About the Girl

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Practical guidance and inspiring stories about the world of ballroom dance – from the student perspective

Hi! I’m Katie and I’m also known as the Girl with the Tree Tattoo.

Since starting the Girl with the Tree Tattoo blog in 2015, I have welcomed thousands of visitors who value my openness and willingness to share the good, the bad, and the awkward of my journey while shedding light on the rarely addressed mental and emotional aspects of being an adult pro-am ballroom dancer.

I am passionate and committed to helping my fellow dancers boost their confidence while discovering the dancer within by providing inspiration from my own journey with a healthy dose of practicality.

I have been studying ballroom dance since 2012 and have successfully competed as an amateur ballroom dancer since 2014, including winning a World Champion title in American Smooth at the 2018 Embassy Ballroom Championships.

I don’t pretend like I have all of the answers, and I could never replace your dance teacher or coach. That being said…

  • If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated or doubtful about your progress as a dancer,
  • If you LOVE ballroom, but secretly wonder if you really belong,
  • If you want straight-up honest stories from someone who always keeps it real and KNOWS what you’re going through because she’s in it with you,

Then I am your Girl.

When they connect with that dancer inside them, the people I work with feel more confident, joyful and free on the dance floor. Ballroom dancing is about connection. Connection with the music, ourselves, our partners, and those watching. When that connection is authentic and honest, that is when the magic happens.

Published Works

Dance Diaries series
The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing
A Journal for the Whole Dance Journey
The Choreography Journal


In addition to writing on this blog, I have been honored to share the story and message of The Girl with the Tree Tattoo on the following media outlets.


15 thoughts on “About the Girl

      • thatssojacob says:

        No problem. Fellow ballroom dancer here; competed for the first time last November and even got a ribbon in Newcomer Samba. I signed up for a competition at the end of the month in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but alas, I cannot find a follow (bronze/newcomer int’l Latin, newcomer int’l Standard) and I don’t really want to go TBA because it’s a 3-hour drive, and I don’t want to get there and find out I can’t compete 😦


        • theuphillfactor says:

          Oh cool! Yeah, I understand the hesitation. That’s a lot of time and money to spend if you dont have a guarantee you’ll have a partner to dance with. I didn’t realize there were ballroom comps where you could show up without a partner! I’m going to guess it’s through one of the franchises? Well if you decide to go, I hope you get to dance!! If not, there are always others!


          • thatssojacob says:

            Most of the collegiate comps here in the Midwest including ours have TBA options, you don’t know who you’ll be dancing with until you show up. The Iowa Dancesport Classic is the only one nearby that fits into my schedule this semester. I called over last week and spoke to the head of Iowa’s team, and she said she’d get back to me by the end of the week with any info, but if I don’t hear back from her by Thursday, I’m going to call Friday and ask for a refund. Sad, but 6 hours round trip is a little too much if there are no guarantees. Maybe if it was one of the closer comps, like in Illinois or Indiana, I could deal, but I don’t want to spend a whole weekend in Iowa just watching people dance! If only you were around…


  1. Megan says:

    I absolutely love reading about your adventures in the ballroom world! As someone just starting out in her professional journey, you are someone that I really look up to. Thank you for sharing everything that you do! I look forward to continually following your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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