Women of Substance

Woman of Substance: Katelyn Baud.

By: Jen Shoop

I am so excited to feature this month’s unbelievable woman of substance: Katelyn Baud.  Katelyn is a professional dancer, and, though she is a classically trained ballerina (and has performed with some of the most prestigious ballet troupes in the world), she is currently performing in the Broadway show Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage.

The Fashion Magpie Katelyn Baud 1

{Katelyn Baud, dancing in the streets of NYC.  Photo by Rachel Bell Carpenter.}

Katelyn and I attended high school together in D.C. a trillion years ago (SRSLY, we are celebrating our 15 year high school anniversary?!  I can’t even.)  I featured another high school classmate of ours, Alison Kenworthy, in a previous post, too; I promise not all of the woman of substance I feature will be graduates of Visitation or UVA, but my GOD, I am finding that there are a lot of impressive woman that have graduated from these schools!  I recall that we were all a little mind-boggled by the fact that she was juggling not only the rigors of our private school’s academics (I still think Visitation was far more challenging from a workload perspective than college or even graduate school), but the intense discipline of training to become a professional ballerina at the distinguished Washington School of Ballet as well, while also navigating the routine complexities of puberty (ugh, a full time job, amiriteeee).  I recall her zipping onto campus in a bomb gold Jaguar (is this true, Katelyn?  Or have I have mentally inserted you into a dope vintage Jag as my subliminal way of positioning you as the coolest chickadee ever?), hustling off to class after undoubtedly sweating through multiple intense workouts and routines, and looking as if it were the easiest thing on the planet.  (And also, making us reconsider whether those cupcakes in first period were really necessary.  Katelyn was CUT.)  Meanwhile, I was mainly preoccupied with whether I would have a date to senior prom…

At any rate, after graduating from Visitation, Katelyn moved to the West Coast to train at the San Francisco Ballet School before becoming a member of the corps de ballet with the Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Suzanne Farrell Ballet (which my mother, a longtime adorer of ballet and perennial, season-after-season ballet ticket-holder at the Kennedy Center, considers the creme de la creme).  Katelyn was frequently looked to for soloist opportunities (read: she was one of the best).  In 2012, she retired from the ballet world, and has since been performing on Broadway.  I was able to see her as lead ballet dancer in Flashdance: The Musical when it came through Chicago a few years ago (I also had the opportunity to see her in the Nutcracker a few years back — magic), and she is breathtaking.  She is also a Senior Master Trainer at Ballet Beautiful in NYC, which, in case you don’t know it, is a fitness program famous for training lots of Victoria’s Secret angels (I wince to think of myself in this class, the ungainly and uncoordinated oaf twirling around in a corner while Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldridge tone their perfect bodies) and a “studio marm” for “Joffrey Elite,” a web docuseries produced by Kelly Ripa (!!!!).

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{Hella chic.}

The Fashion Magpie Katelyn Baud 2

{Maybe the prettiest bride ever?}

The Fashion Magpie Katelyn Baud 3

{Cutie in Charleston for her wedding.}

SO, basically, Katelyn is insanely talented and ridiculously hard-working, and for those two reasons alone, mad impressive.  But what really intrigued me about Katelyn is the behind-the-scenes story of her discovery that she had Type 1 Diabetes around the same time that she decided to retire from her career in ballet.  There’s an epic piece on this aspect of her life that The Washington Post ran a few years ago that showcases her grit and strength, not only as an athlete (she danced her final ballet performance in Swan Lake with an open wound on her foot, bleeding through her pointe shoe–and you’d never have guessed), but as a badass woman of substance: can you imagine discovering that you’d been physically ill for years and had been powering through it through sheer strength of will? Or that your unexpected diagnosis might jeopardize a career you’d worked your entire life for?  Katelyn made the undoubtedly tough decision that she would not return to ballet, even after working to get Diabetes under control–and that she would instead focus on Broadway opportunities, as it would have been too difficult to manage her glucose levels alongside the rigors of training and performing as a ballerina.  (Ahem, not that Broadway is any cakewalk.)  Never one to sit idly by, she now dedicates a good amount of her time to raising diabetes awareness as a Dexcom Warrior.

Her story, to me, is one of quiet strength and perseverance–of powering through physical and mental challenges with grace, of accepting the twists and turns in life with self-possession and cool-headedness, and of doing it all with an air of gratitude and joy.  If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll know what I mean: this girl lives life.  She is never without a smile.  You’d never know if she’d been through hell and back; she glows regardless, composed and beautiful inside and out.  Thinking about her story, especially in the challenging late weeks of pregnancy (not to make things allll about me), helped give me a sense of perspective and a galvanizing I-can-do-this nudge that I desperately needed.  She’s a true inspiration.

Also, I’ll leave you with these.  I’ll just leave ’em right here.  #Holysmokeshow.

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The Fashion Magpie Katelyn Baud 8

The Fashion Magpie Katelyn Baud 7

{Photos by Justin Patterson.}

I’ve been in touch with Katelyn over the years, but she recently took the time to answer my Proust Questionnaire Redux.  Get to know her below:

Your favorite qualities in a woman.
Confidence, honesty, and compassion.
Your favorite heroine.
My late grandmother, Patsy (Ma) Prominski. She had seven children within ten years and managed do it all with grace in her heart. She had the ability to make anyone feel important and comfortable. Whenever I’m stuck on a decision, or in any type of personal rut, I always ask myself: “What would Ma do?”
Your main fault.
I do not know the word “no.”  It becomes a problem when I physically run out of hours.
Your greatest virtue.
I am incredibly loyal. I will do whatever I can to help out my family and friends.  Innately, I love connecting people for the perfect project.
Your idea of happiness.
Quality time, without distractions, with my husband. It’s what I ask for my birthday every year. If I’m lucky, we don’t have cell service or wifi.
Your idea of misery.
Uncontrolled blood sugars. Also, getting caught without a suitable chapstick or hand lotion.
Currently at the top of your shopping lust list.
A Givenchy Pandora Messenger Bag. Living in NYC, I’m constantly going between work, auditions, dance class, the theater, dinner dates, and more. I have been wanting this bag for years.  I am also obsessed with all-natural skincare products.
Desert island beauty product.
Last thing you bought.
A Privacy Please bodysuit and Odeme candle.  Since I usually live in hotel rooms, I always have a candle that invokes a fun memory.  The Desert Rose one reminds me of a fun weekend spent in Miami.
I feel most empowered wearing
A grey v-neck t-shirt and a pair of Frame skinny jeans.  So comfortable, basic, and me.
Favorite Magpie post.
I love all of the homewares posts and gift guides. I always love finding unique presents for people and fun pieces for my home.  These blog posts definitely satisfy those needs!  I specifically liked this post on home goods and this gift guide.
Get that joyous, pro-dancer-off-duty, Katelyn look with these pieces (just click on the products you like to be taken to details, or see links below):



Alexis OTS Ruffle Top ($286) // Supergoop Suncreen ($19) // Frame Jersey T-Shirt ($90) // Aerin Lace-Up Ballet Flats ($550) // Alo Yoga Muscle Tank ($54) // Givenchy Pouch ($545) // S’well Water Bottle ($45) // Frame Denim Skinny Jeans ($200) // Hats by Olivia Sunhat ($65) // Le Specs Sunglasses ($125) // Cherry Print Louboutins ($745) // Nars Audacious Lipstick ($34) // Self-Portrait Dress ($435) // Jonathan Adler Votive ($28) // DKNY Stretch Body Suit ($200) // Flokati Pillow ($88) // Weleda Foot Balm ($32) // Adidas by Stella McCartney Leggings ($100) // Superga Sneakers ($65)

P.S. — That Weleda foot balm gets great reviews and is all-natural, per Katelyn’s listed obsession.

P.P.S. — I’m obsessed with everything Alo Yoga puts out into the universe.  The chic-est workout gear.  I cannot wait to wear my moto leggings of theirs — mine are the glossy navy color.

P.P.P.S — I’ve never used a S’well water bottle (this marble one is cool), but I know people flip over this brand.  A good girlfriend of mine just gifted me one of these similar gorgeous floral ones from Anthro.

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3 thoughts on “Woman of Substance: Katelyn Baud.

  1. Katelyn’s story is so inspiring! Echoing Jennifer – this series is amazing. Thanks for continuing it!

    Love, too, Frame jeans – and I’ll have to check out Odeme. Looks to be a contender for a new favorite candle brand.

  2. Loving this series! All the women you’ve found are so inspiring.

    And indeed, the s’well water bottles are phenomenal. I typically wouldn’t spend that much for a water bottle, but they legitimately keep cold drinks cold forever (I half-filled one with ice and then added water to the top… half the ice cubes were still present when I finally got around to opening it two days later). I’ve heard that the largest ones can hold a whole bottle of wine… still need to test this out.

    1. So glad you’re enjoying the series! It’s been really fun and interesting to put these together. I’ve certainly been inspired. And, thanks for the heads up on these water bottles!!! xo

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