Katrina Norman is one of America’s finest dancers. She has the looks, the style and the moves that will make your jaw drop. For only being in her early twenties, Katrina has starred in Las Vegas’ ‘Treasure Island’ production, she has been a part of LA Sparks dance team, and she has played a role in the hit film ‘No Strings Attached’.
Recently, Katrina was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule (since she has been working on a big role in the upcoming film ‘Strings’) to sit down and answer some of The Ball’s questions. Thank you Katrina for your time, and we can’t wait to see you on the big screen again!
So originally you started out doing karate, but after seeing dance go on in the studio, you decided to pick up dancing. What was it about dancing that appealed to you so much?
“My mom tells me that I loved the sound that the tap shoes made on the dance floor. At the age of three, and the start of my first class- I was hooked and I’ve been dancing ever since.”
At what point did it click that you could do dance and get paid for it?
“I was fourteen when I spent the summer in California after being asked to join Dee Caspary’s first company. We worked hard for several weeks and held an intimate showcase out of his studio, and that was the moment I realized I would do this forever. I wanted to be just like the amazing artists I was surrounded by. Tina Caspary, Brooke Lipton, Mandy Moore, Mark Meismer just to name a few. There was no turning back after that experience!”
At a young age of 15 you moved out to the city of angels to study with the industry’s top choreographers. What was that process like for such a young girl?
“When I moved to LA at age 15, I was really acting on instincts and praying my mom and dad would let me. Thankfully my parents were in my corner every step of the way and let me not only move to California, but become home schooled so I could train all day. Coming from a competition studio, there were a lot of habits I had to get rid of. The professional world of dance is very different from the competition world and I was humbled by the experience of training with top working choreographers and dance legends. It was an intense schedule of three or four classes a day on top of completing three years of school in a year and a half but I loved every day and I wouldn’t change anything about it.”
Do you ever look back and wish you did the typical high school routine?
“As I look back, high school was never something I felt I missed out on. I went to junior high school dances, and I was raised in a dance studio so I got to be around plenty of kids my age and do all the fun things that come with that life. I also attended community college courses at night so I was exposed to plenty.”
Did Arizona have anything decent to offer you dance-wise to pursue a successful career?
“Arizona’s dance studios are very talented and produce many professional dancers. However, Arizona itself can only offer you so much as a dancer. I wanted to be on TV and surrounded by top working artists. Unfortunately they don’t live in Arizona; they live in California where the industry is booming with dance opportunities.”
And your family supporting you throughout the process?
“My family has been my rock my entire life. They are my biggest fans and believers in my dreams! I wouldn’t be the person I am today or experienced the success I’ve had if it wasn’t for them.”
When did you get your first paid dancing gig, and who was it for?
“My first professional gig was dancing for the LA Sparks basketball team when I was 16.”
What was your initial reaction to seeing that your hard work paid off?
“My reaction to receiving a check and knowing that I could make money doing what I love was thrilling. I was on cloud nine every time I got to run out on that basketball court. And of course every time I received a check was equally as wonderful.”
So you ended up dancing at Vegas’ ‘Treasure Island’, but soon after moved back to LA to study acting? Why did you leave Vegas?
“I decided to leave Vegas when I could no longer tame the hunger I had inside of me for something “more.” I wanted a bigger challenge and to face more of my fears head on. I believe “Sirens of T.I.” gave me the experience and confidence I needed to move back to LA.”
What’s it like working for the entertainment industry in Vegas? Did it get weird?
“Working in Las Vegas was very interesting and of course it can get weird, but once you get accustomed to the constant party life around you, it can be a great and affordable place to pursue a dance career. Vegas has more live show opportunities with a much smaller number of competitors than LA. And there was nothing better than getting to entertain audiences four times a night, five nights a week!”
Did you get picked up for acting gigs during your studies in Los Angeles?
“My acting jobs have come to me through the typical auditioning process. The agent submits you for a role, if accepted you audition for casting directors, followed by callbacks and hopefully a booking.”
What’s the scariest part of an audition?
“For me the scariest part of an acting audition is controlling your nerves. Until you have the repetition of auditioning, it can be quite scary to go in a small room with people you don’t know while trying to stay calm, remember your lines and portray another character. Dance auditions on the other hand are fun because I’m very comfortable and confident with that situation. In the beginning of my career I can remember being really overwhelmed by the number of dancers that would show up to certain auditions. I simply did my very best through every round of cuts until I either booked the job or didn’t.”
You started hitting the screen around 2011, and from there it took off. What was it like to officially “make it”?
“I feel as though I’m fortunate enough to live my dreams and be happy everyday and that in itself is my definition of ‘making it'”.
You’ve starred on big shows like 90210 and CSI, and just recently VH1’s Hit The Floor… How did that come about?
“The shows I’ve been apart of all start out as auditions. On occasion you may have a director or choreographer direct book you without an audition, but more often then not I have to go through the audition process like everyone else. It’s a thrilling and trying process, but I believe it’s all a part of a growing opportunity and the excitement of being in the business.”
What is it like to work with actors like Ashton Kutcher and Lake Bell?
“Working with actors like Ashton Kutcher and Lake Bell in the movie “No Strings Attached” was amazing and surreal. They were a pleasure to be around and quite funny. No matter what actor or actress I get to work with, I always find it fascinating to observe them in action and in between takes. Most everyone I’ve worked with is very nice and welcoming whether you are a dancer or a fellow co-star.”
There’s a dark side to the acting industry, and that is the topic of self-image. Do you feel like the acting industry is harsh on their clients?
“I feel the acting industry can be hard on the self-image, however I’ve found it more so in the dance industry. Your body is your instrument and people will always have opinions about your look. The most important thing to remember is that you have the control over letting someone make you feel good or bad about your image. Believe in yourself and be confidant in who you are, inside out from head to toe!”
If there were one thing you could change about the acting industry, what would it be?
“If there was one thing I could change about the acting industry it would be reality television. Given America’s new love for reality shows, there are less job opportunities in television for aspiring actors.”
What’s your goal as an actor and dancer?
“My goals as a dancer have been wildly fulfilled and so much better than I’d dreamt as a kid. Dancing will always be apart of my life and I hope one day to incorporate it into an acting role, however my goals surrounding acting have just begun. I hope to play a wide variety of roles with wonderful stories that effect people. TV or film, I’m ready to challenge myself and entertain millions!”
What’s next for Katrina Norman?
“Hopefully more jobs is what’s next for me. I have no doubt I will conquer my dreams!”