Kyla Kabat - Illinois Interview by Claire Plath Nomination by Katherine Skrzypek Photography by Emory Photography Issue 33 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Kyla Kabat is inspiring because she has a kind heart and is always willing to help others. She teaches dance classes at her dance studio and is a role model to all the dancers around her. She puts others before herself and is driven by her passion every day. Her hard work and dedication to dance is inspiring not only to dancer, but to anyone and everyone who comes across her path.
Photography by Emory Photography
What do you love most about dance and teaching dance classes at your studio? I love the emotional output dance provides for me when times get tough or even when I can’t stop smiling. Being able to be a mentor for the young kids at my studio means a lot to me. I hope that my classes provide inspiration and an escape from reality to the kids that I get to meet along my journey as a teacher.
How have you become a role model to others through your passion for dance? Whenever I have the free time, I spend as much time at my studio as possible. My love and passion of dance drives me to push myself into the dancer I want to be. Even when others may put me down, I don’t let that from chasing my dreams. I hope that my hard work can be seen by these kids and that they can develop the same passion with whatever they decide to do in life.
Tell me a little bit about what inspired you to become a dancer and a dance teacher. My first experience dancing was while I was on vacation with my family when I was only two years old. The resort provided a program where kids could be able to dance on the stage before the nightly shows. I was scared at first by then my grandma grabbed my hand and went on stage with me. I naturally caught onto what the other kids were doing, and a smile was unable to be wiped off my face. I have been in dance classes ever since and have been developing an appreciation for it as I get older. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a dance teacher. Having imaginary dance classes every day after school until my actual dance practices began. I have come across a variety of teachers and dancers along my dance career who have inspired my love for dance and teaching as well.
Photography by Emory Photography
How has your hard work and dedication to dance inspired others? There would be multiple times in my dance journey where there would be people who would put me down and bully me. Some say they were “jealous” but the voice in my head kept telling me it’s because they’re right, I’m not good enough. These people would only push me to work harder and to prove them wrong. I may not be perfect, but no one is. I will do whatever it takes for me to be the best dancer in my current ability and to continue to strive towards my goals and who I want to be. I would spend countless hours watching videos of myself and critique myself to grow and improve. Dancers around me have seen this negativity that would surround me but would also see me push through this. My growth through being bullied inspires other dancers both older and younger at my studio. My story tells them to tune out the voice in their heads and to dance more for themselves. It’s not about dancing for someone’s approval or for a special award at competition. It’s about doing what makes you happy in life.
What goals do you have for your future, and how has your willingness to help others impacted what you want to do in life? One day, I hope to be a studio owner and a professional choreographer. I hope to travel the world to teach kids how to dance and to provide an escape for them. My goal is to inspire the next generation and provide that outlet that dance has provided for me. I hope to bring joy and happiness to them while having the time of their lives with their friends by their sides.
What advice would you give to someone who is dedicated to their passion just like you, and how has your story inspired many through the joy dance has brought to you and your life? There will be people in your lifetime who will do everything to knock you down and make you feel defeated. In times like these, remember why you keep going back to the thing that you love to do. Push yourself and work hard in order to prove them wrong and feel good about the person you are becoming. I have shared my story with many people and know it has changed them in a way to appreciate themselves and their current state of their artistry. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Whatever you do in life, make sure it makes you happy.
Photography by Emory Photography
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished, and how did you do it? One of the hardest things that I had to accomplish was self-confidence. I did this by working harder both in and out of the studio to be the dancer I’m trying to be. I started working out and eating right and stopped comparing myself to other dancers and Instagram models. I accepted that I love myself because I am unique and there is no one else like me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Step out of your comfort zone. In will be more difficult to grow if you stay inside your box. Explore new things even if it may not be your cup of tea. You might end up enjoying it or even be inspired by it. Also, there will not always be someone there to hold your hand. Try things to benefit yourself no matter what anyone else may think of it. You only live once so take the chances of things that may never happen again.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? I see myself graduating from Arizona State University with a dance and business degree from the honors college. I see myself choreographing for studios, high school teams, and companies near me and getting my name out there. I hope to be traveling with competition or convention around the world and meeting dancers who have the same love and passion for dance as I do.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn’t in your nomination? I love to play my violin and play in my schools orchestra. I love learning how to play music and to challenge myself with technique and skill in this area as well.
Photography by Ron Mckinney
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I do not have a hidden talent, but if I do I have not discovered it yet.
If you could publicly present any topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? How to make my grandmas secret recipe of Polish Pierogi because they are the best food on planet earth and it needs to be shared with the rest of the world.
3 Things on your bucket list 1. Be in a TV show/ movie/ game show 2. Travel to Bora Bora 3. Swim under a waterfall
Who do you find inspiring? Someone who inspires me is one of the graduated seniors who danced at my studio. She was my duet partner and I have learned so much from her before she left. She had a unique style of dance that was special to her and was not afraid to go outside her comfort zone. She has her own way of thinking and will not let anyone sway her opinions and ideals. She inspires me to be a better dancer and person, and I hope to have the same effect on others as she has on me.
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I believe that my positivity is something that inspires others. I always check in on everyone and am always there to lend a helping hand. I will always be there for anyone and everyone whether they are close with me or not. I let my love for dance drive me to become better and have a great time doing it. I’m always looking for ways to improve and try to help my peers with their passions as well.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? There is a lot more to my story, but I hope this insight on my life will inspire other teenagers and artists to never give up and to push towards their goals and dreams.
Kyla will be featured in issue 33 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!