Introducing Natalie Kojis

Introducing Natalie Kojis

I’ve always loved to move. Being a kinesthetic learner, I’ve always relied on movement to help me improve both mentally and physically. I definitely did the ballet-tap-jazz thing when I was younger but it wasn’t really until high school that I learned how to channel my emotions through dance. This made dancing almost hypnotic for me – it was my therapy. Being in touch with my movement allows me to be in touch with myself, and that mind-body connection teaches me how to listen. 
I’m a movement artist based in Lafayette, LA. I studied dance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and graduated with a BFA in Performing Arts. During my time in college, I was able to perform in ULPFAR’s State of La Danse and Evening of Dance, and ACDA South Region’s 2019 Gala Concert. I’ve also performed during Downtown Lafayette’s ArtWalk and for performances at the Acadiana Center for the Arts such as Riley McCallum’s “Descent” and Willingly Rejected’s Gallery Installation + Live Performance. Most recently, I performed in Paige Barnett’s “A Song of Visions – Dance, Opera & Jazz”. I’m currently teaching Pilates at Club Pilates South Lafayette and working as a teaching artist for Basin Arts as well as assisting classes for the Bluebirds/Basin Arts Spring Youth Program. My movement practice consists of improvisation, meditation and is heavily influenced by principles of Pilates & Yoga which I use to create dance that is meaningful and relatable. 
Who makes up your art circle?
Movers, writers, musicians, filmmakers, designers, art lovers everywhere. If you are connected to your creativity or support the arts in any way, consider yourself a part of my Art Circle. 

 

How do you expand your art circle?
I never stop being the student. I’m like a sponge – I constantly absorb information to deepen my practice. I’m currently working towards my Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Certification which has been incredibly helpful in better understanding how the body moves and what moves work best for each body. This knowledge has helped to expand my Art Circle as well as introduce me to other fellow movers who implement Pilates into their own dance practice. 
What value do you see in having a creative community?
Having a creative community adds inclusivity. Creative people might look to art as a way of problem solving. Using art as a learning tool gives those an opportunity to better understand situations, especially for children. Art can also be used as a way of coping. Having a creative outlet to release emotion is so important for those who communicate through their art. I allow myself to create freely without judgment in hopes to inspire others to do the same. Dance has unlocked parts of myself I didn’t know I had in me and I just keep learning about myself through the way my body moves and reacts to my environment. To whoever is reading this, I encourage you to create something today. Whether it’s a quick doodle or an entire song, give yourself permission to tap into your creative side and see what emerges.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I believe the way I use my movement and my creativity helps others to engage with their innermost selves and connect to their bodies. If we don’t understand ourselves at our core, how are we supposed to understand others?