My love affair with the dance began at the age of eight, when my grandmother
took me to see the film The Red Shoes. I saw that beautiful, red-headed ballerina up
on the screen, and I knew, right then, that I wanted to be a dancer when I grew up.
After a great deal of hard work and nurturing by my teacher, Lelia Haller,
in my home town of New Orleans, I was dancing principal roles with the New Orleans Civic Ballet
by the age of fifteen. I made my professional debut in Coppelia. My work in New Orleans
led to a scholarship to the Washington Ballet where I studied and worked with both Mary Day and the
great ballet master, Edward Caton. I had the great fortune to dance in numerous ballets including
Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides and The Nutcracker.
While in Washington, I was privileged to work with such dance legends as Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille,
Jose Limon and Erik Bruhn.
While preparing for my first Broadway show in 1987, I slipped on ice,
fell down a flight of stairs and broke my back. Now a paraplegic, I use a wheelchair, and work
diligently on behalf of performing artists with disabilities. After my accident I was sure that
my dancing days were over. How could I dance when I couldn't walk? The thought of life without
dancing was extremely depressing for me. I had to find a way to keep dancing. What I learned was
that the dancer inside me didn't know or care that I was using a wheelchair, she just wanted
to keep dancing.
In the fall of 1995, I founded Infinity Dance Theater, a non-traditional
dance company featuring dancers with and without disabilities. The Company now performs all over
the world, offering both concerts and educational programs. We are teaching other dance educators
to bring the joy and drama of movement to a new level of inclusion by expanding the
boundaries of dance and changing the world's perception of what a dancer is.
I continue to take a mainstream, professional ballet class every day and
have developed wheelchair dance techniques strongly rooted in and growing out of classical ballet
and modern dance. Listen to the dancer in your heart. He or she will show you the way!
Kitty Lunn, Artistic Director