“I felt like I was finally living my dream.” –Kathryn McCann is the founder of a corporate yoga and wellness company.
As a child I studied ballet intensely in New York, until my family moved to Boston. There I trained with the Boston Ballet. We trained six days a week, three to four hours a day at a time, working on flexibility and strength, and perfecting the technique.
Then I had to choose either performing professionally at the age of 18 or going on to college and getting a degree. I chose college so I could be more educated, and got my bachelor of fine art specializing in ballet. I was really lucky that that was actually something that you could get a college degree in. I’m still actually amazed by that.
Right after college, I started dancing professionally in Charlotte, North Carolina for a company called Moving Poets Theatre of Arts. That was my “pinch me” moment, because I was getting a paycheck for all that hard work. I felt like I was finally living my dream and reaping the benefits.
I always knew I wanted something more, so I transitioned out to the West Coast and started dancing professionally for SeaWorld. I was a mermaid in the sea lion and otter show, which was always hilarious. At one point in my life when people asked me, “What is it that you do?” and I would respond, “Well, I’m a professional mermaid.” They would joking follow with, “Okay, get out of the fantasy land.” I’m like, “No, really. I’m a professional mermaid. I’m in the Clyde and Seymour show.”
We wore elaborate costumes and makeup every single day, and performed in front of thousands upon thousands of people. I was definitely living my dream, making people happy, working with animals, working with sea lions. Understanding marine mammal training was fascinating. I’m lucky that I got that opportunity in my life.
Right around the time I turned 30, I realized that it wasn’t a reality anymore for my body to take that sort of stress. Ballet and dance in general is very harmful to the body. I needed something more therapeutic. I needed something more understanding and compassionate. That’s when I turned to yoga for healing and for guidance.
My transition into the yoga world has been so incredibly supportive and loving. Now I feel like I have that support and love for myself. I’m certified at the 500-hour level. I have been through a lot of trainings and it’s always an ongoing process.
I still have a million more trainings I want to do. It’s a lifelong journey. To be able to instill that in other people, that’s really where I’m finding my job very rewarding. It’s so satisfying seeing my students evolve. As I continue to evolve, I can pass even more on to them.
To be continued…
2nd of the interview series with Hung Tran in Del Mar, California.
Edited by Jack Green and Hung Tran.
Photo Credits: John Watkins, Brad Golden and Kathryn McCann
© 2016 The Yoga Blog