Junior dancer expresses herself through her passion for dance

Katelyn Thibodeau (24) jumps into a firebird position.

Provided by Katelyn Thibodeau

Katelyn Thibodeau (’24) jumps into a “firebird” position.

As she jumped and turned across the stage, young Katelyn Thibodeau knew that she was meant for performing. A current junior at AVHS, Thibodeau found her passion in dance at only two years old and has competed in a variety of styles ever since.

“I think every little girl is enrolled in a ballet class when they’re younger. I just liked it and kept doing it,” said Thibodeau.

When she was in first grade, Thibodeau took her interest to a local studio and joined the competitive team at Jazz N Taps. She is grateful to all of the students and staff that fostered such a supportive group and allowed her love for dance to grow.

“I think it’s a really great community, because we’re all working so hard to make the dances great. It’s really fun to all work together on that, and we’ve all known each other for so long that it feels like a family,” said Thibodeau.

Thibodeau is a welcoming member of Jazz n Taps community, and a friendly face for everyone she meets. She doesn’t want anybody to feel left out at the dance studio.

“She’s really nice and a really good friend. If you’re alone and there’s nobody around, she’ll talk to you and it’s really nice to have her there,” said Jazz N Taps dancer Madi Winter (’25).

Thibodeau performs a lyrical trio with two fellow dancers. (Photo provided by Katelyn Thibodeau.)

Aside from her warm demeanor in the studio, Thibodeau is known for her sassy movements and expressive facials onstage. Her ability to play a character and pour all of her energy into a performance has solidified her reputation as a true entertainer.

“I remember she was this spunky dancer. She would always make the craziest faces and I was like ‘oh my god, she’s so cool’,” said Winter.

Despite her confident and assured personality onstage, Thibodeau admits to a feeling of anxiety before every performance. As her skills develop over time, her routines get more difficult and the stress doesn’t subside until the spotlight hits her face.

“I still get nervous every time, the nerves will never go away. If anything I’ve gotten more nervous because I feel like my dances have gotten harder. I feel like once you get on stage, you have to do it, so you just get through it and it’s really fun,” said Thibodeau.

Dancing in the studio every single day, Thibodeau’s work is never done. Whenever she encounters a new skill, she gives it her all to achieve her goal.

“She’s very hardworking and if she needs to improve on something, she’ll hone in on that and get it done,” said Jacklynn Barragan (‘25).

Thibodeau has no plans to stop dancing after high school. She aims to continue her passion for as long as possible, through college and beyond.

“I definitely plan to dance in college, whether that’s being on a college dance team or minoring in dance. I hope to do it for as long as I can,” said Thibodeau.