Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri


Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri


Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri


Dancer from “So You Think You Can Dance?,” other works, hosts master classes, open talks at Lindenwood

Kate Harpootlian, left, works with student Sydney Gibbs during a choreography session on Monday, Feb. 26, with the cast of the upcoming Spring Dance Concert.
Photo by Megan Courtney


Kate Harpootlian’s mother put her in a dance class when she was 4; she stuck with it and “never looked back.”

At 19, she moved to New York, where she got an agent and landed auditions.

She said her best friends have a dance company called Shaping Sound where they hired her to dance for them.

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“We perform on ‘Ellen,’ tour and do a bunch of stuff,” Harpootlian said.

When it came to landing “So You Think You Can Dance?” season 12, Harpootlian said that she did it “later in life than you’re supposed to.”

“I saw a bunch of kids and people going on the show and afterwards they would be teaching these master classes,” she said. “I was so upset by that because they hadn’t been teaching and didn’t really know who they were as teachers.”

Harpootlian’s best friend was very involved with “So You Think You Can Dance?”

“I said, ‘I think I’m going to audition for So You Think, and he started laughing, and I was like ‘No, I’m being serious,’ and he was like ‘Oh, OK.’ We laughed about it because we thought I would never get on, and then I did, and it was really funny,” Harpootlian said.

Harpootlian said that through the audition process, she really excelled in her interviews because the people interviewing her were her age.

Through the show, she learned what she was capable of and gained one of “my most precious friendships.”

Her favorite thing that she has done so far is tour with Shaping Sound.

“It’s a sweet gig; it’s all my best friends,” Harpootlian said. “We get to spend weeks together on the road seeing U.S. and Canada. We get to dance every night and we get paid. It’s pretty sweet.”

On tour with Shaping Sound, Harpootlian and her friends performed a show called “After the Curtain,” which was a story about a director putting on his last show, but they are unaware that it is his last one.

“There are suspicious circumstances as to how his lover was killed. It’s like a full thing and it’s all dance,” Harpootlian said. “We ended up doing 70 shows since last February for about a year.”

Harpootlian also has other dance credits as well, one of those credits being on Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water” music video.

“It’s so funny, though,” Harpootlian said. “In the last shot of us all with her, the water was like, freezing. The heaters had stopped working and everyone was shaking, like not trying to shake. She was the strongest one out of all of us.”

She said working with and dancing in water was a new experience for her.

Harpootlian’s other credits also include “Ellen,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

A few of her favorite places that she has been include Austin, Texas; Hawaii, Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas. She has also gotten to go to places like Amsterdam, Israel and China.

With her time at Lindenwood, Harpootlian hopes to “open the realm of possibilities” so the students can benefit from her experiences and vice versa.

“I learn as a teacher,” Harpootlian said. “I hope to push them and that they get to the next level and improve upon themselves in the few days that I’m here.”

Harpootlian said that Lindenwood is her first university residency because she usually works with high schoolers and middle schoolers.

“It’s really great to work with college kids,” Harpootlian said. “My own professional work, I work with adults, so I kind of haven’t done the in-between stage. It’s really cool.”

Harpootlian said she loves teaching and that it’s something she is passionate about.

“I remember being that age,” Harpootlian said. “I still get excited when I learn new stuff, so it’s exciting to be able to pass that knowledge on to others as well.”

Harpootlian will be on campus until Wednesday, Feb. 28, and students can partake in the following events, all of which will be held in room 2100 at the J. Scheidegger Center:


Tuesday, Feb. 27


Open LU talk: “What is it like to work in television?”

Begins at 4 p.m.


Wednesday, Feb. 28

Open showing of work

Begins at 5 p.m.

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