Cedar Hill Dancer Natalie Waits Heading Back To Big Apple

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Natalie Waits
Natalie Waits, submitted photo

Natalie Waits Has Broadway Dreams

Natalie Waits has lived all 22 years of her life in Cedar Hill, but her career path will take her back to NYC this fall. The only child of Chris and Vicki Waits dreams of one day dancing in a Broadway musical.

After attending Ashley’s Private School in Cedar Hill, Waits attended Ovilla Christian School until being accepted by Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After her graduation in 2014, she received a scholarship offer from prestigious Pace University in New York City.

Waits says, “I grew up dancing at Stacia’s School of Dance in Cedar Hill. That is where it all started at the age of four. My mom would take me to stretch and technique classes at Powerhouse of Dance in Dallas on the weekends to further my technique. After I was accepted into Booker T., it was harder to stay at my home studio because of commitments at school. I trained at Freestyle Dance Productions under Jay Hall for a while, but at the same time I was taking classes at Kitty Carter’s dance factory. I was fortunate enough to ‘studio hop’ over the years to give me the best training I could have imagined.”

Natalie Waits onstage photo by Chris Waits

“It wasn’t until high school that I realized I wanted to dance as my career. I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I grew up around the Music Hall at Fair Park, which sparked my extra love for musicals and helped me decide that I really wanted to pursue this as a career,” she said.

“One of my teachers at Booker T., Mrs. Walker, was a great influence on my life,” Natalie said. “I loved her class during my years there and she was always a mentor towards me. During my senior year, I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to do with my senior solo, because I was expected to do a modern solo but I wanted a musical theater solo. Mrs. Walker built me a modern solo with a strong musical theater influence, and that meant so much to me.”

photo by Chris Waits

“I LOVE theatre dance. It has been my favorite all my life. I love being able to transform into a different character and entertain the audience for a while. In Dallas, I have been part of the Hoofin’ Crew at the ‘Show before the Show’ for Dallas Summer Musicals at the Music Hall at Fair Park for six years. I have been hired by Mary Kay for their summer contract in Dallas for five summers, and their January contract once in New Orleans,” Waits said.

Natalie’s parents have always supported her career plans, she said. “When I was searching for a college I knew for a fact that I did not want to go to a conservatory, I wanted to have a ‘back up plan’ for my life. Pace University came to Booker T. as part of the senior showcase and accepted me through that program. I was not looking for a ballet and modern program, I was looking for a commercial dance program, and that’s exactly what Pace had to offer. Plus it was NYC so it couldn’t get any better.”

“This program set me up for success in my future. They provide us with opportunities and connections that help us in the long run, and having the program be in NYC allows you to audition in the ‘real world’ and get used to the location for when you graduate. I have done a little of everything in NYC. I have done an industrial film for Hyatt Hotels, some modeling, and random dance gigs. Most recently I was a part of the staged reading of a new musical called ‘Good Morning, New York.’”

Natalie says her future plans are to get a job and audition, “start the everyday grind. I want to do what makes me happy, so that is going to be my main goal for this next year, my first year out of college.”

One day in the future we hope to see Natalie Waits dancing and performing for the hometown folks, maybe back onstage in a touring production at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

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