has always been actively curious about the power of movement, dance, and art liberation. She overcame issues accessing spaces that required travel, dance attire, and class requirements of fees that were barriers for her working-class family because of systematic structures like classism, racism, and physical aesthetic. Through dance, our society has an opportunity to be politicized toward liberation. 

At fifteen, she discovered a small but mighty dance studio in her neighborhood that she was accepted into through a scholarship opportunity. After exceeding in that scholarship role, the studio recommended that she audition for a program with the Joffrey Ballet and she was accepted. She continued to show up as disciplined as she could anytime she got the opportunity to dance and perform ballet, modern, jazz, African, and musical theatre styles. She would travel miles from her Chicago Public School to the downtown area to join a group of dancers she had admired and watched years before. Without the prior skills and economic stability that other dancers showed up with she was an underdog. She became repeatedly traumatized by the harmful indoctrinated standards and attitudes about physical appearance including unhealthy weight ideals, objectification, and traditional dance requirements rooted in structural bias and Western beauty standards that centered on women, who did not look like her, or have her accent. But she would not let her inability to fit into these standards keep her from continuing to chase her love and need for dance, as her birthright.

After graduating with her BFA she began consistently auditioning, taking dance classes, and building relationships with art makers in Chicago with specific goals and plans in mind. While working with US choreographers of all identities, political values, and backgrounds she continued to combat criticism about her appearance mostly, not her technique. Dance companies focused on her weight. She is a Black woman and has always been naturally curvy, which has seemed like a juxtaposition to the traditional presentation of a professional dancer. 

Grounded by her commitment to self-liberation through dance performance, She realized she would have to create a career path, not unique to those who looked like her who had come before her but an avenue tailored to her value and skills, where she would be celebrated. Her early curiosity led her to consider artistic funding avenues as a means of self-liberation, and revolutionary movement. After receiving her first grant she felt empowered that she had a vision that not only uplifts her body autonomy but a power that could combat the negative conceptions that have historically pushed Black dancers out of the US dance culture space. She is a consequence of triumph and a reflection of a dream sustained.







Dance Place

2023 - Present

Communication Assistant

2023 - Present
Washington, DC

Teaching Artist

2022 - Present

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