Alumni Spotlight: Maddie Brown, Boston Ballet School, Cathryn Keith Scholar 2018-2019.
“Dancing at Nolte taught me to fall in love with something at a very young age. Most people don’t know what it’s really like to really love what they’re doing everyday,” said Maddie Brown.
Maddie is a 15 year-old Nolte Academy alum, who received a scholarship at the pre-professional level three with Boston Ballet in Massachusetts. She’s also enrolled in an online academic school.
She'll be performing with Boston Ballet in their Nutcracker this holiday season, and remembers her Nolte Nutcracker performances fondly. "I don't have just one favorite memory from the Nutcracker," she said "the whole experience was so much fun!"
Though performing on stage is her true love, Maddie cherishes the memories in in preparation for the show. "I loved hanging out with friends in the crowded dressing room and helping each other get ready while listening to Christmas music and exchanging secret Santa gifts." she remembered, "Everyone was always kind and in the holiday spirit as we worked together to show off what we had worked on all fall."
Her experience at Nolte has given her the confidence in her everyday life to do things that might be outside of her comfort zone. “The confidence I’ve gained has come from the support of the teachers and students here,” she said. “And also from all of the performance opportunities we get.”
Maddie’s love for dance started at a very young age in her first Nolte Nutcracker performance. “I was five years old and I remember having so much fun,” she said. “That’s when I got the stage bug.”
Her advice to other dancers stresses the importance of being well rounded. “Don’t quit tap!” she laughed, “Do all the styles of dance. And don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun with what you’re doing.”
Though it’s quite the trip from Coralville to Boston, Maddie is ready to make the jump with a specific goals in mind. “I want to continue to spread the Iowa love. It would be really cool to inspire people who aren’t from big cities. I want to show them that they can go on and do
Along with her dream to put Iowa dancers on the map, she also wants to change the perception of ballet and eventually become the principal of a company.
“My advice would be to work hard and be serious, but also have a good time!" said Maddie, "Enjoy being with your friends and showing all the work that has gone into the nutcracker. People look forward to this ballet all year and never forget that each show brings a smile to hundreds of peoples faces!"