Marcus Oatis is the manager for Kansas City Ballet School’s Johnson County Campus and is also one of our teachers. He was a dancer in the KCB Company for five years before making the transition into the administrative side of the dance industry. Read below to find out more about Marcus!
Q: When did you start taking dance classes and how did you get involved?
A: I started taking dance through an educational outreach program that introduced students to dance in public schools. After the workshop, they asked me if I would continue dancing with them. From there the sky was the limit.
Q: Did you take part in any Summer Intensives throughout your training?
A: When I was younger I went to the Ailey School and in college I went to Kansas City Ballet’s Summer Intensive.
Q: Tell me about your dance career before you came to Kansas City Ballet.
A: Kansas City Ballet was my first full time professional job. Before coming to KCB I danced throughout Nebraska performing with community groups and small “pick-up” companies. Basically, I took every opportunity to perform regardless of how much it paid.
Q: You were with the KCB Company for five years, what made you decide to go into Ballet Administration?
A: I chose this path because it really highlights the different experiences that I have had. Before joining KCB, I worked at a variety of places, which I enjoyed very much. I wanted to do something where I could merge all of my passions into one position.
Q: Do you have the opportunity to teach any of the classes? Do you still take dance classes yourself?
A: Yes, I am a member of the teaching faculty at KCBS. The majority of my time is directed towards the upper school students but I will occasionally make an appearance in the lower school. I have not taken a class yet. I am currently trying to find a different way to challenge myself. I am thinking about training for a marathon…I can’t decide!