Lovar (LD) Kidd is a Hip-Hop instructor at Nolte Academy.
Get 2 Know: LD Kidd!
If you were in the car with me, we'd definitely be listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. In 2011, I was lucky enough to have the chance to work with Lin Manuel Miranda and the entire artistic team of Hamilton when I was a part of the 2nd National Tour of their first show, In The Heights. I got to be an ensemble member and I understudied Graffiti Pete and Kevin Rosario.
Even though I was born and raised in Iowa, I haven't always lived here. Once upon I time I lived in California and worked for Disney! That's right, I was employed by Mickey Mouse. I performed in Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. It was so much fun to perform in such an iconic musical and I made some amazing friends during my time in California. Dance has a funny way of connecting people and it has given me some lifelong friendships.
We are excited to be approaching recital season! The students who are participating are working hard on their routines, and will be ready to show you their stuff in late May/early June!
Some recital “business" items in the meantime:
COSTUMES are being handed out beginning this week. Students will try on costumes during class and teachers will check fit and address any sizing issues at that time. If your child is not participating in recital, please let them know that other children will be receiving their costumes soon; they may see some handed out, and we find a little advance warning can help with feeling left out. We do have some extra costumes, so inquire with your teacher if you’d like to purchase a costume to have at home.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS will be taken during the beginning of class time the week of May 13-18. Students should arrive in costume and with hair away from their face. If your student has more than one costume, please wear the costume for their first class first, and they will change into others. Halverson Photography offers both group and individual photos for sale. Order forms will be available at the front desk soon, and on-site during photo week. Our acting, voice and musical theatre intensive students will have the opportunity to take head shots. More information will be provided.
There is an attached PDF explaining all SHOES/TIGHTS/HAIR requirements for recital. Demizo Dancewear — located on-site at Nolte Academy — has all requirements in stock and/or can order shoes as needed. You may view their hours and contact information here.
For those performing at CREATIVE MOVEMENT RECITALS on May 25 at Nolte, there are no tickets required to attend this recital. The times for each CM recital is as follows:
For those performing at the Vocal & Acting Showcase on May 28 at CCPA, dress rehearsal is 7 p.m. on Monday, May 27. Tickets go on sale on at 12 p.m., Tuesday, May 7. You may also purchase tickets online. Tickets will be $12 for adults and $8 for youth, students and seniors. Graduating seniors will receive a separate email with instructions for purchasing tickets. CCPA’s Box Office hours are 12-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.
For those performing at Nolte Treasure on May 31-June 2 at Hancher, dress rehearsals will be Tuesday, May 28-Thursday, May 30 and will be held in lieu of classes that week, but not necessarily at class time. Specific times for dress rehearsal will be coming soon. Students should arrive to Hancher in their first number’s costume, and bring other costumes as needed. Please note that dress rehearsals are an excellent time to take photos or video of your children on stage. No flash photography is allowed. Photos and video are not allowed during the Hancher performances.
For the Nolte Treasure/Hancher recitals, class day/performance day* is as follows:
TICKETS FOR HANCHER SHOWS will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30. As last year, there are three options for purchasing tickets: You may purchase tickets online, over the phone with Hancher or in-person at the Hancher Box Office. If you plan to purchase online, you may want to log into your account beforehand so that you can verify your username and password and contact them in advance of that day if there are any problems.
Their phone number is (319) 335-1160 or 800-HANCHER. GRADUATING SENIORS will receive a separate email with instructions for purchasing tickets. Hancher Box Office hours are 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.
HANCHER RECITAL TICKETS remain the same price as last year: $16 and $20 for adults and $10 and $12 for youth 10 and under. There is an additional fee to purchase tickets online or by phone.
Please let us know if you have any questions! Recitals are exciting conclusions to the hard work students have put forth this year!
Get 2 Know Lauren Carmen!
Growing up, my mother (who is a brilliant seamstress) would always make homemade costumes for the entire family for Halloween. An exciting part of this process for me was that we actually had a large say in what we wore, even at a young age. My older sister and I would decide on our costume concepts, then we would have to draw out a sketch of what we were thinking it would look like. Next, we would go fabric shopping with my mom, roaming the aisles, and helping pick options. As I got older, I began always picking fabrics that are difficult/annoying to sew, because they were the "pretty fabrics" in my eyes, and should be used--regardless of if true to life or practical for a character. Pretty quickly, I was told "if you want it made out of those fabrics, you can sew on that material yourself." Game for a challenge, I began learning to sew through the years, to follow patterns (with much assistance), and to create my visions.
Around high school, I began helping in minor ways with costumes for ballet productions at Nolte, before applying to undergraduate programs for both Costume Design and Ballet. Though accepted into both programs at several locations, ballet was my priority, so I went to my first choice program for dance (The University of Oklahoma), where it was not possible to double major in these time-intensive programs. Convinced I would make it happen nonetheless, by the end of my four years, I had held a part-time job in the University's Costume Shop, constructing garments and accessories, altering, dying, running fittings, and occasionally helping teach lower level costume classes. I also had the opportunity to take almost all the Costume Design majors' classes in construction and design, I was hired to construct tutus for clients outside the university, and I had landed an internship, following graduation, with Travis Halsey in Chicago IL, who had just finished creating costumes for Madonna's world tour, and was now working on Houston Ballet's 2016 Nutcracker. Under Travis (here's my plug! Look up Halsey Onstage and be "wow'd!") I learned so SO much about costume design, construction, the business side, and because I was "ballerina sized" it was also my job to be guinea pig and try on all sorts of stunning costumes that made their way through the shop before heading to big companies. What fun! Since then, I have worked various other costume gigs both designing and constructing for a range of occasions, around the country. In the future, I would love to return to school to get my MFA in Costume Design, to further investigate my interests designing for dance, opera, and musicals.
Another thing that some might find fascinating is my love of France.
During college, I somehow wound up with a Minor in French, facilitated a study abroad opportunity for dance majors to Paris for a summer, and found myself playing French ballet scores on the pianos during my free time into the early hours of the morning. I always have found France fascinating because as a child I had learned that it had castles (and hello, castles meant princesses...), was a major home of all sorts of ballet and art history, and had can-can dancers (my alternate career goal at age 5). In middle and high school, I studied French and though all my credits were fulfilled upon entering college, I didn't yet feel fluent, and wanted to improve my language skills. So, I signed up for a class. At the end of the semester, I had improved, but still didn't feel fluent... so I signed up for another class! I kept signing up for classes, wanting to learn more, and voila I ended up with a minor (and having a stronger background in economics/business in France taught in French than in the States taught in English! Who'd have thought...?!). Not only did I love the language, but coincidentally it proved a good way to connect in class with other fascinating minds outside the artsy group with which I normally spent my time.
Starting my sophomore year of college, I was inspired to seize all the opportunities at a college student's fingertips. As all my honors classes were urging me and my classmates to study abroad, with ample opportunity for business and engineering majors, there were no opportunities for dance majors to study abroad and get credit toward their degree. I had brainstormed where I felt like I needed to go, and scoured the web for any university that had a dance program in France. Most surprisingly, Florida State University had a program that sounded more like my dream vacation than summer school, in Paris. I began communicating with their program coordinator, sent an audition reel, and held meetings with various Oklahoma personnel to arrange how class credits could transfer. Eventually, it all sorted out, and several other dance majors hopped on the bandwagon to go study dance, dance history, and art history abroad. and Taking ballet, modern, variations classes around the city at pre-professional conservatories, open classes, and even ballet in the Opera Bastille from a retired Paris Opera Ballet dancer with her students, we also had the chance to tour backstage opera houses, and see performances. Museum visits were daily, and we would have class discussions in cafes and on benches in the park, learning about dance history and art history, exactly where the history occurred. The experience was quite empowering; taking control of my education, creating opportunities where they didn't exist, and learning to reach out to enough people that eventually someone's able to provide assistance were all lessons I walked away with. Someday I'll move over to France for a bit, but in the meantime, I try to keep my language skills sharp by reading the French newspaper online, speaking to my dog in French, and watching French films.
Mia is in here first year teaching contemporary at Nolte Academy and is a student at the University of Iowa.
Get 2 Know Mia Spitzer!
I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! I currently train in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, a grappling-based martial art. The ability to protect myself in quick situations is something I find very important in everyday life. I'm inspired by the protective mechanisms BJJ provides and how that can be intertwined with dance. I am currently a white belt but aspiring to become more familiar with this technique! If you're interested in any self-defense seminars be sure to contact me!
I am a member of the University of Iowa Dance Team!
Along with working towards a BFA in Dance and BA in Exercise Science, I have been blessed with the opportunity to represent this amazing university. You can find me on the football field, basketball court, wrestling mat, volleyball court, and baseball dugouts all year long! The “IDT” travels to UDA college nationals at Disney World’s ESPN center every year where we compete to win a national championship. Through my experiences with the team, I feel like I have learned how to manage my time, perform in front of thousands, and work with a large group of determined individuals.
Many of my students and even fellow teachers at Nolte knew me as Nora, Grant and Dylan’s mom, or their wacky neighbor, before they knew me as a dance teacher. I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2002 with a degree in both dance and journalism and worked in both fields in various states for the next 16 years before joining Nolte’s staff this year.
Get 2 Know Molly!
Growing up, I was a country kid in small-town Iowa who enjoyed running barefoot in the yard (I still do that), climbing trees (I'll pass on this now) and mushroom hunting in the timber (I still do this too!) My childhood instilled a love of nature in my life! If you visit my current house in the spring or summer you’ll find a chicken coop filled with sassy hens and fresh eggs, a huge garden and a young fruit orchard. I love working outdoors when I’m not working with students! I caught the dance and tumbling bug at age seven. One thing most kids don’t know about my dancing is that I’m actually a state champion clogger! My competitive dance group’s clogging routine was selected as a state champion in the Sprouts division at the Bill Riley Talent Show at the Iowa State Fair in 1996! It was a moment I’ll never forget though I have since forgotten most of my clogging skills! I still love stopping at the Bill Riley stage to catch a few acts when I take my kids to the Iowa State Fair.
Another interesting part of my life story that most people don’t know is that my mom actually set my husband and I up on a blind date in Iowa City 17 years ago! My husband Jarrod was working with my mom at the time in Mercy Iowa City’s emergency room department. She gave him my number and we met at what was Mondo’s Tomato Pie (now Reunion Brewery) for a blind date. One year and a few months later we were married and over the next several years we moved to Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, where I furthered my dance education and taught at competitive dance studios that are still near and dear to my heart.
Katherine Milani is currently residing in New York City while pursuing her dancing career. Recently, she has been given a full scholarship to attend the Rockettes Summer Intensive Invitational session. This means she'll spend a week learning Rockette choreography, work closely with current Rockettes, and will perform at the end of the week. Katherine has also been asked to assist the Rockettes with 4 weeks of their Summer Intensive, working closely with the Rockettes to help teach and assist the other dancers attending the program.
On top of her recent accomplishment with the Rockettes, attending Broadway open dance calls and taking dance classes, she also teaches Pilates and babysits in her spare time. Some days she is juggling 2-3 dance classes and well as 4-6 hours of Pilates and babysitting all in one day.
"The discipline I gained in my training at Nolte Academy helped prepare me for a busy career in trying to be a professional dancer in New York City." Said Katherine.
Following her time at Nolte, Katherine attended Park Point University for three years where she received her BFA in Dance. She then moved to New York City where she trained at the Martha Graham School. While there, there she also received a Pilates certification.
Looking back, Katherine remembers her time at Nolte fondly. Her experiences while being involved in Affect were some that she'll never forget. "From the routines, to the people, to the treats that Kim Villhauer made for us all, they were weekend that we all spent together doing what we loved."
She also credits Nolte Academy and the teachers for the different skills that she takes to her dancing career now. "Leslie Nolte has been more than just a. director and teacher," said Katherine, "she has been a true role model and inspiration for the person and dancer I hope to become."
Finally, Katherine offered a piece of advice to current current Nolte dancers. "Never give up, always stay humble, dream the biggest dreams and reach for them." She said, "If you put in the time the work and the effort, you can accomplish your wildest dreams."
Haley teaches tap and jazz levels 1-4. This is also her first year as an Affect Choreographer!
Get 2 Know Haley!
Next year I will be going to college at Luther in Decorah, Iowa. I plan on majoring in elementary education and dancing at Luther as well. After college, I plan to be a kindergarten teacher! I’ve always loved kids, especially kids at the kindergarten age. I can’t wait to start teaching my own class and hope to move back to Iowa City to teach after college graduation!
A few of my favorite things include: the beach, chocolate, and my favorite color is teal! The Outer Banks is my family and I’s favorite place to go when we go on vacation to the beach. Being able to relax and having the water steps away is awesome!
Get 2 Know: Sarah Barragán!
Dermot Burke choreographed The Nutcracker at Dayton Ballet, and we performed 48 shows in 21 days each year! The preparation, expectations, and process of being prepared at any moment to go in for someone else was an incredible lesson. I had my own role in Waltz of the Flowers, Waltz of the Snowflakes, Spanish and Shepherdesses, but I had to know at least 2 other places as well--in each cast of each dance!
Violette Verdy was my teacher at Chautauqua, the School of American Ballet, and again at Indiana University. Her decisions - although they may have seemed inconsequential - had tremendous impacts on my, my father's, and my husband's career. When she was still dancing with NYCB she choreographed and performed in a ballet at Dayton Ballet, and she chose to partner with my father in her first work. Eloy was able to first travel to the United States as a student because she invited him to attend the Boston Ballet. She was present the day of my audition and acceptance to the School of American Ballet, and also helped me get back on my feet after surgery through the ballet department at Indiana University. While there, she encouraged me to pursue choreography - which in turn led me to meet Eloy.