I am an experienced dancer, improviser, and choreographer working in a range of styles. Beginning at the age of five I trained at a pre-professional level in classical ballet under Lori Ardis at the Swarthmore Ballet Studio. I later began modern dance training at that studio, predominantly in Graham, Horton, and Cunningham technique.

At Bates College I majored in Dance (as well as English), receiving technical movement training, choreography mentoring and experience, and education in dance theory and history. At Bates I performed in works by Carol Dilley, Tania Issac, Meredith Lyons, and the Urban Bush Women. In February 2014 I performed at the American College Dance Festival in Lyons’ piece “::subconscious::”. I completed the Bates Dance Festival Professional Training Program in the summers of 2012 and 2013.

As a choreographer, I am particularly interested in creating multi-media work combining live spoken word performance and movement. In 2012 I began experimenting with melding these art forms in various ways, including having dancers speak aloud while performing (and thus witnessing the effect of speech on movement/breath) and using poetry (live or recorded) as the backdrop to live dance performance. I have been particularly influenced in this practice by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. At the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Elgin in 2016 I collaborated with the FLOW! project, which brings together dancers and poets for dynamic improvised performances. At the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe I danced my piece “Polos” live, accompanying video footage of myself speaking the poem. And in 2018 I worked with poet and filmmaker Sarah Grant to choreograph movement for her upcoming solo show and film “Spark.”

I am currently interested in performance and choreography opportunities in Edinburgh and across Scotland. In particular, I would love to work with spoken word artists on developing their movement practices. To collaborate, please get in touch here or email me directly via kathryn.a.ailes (at)

(L-R) Kelsey Schober, Katie Ailes, Tara Das in Talia Mason’s “Empty House,” 2013. Photo credit: Phillis Graber Jensen.

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