Photo courtesy of Kristi Faulkner Dance
By Crystal A. Proxmire
Originally printed 2/7/2013 (Issue 2106 - Between The Lines News)
Kristi Faulkner is a 28-year-old dancer who grew up in Ohio, got her Master's Degree in New York and has brought her love of dancing to Ferndale so she could be with her partner. She is both a performer and a teacher, who generously spends her Monday nights doing a beginner's level class at Affirmations Community Center. The class explores a variety of styles designed to get people moving and enjoying music and dance. The one-hour class begins at 7 p.m. and there is a $5 suggested donation that benefits the community center.
Faulkner also teaches other classes here in Michigan and in Ohio, including a class at Bowling Green State University. Through her business, Kristi Faulkner Dance, she offers a variety of activities for dancers of all skill levels. She was also one of the strikers for the Hungry 4 Equality Campaign last fall, and the coordinator of a flash mob to promote the hunger strike.
When did you start Kristi Faulkner Dance and why?
I officially began Kristi Faulkner Dance at the beginning of 2012. It has always been my dream to have a professional dance company and I was very excited about building it in the Detroit area. There are so many talented individuals and creative minds in this area that are hungry for opportunity.
Artistically speaking, I began KFD because I had something to say. Growing up Catholic and closeted, I think I trained myself to hide my thoughts and feelings for fear of being "exposed." When I found my choreographic voice and grew to love and accept myself, my desire to create and share intensified. My work is often quite political, pushing the boundaries of gender, sexuality and social issues while challenging conventional ideas of performance.
I established KFD with the intention of making work that generates meaningful conversation and social exchange by working collaboratively with my fellow artists.
When did you become interested in dancing, and what have you been involved in over the years?
I started dancing in my local studio at age 3. I remember coming home from my weekly tap class and performing what I learned on top of the coffee table for whoever would watch. Eventually I graduated to the kitchen floor, which my two younger sisters and I would turn into our own personal stage...bless my parents for caring more about our creative expression than the scrapes and scuff marks on the linoleum!
Theater and dance have always captivated me. I think I get my love of performing from my mom. She introduced me to musical theatre via living room song and dance parties to her record collection - my favorites were "Grease," "Fiddler on the Roof" and the "Singing Nun." I was fortunate to have two of the most wonderfully supportive parents who encouraged my interest. I took class in everything I could - tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, West African - and performed on the dance team, my studio's competition team, my high school glee club and in school and community musicals.
I toyed with pursing a "practical" career when entering college, but two weeks before classes began I switched my major and dove completely into dance and theater. The prospect of relegating my love of movement and performance to a hobby was something I just could not live with. Creating and performing wasn't just something I enjoyed doing, it was something I needed to do.
Does anyone else help with the business we should mention?
I have incredibly dedicated and talented dancers, without whom I would not have a company. My biggest support, however, is my partner. She is my sounding board for both business and creative ideas and the self-proclaimed "biggest fan." As anyone who works in the arts can attest, there are times we are overwhelmed and filled with self-doubt. It is so important to have someone who not only believes in you, but also pushes you to take risks because they see your potential.
Why should people dance?
Why not? Why should people breathe! The gift of movement is so easily taken for granted. On a purely biological level, the increased blood flow and endorphin buzz we get from moving makes you healthier and happier. Dance isn't something that should be relegated to the privileged few. I think that people of all ages and abilities should have the opportunity to experience dance and the freedom that comes from using your body to convey meaning and emotion. While we are alive and able, I believe it is important to celebrate our bodies.
Anything else the BTL readers should know about?
KFD is currently in the thick of rehearsals for my newest work, "Four Letter Word," which is set to premiere this spring. This work looks at gender, sexuality and the sometimes-humorous manifestations of love. I hope to inspire conversation to relieve anxiety people might have about the LGBT population and relationships that society may view as "unconventional."Follow the development of KFD and stay updated on performances and workshops by connecting through http://www.KristiFaulknerDance.com or on our Kristi Faulkner Dance Facebook page.
- Michigan For Marriage Meets In Ferndale
- Dave Agema: Arab Fighter Pilots Are
- Richard Bernstein: The Face Of Blind Justice
- MOASH Awarded Federal Funding To Improve Outcomes For LGBT Youth In Michigan
- Ally vs. Extremist: McKenzie Seeks 11th District Win
- WMU To Award LGBT Alumna At Homecoming Event
- Marriage Equality: 'It's Coming' Say LGBT Advocates
- Launch Of The 2014 Michigan Voter Guide
- Ann Arbor Adopts Updated Non-Discrimination Ordinance
- Upcoming Mental Health Training Is Joined By Sex Therapist
- Co-Founder Awards Substantial Gift To Equality Michigan
- Michigan Roundtable To Honor Michigan Social Justice Advocates
- LGBT Jewelry Collection Comes To Tapper's
- Pastors Declare Challenge To Civil Rights For Michigan LGBT Community
- Mark Totten Seeks Attorney General Seat, Speaks On Schuette
- MSHDA Under Investigation, Snyder Fundraiser Raises Questions
- ACLU Dinner Honors Local Heroes
- Masquerave At ARTLABJ And Saginaw
- Coming Out With Self and With Michigan
- Michigan For Marriage Community Conversation
- A Solid LGBT Ally In Peters
- Gary Peters Releases Statement On SCOTUS Decision
- Marriage 'Decision Day' Gatherings To Be Held Throughout State
- Detroit Marriott Livonia
- Royal Oak Farmer's Market
- Attorney at Law
- Avalon International Breads
- Campus; Student and Alumni Groups
- Grand Valley State University GLBT Resources
- Families and Parents
- Rainbow Families Great Lakes (RFGL)
- Foundations and Funders
- The HOPE Fund
- Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams
- Political Organizations
- LAHR-PAC (Lansing Association for Human Rights Political Action Committee)
- Real Estate/Agent
- JCI Realtors
Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more
- Q&A: Annie Lennox On Her Legacy, Why Beyonce Is 'Feminist Lite'
- Q&A: Getting To The Core Of Nick Jonas: Abs, Album & That Gay Striptease 'They Made Me Do'
- GOP Hopeful Wants 'Christians' Fleeing MI If Gays Get Civil Rights
- Creep of the Week: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
- Q&A: Jenny McCarthy Talks Feminism, Feeling Trans 'Inside' & Sticking To Her Truth
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!
In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.View More Pride Source Votes
This Week's Issue
Download or view this week's print issue today!
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!