1. Kabby was old school. A few years ago I saw him at a computer in the library, walked over and said we should teach together someday. Almost without looking up, he said, “Spring. Spring, ’15. Just send me a title and what you want to do.” We chatted, but I knew our deal was sealed.
    “Program planning” was a series of long, long chats over tea and coffee. Mostly, we shared stories. Mostly, I listened, happily. Late into one of our later sessions I suggested, hesitantly, some books we might want to think about using, perhaps, if…. “Those are fine. Yeah, we can go with those.” And then back to the stories. Kabby knew what he was good at and he trusted me to know, and do, what I was good at too.
    I can still conjure his voice from our dance workshop warm-ups: “Now, our sit ups. 5-6-7-8, ONE-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, ONE-2…” Sit ups to an eight count with a beat. Who knew?
    Smart, friendly, talented, trusting, beautiful. Dance on in peace, Kabby.

  2. I took Ballet Intensive with Professor K in Fall 2016. I’m not much of a dancer but always appreciated the art form so I figured “why not?” with no idea what I was getting into. It ended up being one of my favorite classes I ever took at Evergreen. His all-inclusive approach to dance and his mission to make the beautiful art of ballet accessible to everyone embodied everything I loved about this school. He teased us mercilessly but it was always clear that it was coming from a place of love. I looked forward to coming to ballet class every day. During the
    first class meeting after the election, when we all showed up a little despondent, Professor K helped us have a very healing and realistic class discussion before sending us off to the barre and for that I was very grateful.

    Because not even Professor K (he told us only Beyoncé gets to call him Kabby) can work miracles, I obviously didn’t become an all star ballerina in ten weeks. At my eval he laughingly asked “so what’s your REAL major? Because it doesn’t seem like it’s dance”. He was right. And then he immediately told me take his jazz intensive this summer. I’m sad I won’t have a chance to now.

    Professor K was a gift to the world and to Evergreen and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to study under him. He equipped me with a greater understanding and love for ballet which I will cherish forever. Thanks for everything, Professor K. You were a wonderful teacher and a lovely person.

  3. I remember when we were doing a faculty search for the position that became Kabby’s. A committee member mentioned his name as one of several applicants. I said, “Not THE Kabby Mitchell?!” In other words, why would we look any further? I am glad we didn’t. I never got to teach with Kabby, but we shared jokes in the hall, opinions of other dancers and companies, and general cameraderie. I can’t believe he’s not with us anymore. Rest in peace, dear friend and colleague. Keep dancing in spirit. . . .

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