Kayla is a two-year veteran of the Swarm Performance Team. She works for a national nonprofit organization and teaches dance at a local dance studio. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in dance and communications studies.
Kayla has been dancing since the age of two. She grew up dancing at a local dance studio competing in group numbers and solos in everything from jazz to lyrical to clogging and musical theatre. Kayla was a member of the dance team at Gustavus Adolphus College and was in the Gustavus Dance Company.
Kayla has a dog named Gunner and a kitty named Tigg. She enjoys dancing around her house, running around the lakes, playing soccer and working with children.
Jessica Baltes from the Minnesota Swarm recently caught up with Kayla.
Jessica: How is the season going so far for you?
Kayla: The season has been wonderful so far. I am so excited to be back for my second year and see so many returning fans and familiar faces! We have a wonderful team, great choreography and a lot more time to visit with fans and stand out in the crowds. Overall the season is off to a great start!
Jessica: You are in your second season on the SPT. What about last year’s experience made you want to come back?
Kayla: Becoming a Swarm Performance Team member last year was such a blessing. The whole Swarm organization made being on the SPT an amazing experience. We have a wonderful group of women who are so dedicated and hard working that there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to come back for another season. I know that this year will be just as exhilarating as last year.
Jessica: Is it fun having so many returning vets on the SPT this season?
Kayla: Yes, it is great to have all so many returning vets! We are a close group of girls and are now able to continue our success from last year and start with a bang this year. Our two new rookies are fabulous and fit right in to make a wonderful and successful group of ten.
Jessica: In your time with the team, what has been your favorite SPT appearance so far?
Kayla: Appearances are another component that makes being on the SPT such an amazing experience. If I had to pick one I would have to say the Treasure Island- “Take it or Leave it” appearance (Similar to Deal or No Deal). Being able to be on stage and opening the cases with all of the suspense is so much fun. It is also great to get the Swarm name out to a large audience.
Jessica: You have danced since you were a child and performed on the Gustavus Adolphus Dance Team/Company. How does dancing for a college team compare to the experience of dancing for the SPT?
Kayla: Both have been amazing experiences that have many similarities and differences. Being able to express my passion of dance through dancing at Gustavus and now on SPT has helped me grow as a dancer as well as a person. Dancing on the Swarm Performance Team is a different level that I am so blessed to have advanced on to. The choreography and women that I dance with are amazing. The biggest difference would be being able to represent a professional sports team and an awesome organization. It is definitely a wonderful experience.
Jessica: Have you had any memorable dance instructors or mentors throughout your dance career?
Kayla: I have had multiple dance instructors and mentors through the years, and I feel like a part of each of their style, passion and technique make me who I am today. I continue to have their support whether it is to make me a stronger performer or a better person. The studio owner at the studio I grew up dancing at has continuously supported my growth in dance from when I was two years old until now where I am one of her dance instructors at the studio. I also have had numerous solo teachers who inspired me to study dance in college and start dancing for professional sports. My college professors at Gustavus offered me a variety of dance career paths and the ability to really take ownership of various types of dance. Dance instructors can be more than just someone who teaches you dance technique but they can serve as a role model in many areas of your life and it is something I strive to emulate when I am with my dance students.
Jessica: This Saturday, the Swarm will be featuring a doubleheader with the Rollergirls. Did you get a chance to check out their bout last year?
Kayla: Last year I was able to stay and see the Bout after the Swarm game. It was my first time experiencing the bout and it was so cool to watch. I am excited to see it again this year.
Jessica: What do fans have to look forward to from the SPT this Saturday?
Kayla: The Swarm fans can expect great choreography and performances and lots of interaction with the fans! We have to keep this winning streak up with our enthusiasm and cheering!