Getting to Know Dancer Kim Ames

We are so excited that Dance Oregon is reaching the younger of dancers at the University of Oregon. Meet sophomore dance major Kim Ames who will be attending the American College Dance Festival with us this year!

1. Where are you from originally?

I was born and raised in the Eugene/Springfield area, and still absolutely love it here.

2. What is your major or focus of study and what led you to decide on it? 

My major is dance. Dancing has always been my passion. I have always wanted to open my own dance studio, but I also wanted to explore dance more on a professional level. I am loving everything so far, and I am glad I continued my exploration further at the UO. I love to inspire and be inspired by my peers and other dancers in the community. It is great to be a part of Dance Oregon because I get to be around other people who love to dance all day. I have learned SO much already from my professors, graduate students and peers-and I am only a Sophomore!

3. When did you start dancing and how did you decide to “stick with it”? 

When I was three years old I pointed out a dance studio to my mom and said, “I want to go there.” From there she enrolled me in classes, and I was hooked. During my middle school years, many of my classmates stopped taking classes for sports and other activities, but I wanted to dance. I never decided to stick with it, it is like embedded in my DNA or something. It’s almost like dance chose me.

4. Give a little bit of info about your dance background. 

I danced locally in Eugene for a studio called ZAPP, run by a UO alumni named Cindy Zreliak. When I was little I took a lot of hip-hop, tap, swing, lyrical, and jazz. When I was 13, I was old enough to be a part of their smaller group of dancers that perform around the world and locally at the Hult Center. Between ages 13 and 18 I performed with the company in Disneyland, Disneyworld, Seattle, Hawaii, and numerous times at the Hult Center. One of my favorite productions I did every year was Dance for a Reason, because there are so many local dance groups involved that contribute to a fantastic performance. There were times we would reherse on Sundays for 7 hours for these performances. I also had dance practice at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays every week, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

5. What does ACDFA and Dance Oregon mean to you? 

The American College Dance Festival is such an exciting idea to me. I have never been before, but I am a firm believer in cross training. I am really looking forward to taking workshops from professors from other Universities. There is so much that I will be able to learn and take from it I’m sure. I am also looking forward to watching the performances, and what other Universities have been working on. The University of Oregon has provided me with a new style of dance that I haven’t done before-Modern Dance. I had heard little of it before coming to UO. It is addicting. I love how real it is, and the freedom for expression within it. Although there is structure, there is so much wiggle room. One of my favorite dance styles is hip-hop, so freedom of expression in dance is important to me. My professors are all so different, and I appreciate that because life is never the same and always exciting here.


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