“Dance Like No One Is Watching” Is My Livelihood
Dance runs in our family. My sister and I grew up knowing how fond of dance my mother was, and at a young age started attending the same studio she did, focusing on ballet, tap, and jazz with other children of the same age group. The passion and emotion I saw in my mother as she helped teach us the different postures and steps transferred over to me. My parents even bought me a video compilation of Michael Jackson videos and so I could memorize and perform his routines.
Once a year we would have a grand recital at the Orpheum in downtown Omaha where we would perform several dances in front of thousands of family, friends, and fans. The scariest part of the experience was being on stage in front of all those people, with bright lights shining down on me, not being able to see the audience or how many people were watching. But it was also the best part. It helped me gain confidence and taught me how to express my emotions through “dancing like no one is watching.” Once you’ve experienced it, you can never forget that feeling.
I danced for the studio for 13 years, until high school brought a new set of interests and experiences. Similarly to how my mother still does arabesques across the house, I still dance every chance I get and cannot fathom a life without being able to express myself in that way. Whether it is professional ballet, street dancing, or busting a move at work – it is something I love doing and will continue to do for the rest of my life.
The arts have been a huge influence in my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Karli Kristina Burt was born and raised in in Omaha, Nebraska. She danced for 13 years starting at just age 3 for Pat Carlson’s Dance Studio focusing on ballet, tap, and jazz. She received her undergraduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is currently pursuing her masters at The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health. She is currently working at UNMC as an administrative projects associate. In her spare time, she enjoys being active and doing anything outdoors, especially if it involves boating, fishing, or being in the sun.