Albert Lea High School graduate continues dance career

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

By Sam Ehrhardt

Albert Lea High School has been home to many skilled athletes throughout the years. One such athlete recently graduated, and is now pursuing her passion “in the real world.”

Katelyn Hendrickson, 19, is a soon-to-be sophomore at College of Saint Benedict. CSB is the sister school of Saint John’s University, and both schools are located less than 20 minutes from St. Cloud.

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Hendrickson plans on double-majoring in psychology and communication. Though she does plan on using those majors in her future career, her passion lies elsewhere.

“What I’m most excited about this coming year is to be dancing at the Universal Dance Association national competition with my CSB competition team at Disney World,” Hendrickson said.

Dancing in college is one way Hendrickson continues to pursue her passion. She said she has been dancing since first grade.

“I was really clumsy, and my mom thought it would help make me more coordinated,” she said.

Though her start was unconventional, she ended up falling in love with the sport. Hendrickson danced in Joyce Matthies’ dance studio for 12 years. In high school, she danced on the Albert Lea High School dance team throughout her years at the school, and was named captain for her junior and senior years. In college, she now dances on the CSB competition and performance teams.

“I dance because I love it,” Hendrickson said. “When I’m dancing, there’s nothing else I have to worry about.”

As much fun as she is having dancing in college, Hendrickson said she worries about whether she will be able to continue dancing afterwards.

“Other than coaching,” she said, “the only real way to keep dancing after college is to be a cheerleader.”

Though she is considering trying to do that, she is also looking towards coaching positions as a way to continue pursuing her passion after college. In fact, she has already started her career coaching dance. She gives lessons for the parks and recreation program Dance Tots. She also is assistant varsity coach at ROCORI High School in Cold Spring.

Though she loves performing, Hendrickson finds coaching very rewarding, as well.

“It’s really rewarding to see my athletes improve,” she said. “It’s very fun to watch their hard work pay off.”

After college, she tentatively hopes to find a career as a guidance counselor, and to continue coaching dance. Hendrickson also hopes to continue coaching programs such as Dance Tots in order to give back to her community.

The community she has lived in her whole life is Albert Lea, and Hendrickson said she loves it. Aside from dancing, what she really enjoys about Albert Lea is the outdoors.

“I love walking all the trails with my mom,” she said. “Albert Lea has a lot of outdoor adventures.”

Hendrickson feels at home in Albert Lea, but she looks forward to the next chapter of her life. Wherever it takes her, she said she knows she will keep dancing.

Katelyn Hendrickson 

Age: 19

Address: Albert Lea

Livelihood: college student and ROCORI High School dance team assistant varsity coach

Family: father, Mike; mother, Karen; brother, Tyler

Interesting fact: Hendrickson is a twin