Get to know KATELYN – an OG MISFIT student and teacher whose firecracker personality lights up the studio. Her grace, humour, warm heart and energy make her a truly unique member of our tribe. We LOVE you Katelyn!
Tell us a bit about your day to day hustle
"I'm not hustling for my worth. I'm worthy. When I came out of my mom's womb I came in worthy" – Viola Davis
What's your MISFIT love story?
Many people recommended I try MISFITSTUDIO then finally an opportunity presented itself to do the two weeks unlimited back in 2015. I immediately felt like I was home but I took my time to get to know the insides and outs of the MISFIT fam by doing an energy exchange and continuing with classes. What I discovered about the MISFIT community is that it is real. It's not some weird front (well we're definitely weird haha) but the classes and teachers are genuine and bring themselves to the work. The students are the same – real people from all different backgrounds, ages and all with their own reasons for being drawn to the dance.
What is it that drew you to MISFIT?
The magic. What no blog or article or person can truly explain. You can only experience by joining in the dance with a group of people who are also willing to truly show up. As a community. In our joy and in our healing. Letting it move through us, loving yourself enough to spend time in yourself, with yourself.
Favourite MISFIT class?
Fusion. There is always something new to discover whether I am teaching it or taking it. And Get Shifted now too. Such a hot mess of magic.
Fondest memory from a MISFIT experience?
SOOOO TOUGH!!! But I think teaching my first Fusion class at Queen West. Being at the front of that room teaching a class that I believe in with all my heart, with a playlist that captured my interpretation of Fusion and a room full of sweaty souls and my mentor Amber J in the back. It was pretty fucking special.
Who inspires you and why?
My inspiration comes from everyone everywhere. I can be inspired by the person who helps someone with their groceries, by a student working through a movement I know is difficult to them, by the laid off client who loses their job but not their passion, by women who make babies, by women who build businesses, by the driver on the TTC who cracks jokes, by my mermaid friends that understand the simple pleasures of living by the ocean, by the visual arts student who did my latte art, by the funeral director who came to climb silks for fun or the beautiful actress who plays Dungeons and Dragons on Wednesdays. These are all real examples. Our world is not short on inspirational beings – you can find them everywhere if you chose to actually show up for your life.
What do you do to stay grounded?
I exhale. I read. I meditate. I was in constant grind mode when I graduated from theatre school and was trying to pave my way, make a living and and and and and... I didn't prioritize a reading practice. I didn't know how to exhale. The idea of sitting down and reading or meditating felt like I was being lazy. Through my work at misfits and just growing up I was able to understand the exhale and apply that to my work as an actor and my life. And meditation doesn't have to be complicated. For me it's making a practice of tuning in, practicing gratitude and being present. I have learnt that it doesn't need to be fancy – it just needs to be true.
Favourite self-care ritual?
It seems in our non-stop city culture that self care has also become something else you are expected to be good at or need to instagram about. For me – self care is every changing and evolving. As an artist and teacher who's schedule changes often I need different things at different times. Sometimes I need a good party night out, sometimes it's an 8pm bed night or bath. Currently being back in Toronto my self care and self love cravings are for nature and water so I have been trying to give myself time in my week to connect to those things.
What's your spirit animal?
If you could develop any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would like to shoot colourful rainbows and glitter out of my belly like a Care Bear because it would be super funny and brighten everyone's day. However, my super hero struggle would be having to hide some of my true feelings so I didn't explode with light beams at inappropriate times. Like the squid who 'ink's' himself in Finding Nemo. This is a really weird answer – but I'm keeping it.
Favourite spot to brunch in the city?
Lady Marmalade. Even though I'm a west ender... that will make me go east.
If you could hop on a plane to vacation anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
Italy! With my love so we can experience romance and pizza and pasta and wine and pizza... you get it.
What gives you strength?
Other women. I was the first McCulloch girl in 84 years. So I grew up with a lot of male energy around me. But the women who married into the family (like my mom) were strong, funny and confident. As I've grown up I've met and made friendships with women who embody those qualities and who give me such incredible strength. They are fierce friends, confident humans, badass creators and real life goddesses who aren't afraid to be vulnerable or to be seen. I find my strength in them.
Mat or reformer?
Mat or open space for all the wild dance moves.
What qualities do you value the most?
I value authenticity. I want to meet people where they are and for them to receive me as I am. Vibrating high or in the deep trenches. This practice doesn't always come easily, especially in a world that is obsessed with positivity and productivity. So I really appreciate and notice when another human being can be present with me, where neither of us are trying to fix each other or the "problem" and are just breathing through it together.
If you could give your younger self one piece of wisdom, what would it be?
Just stay weird ya little weirdo. People will try to contain you, place you in a box, tell you who you are and dim your light but those are their limitations, not yours. The sooner you understand that it's not personal and you can't make everyone happy the sooner you can just enjoy yourself, your work, your real friends and not be bothered by the rest.
What does being a MISFIT mean to you?
Loving yourself. Being brave enough to take the journey back to yourself.
Find Katelyn on the MISFITSTUDIO Schedule!
Learn more about our summer pop-up classes with Amber Joliat at 183 Geary Ave
Join us Tuesday evenings from July 10-August 28th for special movement classes led by Amber Joliat at 183 Geary ave.