WMU News

Dance grad becomes the 'Girl in the Leo's Ad'

Oct. 18, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- In April, she was just another fine arts graduate ready to launch her career.

By the end of summer, she was known as the "Girl in the Leo's Ad."

Kalamazoo resident and Western Michigan University alumna Katie Greene has become a familiar face to dance enthusiasts across the country since graduating with a dance degree. After posing for the Leo's Dancewear 2000 Costume Catalogue, the Chicago-based company called her for its 2001 advertising campaign. Dancers nationwide will continue to see a lot of her in the months ahead. Green also has completed a photo shoot for Leo's Dancewear Fall 2001 Costume Catalogue.

Greene, who is originally from Jackson, Mich., considers herself lucky to be included in both the ad campaign and Leo's Costume Catalogue, which could be described as the JC Penney catalogue for dance performers. Her modeling experiences were positive, supportive and professional, but they were also challenging.

"Posing is harder than it looks," she says. "It sometimes takes as many as 50 shots to get the right line. I was so sore the next day (after the first shoot), but I have gotten better at holding the poses."

One of three dancers who posed for the ad campaign, Greene graces the cover of the Leo's fall basic dancewear catalogue and is seen throughout its pages. Photos from the ad campaign will be used throughout the year in several dance publications such as Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, and Dance Spirit. The Dance Magazine October issue bears her photograph on page seven.

Greene spent the summer of 2001 as a scholarship student at the Gus Giordano School of Dance in Evanston, Ill. Even the famed choreographer and founder of the Jazz Dance World Congress recognized her, asking her, "Aren't you the girl in the Leo's Ad?" as did many of the dancers in the summer workshop.

While people are recognizing her smile, feet, back, and fit, lean physique, Greene is busy with a variety of projects. In September, she performed a duet at Links Hall in Chicago. She recently finished a series of four instructional video shootings in Florida. Two "fitness gurus" who saw her at an aerobics certification convention and liked her crisp technique contacted her about their videotape projects.

Preparing to move to Los Angeles in 2002, Greene is busy teaching modern dance at the Park Trades Center; Pilates, a body conditioning program, and aerobic step at Everybodies Gym and Fitness Center; and parent and child fitness at the Borgess Health and Fitness Center. To round out her busy schedule Greene finds time to make jewelry, which she began selling this summer in Chicago.

A high level of activity is not new for Greene. While attending WMU as a scholarship student, she worked in the department of dance as a technical production assistant and clerical worker. She also served as a teaching assistant for the dance conditioning course, which is Pilates-based. She was cast to perform in department concerts from her first year. Greene also considers herself fortunate to have performed the choreography of State of Michigan King/Chavez/Parks Visiting Artist Donald McKayle; noted ballet choreographer, George Balanchine; jazz choreographer, Billie Siegenfeld; alumna Kathleen Hermesdorf; and alumnus Derrick Evans, while a student at WMU.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400