Kathryn Mowat Murphy - Broadway's Fiery Phenom
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by Bree Moon
Well known for her uncompromising work ethic and inspirational outlook on life, Kathryn Mowat-Murphy has been a powerhouse in the Broadway and fitness worlds for over twenty years. Originally from New Zealand, Kat relocated to New York City in the 90's, and has been dazzling not only the Big Apple, but the entire world ever since.
Fitness has always been a major part of Kat's life. After studying kinesiology at the University of Otago, dance piqued her interest. Upon auditioning for the New Zealand School of Dance in her early 20's Kathryn was accepted into the prestigious three year program, a feat that is unheard of for a female dancer with no formal training. After a mere two years of ballet training, she performed in the corps of Swan Lake at the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company. Here her natural talent flourished, paving the foundation for her to dominate the Great White Way. Upon arriving in NYC, Kat quickly became a top fitness professional, teaching and training, as well as appearing in fitness videos for Reebok and several independent fitness companies.
While still loving her fitness career and continuing as a personal trainer, Kathryn has been mesmerizing theatre audiences for years. Appearing in the Broadway and Equity National Tours of Chicago, Fosse, Sweet Charity, Pal Joey and A Chorus Line , Kathryn also performed a solo she choreographed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Labyrinth Dance Theatre. She made her directorial debut at the Algonquit Theatre co-directing A Chorus Line with Luis Villabon, and most recently fascinated audiences as Nicky in Sweet Charity, a production in which she also served as associate choreographer.
During her travels around the world performing, Kathryn discovered that staying fit for her shows could be a difficult task. This inspired her to formulate a high intensity workout that could be done anywhere. And so, KatMoJAM was devised to keep her fit and at the top of her game. Utilizing a combination of dance, kickboxing, yoga and resistance training to create a high octane calorie burn, it is structured in a tiered manner to allow for those in any fitness level to enjoy and benefit from the workout. Set to an energizing soundtrack, the 55-minute regimen serves not only to increase your fitness, but also to revitalize your soul and sense of confidence.
Quite fortunately I discovered KatMoJAM last year whilst looking for a new workout that would captivate my mind, body and soul, while taking into consideration several old injuries from my days as a haphazard, daredevil athlete. After trying a variety of fitness programs, none of which were beneficial or engaging, meeting Kathryn and attending KatMoJAM felt as if I had finally found the Holy Grail of fitness. The moment she steps into the room, the surge of positive energy explodes off the chart.
Kathryn maintains this spirit throughout the entire class. After a quick warm-up and stretching, she dives right in to a blend of cardio, weights, dance, kick-boxing, balance and strengthening exercises. She moves from one set to the next with perfect timing to hold your interest, keep your heart-rate up, and work every part of your body. From here, the class moves to the floor for the "Kat-box", a cross between push-ups and the plank move, sit-ups, and then finishes up with a series of yoga and stretching positions designed to lower your heart-rate, relax your body and allow your mind to embrace the new comfort zone that Kathryn has inspired and challenged you to accept.
Quickly becoming a loyal follower of Kat and her exceptional workout regime, I dusted off my dance shoes and followed her to Steps on Broadway, New York's prestigious professional dance studio to partake in her jazz class. Kat maintains a steady flow throughout her ballet-inspired warm-up ensuring that the entire body is properly prepared for her jazz combinations. Drawing from her Broadway repertoire, Kat teaches her own choreography, keeping each class fresh with fun and challenging routines. Her exceptional teaching skills shine through in dance class, and she provides instruction in an encouraging and motivational manner. Kat encourages those around her to "stop, enjoy and appreciate the present. Don't save yourself for tomorrow, do it now and find your edge. Respect those who have come before you, walk into a room with gratitude and awe, and never take for granted the moments of wonder." Imparting her knowledge and experiences to her students in class, it is inspiring to witness her talent and passion shine through with the same exuberance she emits on a Broadway stage.
Whether on performing on stage, choreographing and directing as part of the creative team, teaching dance or leading her high-powered KatMoJAM class, Kathryn Mowat-Murphy is known for her commitment to excellence and her dedication to those whose lives she touches and inspires. And I, for one, am looking forward to the next class.
For more information, please visit www.KatMoJAM.com
KatMoJAM classes are at 8:00PM Monday and Thursday, and 11:00 AM on Saturdays at Ripley-Grier Studio, 520 8th Ave, NYC
Kathryn's teaching schedule at Steps on Broadway: http://www.stepsnyc.com/
Photos taken at Steps on Broadway, 2121 Broadway @ 74th Street, NY, NY - 212.874.2410