It’s been a year since a dancer from Lake Country followed her dreams and moved to London, landing a dream job in one of the most successful West End productions in history.
Katrina Lopes is still flying high, playing a dementor in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The two part play won a record nine Olivier awards after its debut at the Palace Theatre in 2016.
It all started with a trip to London in January 2020. The graduate of Lake Country School of Dance spent a month pursuing her love of the arts, but had to return home because she didn’t have a work visa. Then the pandemic hit and she spent months saving up and waiting for restrictions to ease.
In the end, Katrina decided to take the leap, and headed back to Britain in April 2021.
While moving during a pandemic might seem like a big risk, it paid off for Lopes. She arrived in London right when live shows and theatres were restarting, and won a spot in the best-selling production written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.
She signed up with a talent agent before moving and that got her foot in the door.
“There is a large online casting platform in London where performing jobs are posted but only visible by agents. My agent submitted me for the job as I fit the description of having circus and dance training,” explained Lopes.
“From there, I was invited to an audition in person, then made it to the next round which was an interview with the director and casting team. I received a call two days later that the role was mine!”
She is under contract until at least October, so will be missing the Okanagan summer this year.
“The best part about my role is getting to actually fly around the auditorium & over the stage 8 times a week,'' said Katrina. “It is a very fun stunt and such a thrilling bit of the show to be a part of.”
Before deciding to make the arts her career, she spent two years at the University of British Columbia studying biology. She felt exhausted and overworked, with a job, school and homework–all while yearning to dance.
Lopes is sharing her story because she wants to inspire young dancers, and encourage others to pursue their dreams.