Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Clinton, Mississippi. In 2010, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Southern Mississippi. Following her undergraduate studies, she moved to New York City to pursue her master’s degree in dance at New York University, graduating from Tisch School of the Arts with a Masters of Fine Arts in 2012. Kellis is a former instructor of dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. She specializes in ballet, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre techniques, and she has also orchestrated a freelance choreography business for the past nine years. Kellis is a 2012 graduate of the Perri Institute and she is a certified Mind Body Dancer Yoga instructor. Kellis and her husband, Kirk, currently live in New Orleans, where she is a dancer and choreographer for Marigny Opera Ballet.
I’ve always enjoyed learning. I’m a perpetual student, and I love diving into new things. I first experienced yoga while in graduate school at NYU, and I was hooked. As a dancer, yoga appealed to my kinesthetic mind, and I felt like each time I was on my mat was an opportunity to investigate my dancing body. As a student, yoga appealed to my inquisitive mind. As a temporary New Yorker, yoga reminded to breathe, which was a life-saver!
what led you to study yoga and mind/body practices? what appealed to you?
how do you take what you learn on the mat into your life and work off the mat?
I’ve garnered quite a bit from my yoga practice, but I think one of the main concepts I’ve taken away from my mat and into my life is mindfulness. I try to approach every aspect of my life with intention, purpose and mindfulness. Whether it is my job, my marriage, my friendships, or my hobbies, being consciously mindful has helped me find more value and appreciation in the things I do and the relationships I have.