BRANSON, MO.— As the Peanuts character Snoopy at the time said: “To live is to dance, and to dance is to stay.”
Kristen Dasto is performing equally in Branson, living her dreams as a choreographer/dancer/coach.
She hopes someday to understand yet another aspiration: to be a Radio City Rockette in New York Metropolis.
She has a lot of ties to this space. Her mother, Sally (nee Wofford) graduated from Houston High College in 1984. Kristen is the granddaughter of Mary Grace and Bob Wofford of Houston. She’s also the cousin to Lisa Wofford Reece of Pontotoc, Tony Wofford, Bruce Wofford, and Lana and Bruce Pepper of Houston.
She’s occupied to the max, and joyful to the max as properly, she said this week.
“I have three different employment. I’m a dancer at King’s Castle Theatre in Branson, I’m the head coach for the Branson Higher College Sweethearts dance crew, and I’m the Director of Dance Studies at the Branson Regional Arts Council, which is devoted to keeping arts and society alive and well in the community.”
The jobs hold her on the move —literally and figuratively — but she enjoys the challenge “I delight in anything I do,” she explained.
“King’s Castle has 14 exhibits weekly. I do 7 to 10 of individuals demonstrates every single week throughout the main season. When the Xmas period kicks in, that bumps up to 14-17 demonstrates weekly,” she reported.
“King’s Castle is exceptional in that it has 4 shows live on phase from mid-February via New Year’s Eve. I am a element of three out of those people four. Each and every present is diverse, and each and every one lasts about two hours such as intermission,” she explained.
Working at King’s Castle has been a broadening practical experience for her. “King’s Castle is owned by Dublin’s All over the world Enterprises, a United kingdom-centered corporation. As a end result, I have achieved people from all more than the globe. Our GM and business supervisor are Scottish, and various other individuals are from various components of the Uk. The differences in how they grew up instruction and learning is neat to discover about, and currently being all-around a variety of cultures like that is so neat and inspiring.”
She said undertaking has been a lifetime-very long action for her. She credits her older sister Nicole for that.
“Performing is my occupation, but I have truly been undertaking it all my lifetime. I started out dancing as a newborn when I noticed my older sister performing it and I actually fell in enjoy with it.
“My parents would carry me into the last couple minutes of my sister’s dance lessons at the studio and I desired to be in there so poorly, but I had to be potty skilled right before I could start the courses. That was in all probability the swiftest I learned how to do everything,” she explained.
“I took dancing from age 1 1/2 to 5, then gymnastics from ages 5-9, then I flopped back to dance. As I grew up, I fell in like with all areas of executing,” she recalled.
As Guns & Roses as soon as sang, Each Rose Has Its Thorns every occupation has its difficult sections. For her, the hardest section of the journey from child to experienced dancer has been, “Believing in myself and maintaining my self-assurance.
“As a dancer or performer of any type, you are your individual bundle. What you are and what you can bring to the desk is all you have to showcase, and as you audition for numerous work opportunities, you’re liable to get a lot of “no’s” until eventually you get a “yes.” You’ve obtained to keep good.
“Sleeping is my most difficult factor I keep tired and wired,” she mentioned.
The biggest hurdle she’s experienced to triumph over to get where by she is?
“Accepting that I am 5’10″, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to modify that. It’s more challenging to get work as a taller female dancer for partnering reasons. There just really don’t appear to be that many tall male dancers, and it is tricky to partner with a less tall male dancer,” she reported.
Her perform continues extensive after each and every demonstrate is about, and extensive ahead of the future one particular begins.
Successful dancers ought to have superb stability, bodily toughness, and actual physical dexterity, so they can go their bodies gracefully and fluidly with no slipping or getting rid of their feeling of rhythm.
They also require artistic means and creativeness to categorical tips by way of movement.
There’s a lot of conditioning and cross education she has to do to keep flexible and robust to complete those people ambitions. Her regimen features leaping jacks, planks, splits, eye-higher kicks, and Pilates.
How she came to be accomplishing in Branson is a tale in itself.
She’s solitary, no children, and the daughter of Brian and Sally Dasto of Branson. Brian is a Captain for Kalitta Air, an intercontinental air cargo transportation company, traveling 747 and 777 transport jets out of Springfield, Mo. Sally works for Abacus CPAs in Branson.
The family members attends Woodland Hills Relatives Church of Branson.
Born in Plano, Texas, the relatives moved to New Albany when she was 5 wherever she began gymnastics at Tag Gymnastics, and afterwards at Elite Gymnastics II, owned by Metry McGaughy.
They later moved to Memphis, in which she grew up.
She was homeschooled, and afterwards attended the American Tunes and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).
She taught at a number of little studios, then relocated to New York in Oct of 2015 to show up at AMDA where by she trained with marketplace specialists in dance, voice, and performing.
After her initial yr at AMDA, Kristen transferred to start off her training at Broadway Dance Middle (BDC) in their teaching software exactly where she graduated with a Certification of Completion in April, 2017.
Shortly immediately after graduating from BDC, she gained her certification in Classical Pilates through PowerPilates.
“While I was in New York, I came property to stop by my spouse and children right here in Branson in December, 2017. Three weeks into my family vacation right here, my sister Nicole slipped and break up her foot in 50 %.
“She couldn’t push, so I stayed all around to assist her. Nicole noticed an advert for the Branson Regional Arts Council indicating they ended up placing on their 1st creation in a new spot. She needed us to audition jointly but I did not want to audition as my plans were being to go again to New York as before long as achievable. Nicole finished up conversing me into likely. I bought forged, and that led me to connections with different theaters in Branson. Afterwards in the yr, I auditioned for King’s Castle’s 2018 Christmas season. I was presented the posture as a element-time dancer for the season a few weeks later,” she mentioned.
She took a break from executing in 2019 and targeted on teaching. She returned to perform for King’s Castle in 2020, and has worked in Branson steadily because.
“The season” in Branson runs from about Valentine’s Day in February to New Year’s Eve. “That offers us about six weeks off, extra or less, to rest and recover and go on any holidays doable,” she claimed.
Viewed from the standpoint of a resident, and not a tourist, she believes family values make Branson a special location. “Branson was established to present loved ones-oriented entertainment,” she mentioned.
Her recommendations for other displays in Branson? “I do not have a ton of time to see the demonstrates, but Dean Z: the Top Elvis Show is a whole lot of enjoyable, specifically if you’re an Elvis admirer,” she reported.
When not dancing, she’s coached the Sweethearts to a very very good 12 months.
The group won third overall in the Blend category at the State championships held in St. Charles on Feb. 26.
“The Sweethearts are a gifted, hard-working group of youthful females,” Dasto said. “This year we took on a number of new troubles and had an absolute blast. I appreciate helping youthful generations master and expand in the field, and inspiring people to become the greatest they can quite possibly be. It is truly an honor to be this team’s coach.”
Team member Talya Tinoco reported not long ago. “I’m so very pleased of this dance team. We do the job so really hard and absolutely everyone is so talented. Our coach Kristen, who we contact Mentor K, is the greatest mentor we could request for, and she often tends to make confident we have our greatest foot ahead.”
Where does Coach K want to be 5 or 10 many years from now?
“My major purpose is to be a Radio City Rockette, and to be a part of carrying on their custom that originated in 1925.
“In the off season from a Rockette agreement, I’d like to vacation as a choreographer for regional theaters, or even occur back again to Branson to do stage demonstrates listed here, then go back at Xmas to be a Rockette, then appear back to Branson and do it all over once again,” she explained.
In her off-responsibility time, “I love to go to various places at Lake Taneycomo, chill by the water’s edge or swim a little bit. I also enjoy going to a couple of our neighborhood coffee shops, and catch up on Bible studies, e-mail and everything work-relevant.
Her favorite Biblical estimate: Jeremiah 29:11. She connects it to her lifetime: “Know that I have a prepare for you.” I know nothing is guaranteed as a dancer. God place becoming a Rockette on my heart. It has not took place still, but as my father constantly reminds me, it is not a matter of if but when.”