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Kit Modus founder Jillian Mitchell

In Our Own Words: Jillian Mitchell, dance artist and founder of Kit Modus

Editor’s note: As Atlanta artists face uncertainty amid Covid-19, ArtsATL offers this series to help us all connect. Each “In Our Own Words” features an artist sharing their experience, strength and hope for navigating a new normal.


It’s been an opportunity to rest. I’m a machine and nothing short of this would’ve made me stop or pause. I’ve had to go: ‘OK, that is not an option anymore; you have to pause, you have to breathe.’ That’s been a luxury, to focus on myself a little more than I would have. I’m giving the dancers space. They hear my voice and see me a lot. Rather than scramble through this, I want them to take time to breathe as well. The relationship with them is so strong, I know they’ll be back. I’m really looking forward to that moment when we get together again in the studio.

My husband is a medical professional, and that helps me to balance out. Whenever my mind could go too far and start spiraling into fear, he has a way of being calm. Medical professionals have a certain degree of trust, that if you do something properly and follow the protocols, it’ll be OK and you’ll be safe. He kind of brings me down to Earth. Everything keeps changing. It’s a limbo and purgatory. I know I have to stay in the moment. This has also helped me recognize that much of what I thought was important isn’t really so important. I think this has helped me rethink my priorities.

I’m the sort of person, the hungrier I am the more specific my hunger gets. I don’t want junk food, I want quality. I want art I can see in person. I hope we get back to performing soon. And I hope audiences are developing those feelings about live shows and that this time away will awaken some robust cravings for good art.


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