A Q&A with one of our amazing young women, Katherine Wang
1. How did you hear about DDP?
DDP actually came across my Instagram feed a while back, and I was surprised that it didn’t have more followers. I was curious about the data they collected and reached out last summer, after which I was encouraged to apply as an intern.
2. Where are you currently in school?
I am a senior at Phillips Academy, which is a boarding school in Andover, MA.
3. How did you manage school work at such a competitive place and your amazing work for DDP?
I’m fortunate that I was avid about time management in middle school–I would do my homework on the car rides to/from ballet–and continued with that into high school. But beyond planning out my time in terms of schoolwork and events and outside commitments, I’ve learned that it’s equally important to take time off, whether that means spending extra long at dinner with friends or setting out days with the active intention to do absolutely nothing. Though it may sound like an oxymoron. I think that’s really important to prevent burnout and also appreciate life beyond working and studying.
4. What has been the best part of the DDP experience?
I really appreciate being able to approach dance from new lenses and specifically from an intellectual standpoint. I worked on an interview with sports psychologist Sanna Nordin-Bates and it was very completing to hear someone validate my experiences in training as a dancer, and also provide solutions and new methods to coach dancers and athletes in a healthy matter that really addresses the toxicity of the ballet environment.
5. What has surprised you most in terms of what you have learned.
Recently I learned that the tax records for nonprofits are all publicly available. Looking at financial records is a crucial way to hold our communities and companies accountable. Of course, my work was aimed toward looking at that specifically in terms of the gender disparities, but the same also applies when thinking about how little dancers are paid in comparison to the administration: how can we ensure that dancers are paid a living wage and above, are given insurance, when the administrative structures are paid 200K, 300K?
6. We are delighted that you plan to continue with us at least through the summer, what else will you be doing?
I’m still working out my summer plans, but I will be working on research under a professor at Stanford this summer, where I will be looking at queer studies, racial theory, and movement in sculpture. I’m also just generally planning on celebrating my graduation from high school and taking time off before college!
7. Any fun vacation plans?
I’m hoping to get vaccinated and spend time in New York with some friends. I also have some possible road trips in mind.
8. Interests outside of school?
I do also dance and like to choreograph– right now I’m working on a production in May on the cyclicity of gender oppressive structures. I’m a dorm proctor and am involved with various activism activities at my school. I also love to read and write a bit as well.