Alex and Kato are former competitive ballroom dancers and for ten years they owned and operated Master Dance, a studio in Palatine, Illinois. Achievements include titles of Professional National and World Finalists, Dancers Cup Tour Professional couple of the Year, and several wins in professional smooth, standard and show dance divisions.
Since retiring from ballroom competitions, Alex and Kato have continued to teach, perform, and learn many different dance styles ranging from ballroom to modern dance to contact improvisation. As part of their growth as artists, they strive to expand their dance and performance vocabulary into other forms and techniques. Recently, they began collaborating with a wide range of other dancers, musicians, visual artists and filmmakers to create new performance art that melds all types of media with dance. They continue to seek new and interesting projects in an effort to stretch their creativity and are open to new collaborations.
In June of 2017, Kato (formerly Katja) introduced himself to the world. Having embraced his true identity and gender, Kato now enjoys an authentic, hopeful, and truly joyous life.
“their presence seemed to fill the space and magically lead my camera…” Bogdan Heretoiu
Alex and Katja appeared in “Meeting of Ballroom and Contact Improvisation” with artists Kirstie Simson and Tim O’Donell. They performed “Heart at Low Tide 2,” a piece by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, at multiple venues. Additionally, Alex and Katja co-choreographed and performed in the musical “My Fair Lady” at the University of Illinois and also co-choreographed and performed in the short dance film, “Stay.” Find up to date information about notable works on the projects page.
When not performing or working on new projects, Alex and Kato share their vast knowledge with students from many locations. They teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, The Mettler Center, and offer private lessons in Champaign-Urbana and Barrington, Illinois. Their extensive knowledge combined with their fun, light teaching style makes them extremely desirable instructors for students. Alex and Kato have also reached the highest level of teaching certification as they are both fellows with United States Terpsichore Association.