Holladay dance artist Louisa Killian’s multifaceted interests and talents as a modern dancer, choreographer, creative writer, professional drummer, dance advocate and educator have merged into a rich synthesis of artistic ability increasing her sphere of admiration to the level of becoming one of the most well-known and respected dance artists in the area.
Under the directorship of Holladay Arts Councilmember Ginger Gunn, Killian was selected by the arts council as Holladay Dance Artist for 2023 for her outstanding professional work as a choreographer, dancer and dance educator.
Entering college, Killian had three main interests: non-competitive dance, drumming and creative writing. She completed a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University-Idaho and then continued on with her education completing a master’s degree in Modern Dance from the University of Utah where she received the L. Scott Marsh Mentorship Award.
Killian toured the United States twice with Dance Alliance BYU-Idaho Dance Troop. She has also performed with the University of Utah Performing Dance Company, The Dance Collaborative and Aspire Modern Dance Company.
As an adjunct professor at both BYU and Snow College, Killian taught beginning ballet classes, beginning through advanced modern dance technique, and introductory classes in dance composition and choreography. She has taught dance workshops throughout the United States including New York, Texas, Utah, Idaho and the New England area. Currently, she is a faculty member at the Dance Box Studio located in Holladay serving in the role of dance instructor and choreographer.
Killian sees her main goal at the Dance Box Studio as an opportunity to create smart and joyful dancers who can be creative. The focus of her path to reach her goal is to choreograph dances that will build beautiful individuals.
According to Killian every one can learn to dance. Whether a person’s interest in learning to dance is for enjoyment or to aspire to the level of a professional dancer, Killian sees it as a matter of identifying a dance style of interest, willingness to learn, hard work and persistence.
“For those who want to become professional dancers, you need to be gracious and kind to yourself,” Killian said. “As dancers we put a lot of pressure on our minds and our bodies due to the element of being judged. If you reach your dreams and you’re not a healthy person, it’s not going to be worth it. When pursuing your dreams work hard but be kind to yourself. Dancers who succeed keep auditioning, and they never give up. They realize rejection is part of the world.”
Five years ago, arts councilmember Gunn presented a vision statement to the Holladay Arts councilmembers detailing the creation of a Holladay Reflections in Dance Concert. The foundation of her idea was to provide a noncompetitive dance concert celebrating the artistic dance community in Holladay. The idea for the dance concert was readily accepted by the council, and it was decided that a local dance artist would be honored the night of the dance performance for outstanding contributions in dance.
“The Reflections in Dance Concert is a wonderful showcase for our community to see the astonishing growth and development of our dancers in the Holladay area,” Gunn said. “Also, it provides an opportunity to recognize a dance professional who has made a significant difference in the lives of dancers. This year, we will be honoring Louisa Killian for her outstanding work in choreography and dance instruction.”
The theme for this year’s dance concert is “Inclusion.” Killian’s students will perform a dance choreographed by Killian interpreting the importance of embracing inclusion and being valued as individuals.
The Holladay Reflections in Dance Concert will be held Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the Olympus Junior High School auditorium, 2217 E. Murray-Holladay Road.
Dance concert participants will include: Olympus Jr. High, Wasatch Jr. High, Bonneville Jr. High, Cottonwood High School, Silhouette Studio, Elite Studio, Utah Dance Center, Artist Endeavors and The Dance Box.
Holladay Reflections in Dance Concert admission is free of charge.