We are honored to be producing and performing the world premiere of longtime Open Doors Dance Festival instructor Marjorie Thompson's first book, A Curious Tale of Magic, Mischief and Music. This 45-minute storybook ballet is fun for the whole family and there's even an opportunity to meet the characters after each show! Tickets are available for purchase here with limited seating in the cozy James Theater. We have been collaborating on this project for over two years and are finally ready to share the story of Hannah, Shep, and all of the zany magical characters that accompany them on their journey. Read more about the book here. Copies will also be available for purchase at the show, signed by the author herself.
Marjorie Thompson has had a legendary career, first working with George Balanchine at New York City Ballet, then teaching the Company and at School of American Ballet before becoming a faculty member at Pacific Northwest Ballet School.
Join us at The James Theater this weekend to support our dancers and fill the house for our longtime colleague and friend.
Fall Schedule, Leveling and Registration
Our 2022-23 schedule is now available for viewing! You’ll also find links to tuition, class descriptions (with recommended number of weekly classes) and attire considerations on this page. Registration will open Monday, July 18 at 9:00 am. Information regarding Iowa City Youth Choir auditions and Madrigal Singer auditions will be available soon. Classes begin Tuesday, September 6. Dance students’ 2022-23 levels (levels 1-8) can be found in the parent portal by clicking on the 3 bars in the top right corner, “Account” then “View Student” by your student’s name and navigating to the skills tab as seen below. Please register for your assigned level, as our instructors have considered each dancer for a most successful year of learning!
Faculty & Classes
We have a wonderful returning faculty along with some new faces! We welcome advanced ballet faculty Jere Hunt, who will also be instructing modern dance, and Juliet Remmers, new advanced modern and young children’s dance faculty Breanna Dorsey, our new Acro and young children’s dance faculty Kari Rosfjord, and Kayla Drow joins us teaching a variety of genres. Learn more about these new additions on our website. We are also excited that Evan Zukin will be leading our Tap Program this season.
Our studio truly offers something for everyone – be it young children’s programming, visual arts, dance, Pilates, musical theatre, choir, acting or fitness/dance/art classes designed for adults! Read more about all that we offer here.
Covid19 Policy Update
Please see our current policy here. We are continuing to align with the CDC recommendations and ask that our students follow their guidelines. We will no longer be notifying families of positive COVID19 cases.
We appreciate and celebrate the success we have had in all our staff and students adhering to COVID19 policies for the past two years. In fact, we have also benefited in cutting down on illness in general from the use of masking when feeling unwell! While masking is no longer required for any students at Nolte Academy, we encourage mask wearing anytime a student may be under the weather to help us avoid influenza, strep, stomach bugs, and other cold viruses! Our teachers thank you.
Pay it Forward with Our New Artists Initiative
This summer we partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to bring camps to new BIPOC artists that are just getting to know us at Nolte Academy. It was a great success!
“My daughter is loving Nolte camp and having the best time! We would not have been able to afford this camp without the partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters and Nolte Academy and appreciate the chance to participate!”
Please consider helping us keep the momentum going this fall! You can “pay it forward” with the New Artists Initiative in two ways:
Find us on Instagram & Facebook
We love posting updates and shares to our social media accounts. Find us on Instagram and Facebook, and tag us #nolteacademy on your posts!
Excited for 2022 with you!
Our annual summer dance intensive is offered for three weeks this year. And the first week of ODDF22 is going to be... THRILLING.
We have some adored instructors returning, along with some next-level new faces that you are going to love!
First up -- a little more about Open Doors and its structure this year...
What is Open Doors Dance Festival?
Open Doors Dance Festival was founded in 2009 to offer dancers a chance to expand their dance experiences in an intensive environment. Instead of traveling to far-off cities to study, ODDF brings talented instructors and world-class working professional artists to our doorstep.
Who participates in Open Doors?
Open Doors Dance Festival is for dancers who want to experience a professional, intimate dance workshop. Participants learn from elite soloists from some of the best dance companies in the world, as well as some of the best choreographers in the field. Students will have the opportunity to attend classes in modern, ballet, pointe, contemporary, improvisation, choreography, repertory, variations, musical theatre, conditioning, and Pilates. (Generes studied vary by dancer level).
• The full-day program is intended for the advanced/advanced intermediate pre-professional dancers (with modern experience and extensive ballet experience and completion of Nolte ballet level 5). This program runs 9:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Friday+partial Saturday.
• The part-day program is intended for intermediate dancers (with ballet experience and completion of Nolte level 3 classes). This program runs 9:00 am-2:00 Monday-Friday+partial Saturday.
Who is teaching during Week 1?
Our amazing lineup of instructors features: Marjorie Thompson, Debra Austin, Gavin Larsen and Breana Dorsey! You can read more about each of these accomplished dancers/choreographers in their bios here.
How do I register?
Register for Open Doors Dance Festival Full Day or Open Doors Dance Festival Part Day here. Tuition is $525/week for the full day and $395/week for part day.
Stay tuned for information about Week 2: June 20-25!
Our first end-of-year art show on display in the Hancher lobby!
A collection of spring semester artwork from our artists in Guided Drawing, Color, 3-D Art, Emotion and Expression, and ICon Foundations in Artistic Expression.
Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Collages, and Printmaking were arranged by class and project, (with the exception of the printmaking and portrait panel.)
On Tuesday, May 31 we congratulated our largest class of graduating seniors at our Senior Gala at The James Theater. It was a remarkable and moving night filled with dance and expression, a direct result of these amazing artists’ many years of effort! In past years, we recognized our seniors at the conclusion of our Sunday evening performance. We have transitioned to this new format to more intimately honor our students while keeping the recital moving along. However, we do hope you’re able to take in the talent of these kids who have been with Nolte anywhere from 3 to 15 years. Please view the performances, along with tributes to our seniors here. (Please note these dances may be a bit sensitive for the youngest of viewers.) We wish the best for our Nolte graduates! They are an amazing group of artists!
We are so excited to bring our Dancing with the Stars performance back to our Hancher recital shows! This year's dances will be a blast from the past as we've taken inspiration from the dances performed the year our current seniors may have performed in their first Dancing with the Stars dance! There will be three different age groups performing, 3-5 years old, 6-9 years old, 10-13 years old and 14+ years old. You will find a folder with videos of the dances for each group at the link below. We invite all students to take the stage with one important person in their life and perform together! Please review the video on your own and we will have one optional rehearsal for each group at the following times:
Ages 3-5: Monday, May 30th at 515-6 PM at Nolte Academy
Ages 6-9: Monday, May 30th at 615-7 PM at Nolte Academy
Ages 10-13: Monday, May 30th at 715-8 PM at Nolte Academy
Ages 14+: Monday, May 30th at 815-9 PM at Nolte Academy
If you cannot make the rehearsal, you are more than welcome to still perform on stage! Plan to review the video and let us know if you have any questions.
For attire at the performance, please wear this year's recital shirt if you purchased one OR a plain black t-shirt with any shorts/pants you wear to the show. A bit of flare is always welcome! Our dance will take place immediately after intermission - parent dancers will come backstage at the start of intermission to get in order per age group. After the performance, student dancers will return to their dressing rooms and adult dancers will walk from the stage to their seats in the audience for the remainder of the show.
We are excited to see everyone take the stage during our Hancher recitals!
Please note: The Dancing with the Stars performances will only take place during our Hancher recital shows.
Recitals are one month away and we are getting so excited! The hard work began long ago, and soon your students will be ready to show off onstage at Hancher Auditorium and The James Theater, and at our art show in the Hancher Lobby!
Nolte Academy Calendar of Events at a Glance:
May 28: Creative Movement Recital at Nolte Academy
May 28: Last day of 2021-22 classes
May 31: Senior Gala at The James Theater
June 1-2: Dance and Musical Theater Dress Rehearsals at Hancher
June 3: Vocal and Acting Showcase Dress Rehearsal at The James Theater
June 3: 2022 Vocal and Acting Showcase at The James Theater
June 4: The Nolte Academy Art Opening in the Hancher Lobby
June 4-5: Nolte Academy presents The Lost Art at Hancher
June 22-23: Dance Works at Walker Homestead
Many of our costumes have been tried on and sent home. Please hang your costumes (tutus upside down by the briefs) and gently steam the wrinkles out as needed. The required shoes and tights for the show weekend will be soon listed in our family drive next to your class day/time.
Creative Movement Dancers:
Please bring your costumes to your last class (May 21-26) for an informal dress rehearsal. Your performance day is Saturday, May 28 at Nolte Academy at 11:30 AM. Tickets are not required to attend.
We invite you and your guests to The Nolte Academy Art Opening in Hancher Lobby Saturday, June 4 at 11:00 AM to celebrate your art! Tickets are not required to attend.
Dress Rehearsal Schedules:
You will find your dress rehearsal time(s) in our family folder in two different formats - either by class name or by weekly chronological order during our two days at Hancher and one day at The James. Please Note: Dress rehearsals are an excellent time to take photos (no flash photography) or video of your children on stage. Photos and video are not allowed during the Hancher performances.
Please Note: The time listed is your ONSTAGE time, be sure to be in costume and ready in the assigned dressing room 15 minutes before the time noted on the schedule.
Please double check the performance schedule before purchasing tickets! You can find it here.
Let us know if you have any questions! Recitals are exciting conclusions to the hard work students have put forth this year!
We are excited to offer a specialized workshop day focusing on our developing Acro program! All current interested Nolte students are welcome to join us for complimentary classes during our Taste of Acro event on Saturday, May 21 with Kari Rosfjord, our new dedicated Acro teacher for 2022-23. Kari will be holding trial classes for students ages 2.5-teens. It's an excellent opportunity to get to know her, and try out a new-to-you genre. Nolte Academy is committed to growing this aspect of our studio, and we're delighted to have a knowledgeable and trained leader to guide the program. All classes are listed below, along with more information about Kari. You may register for classes through Jack Rabbit. And please email us if you have any questions!
For Ages 2.5-4 Years
This level focuses on skills that overlap with ballet and creative movement. Jumping from two feet, jumping backwards, walking on tippy toes, skipping, etc. Students will learn the terminology of basic Acro strength and flexibility poses like straddle, pike, tabletop, downward dog. There is no tumbling at this level.
For Ages 4-5 Years
The goal of this level is to successfully perform pre-cartwheels and somersaults. Students will also build strength and balance. Previous experience is not required.
Acro Level 1
For Lower Elementary Aged Students
Students in Level 1 will begin learning handstands, bridge, pre-cartwheel on both right and left side, and pike roll. Previous experience is recommended but not required.
Acro Level 2/3
For Upper Elementary Aged Students
Students in Level 2/3 will begin learning full cartwheels, straight handstands, straddle rolls, and many skills involving bridge. Brand new students can join this level if they can do a solid cartwheel and hold a bridge for 10 seconds.
Acro Teen Beginner
For Beginning Teens
Beginning teens will start working on bridge and kick over, down to bridge from standing, cartwheel from one knee, and more fun skills! Previous experience is strongly recommended.
Acro Teen Intermediate/Advanced
For Intermediate/Advanced Teens
This class is for the skilled teen who has been previously practicing acro. Skill development will be tailored to meet students at their current level.
Kari Rosfjord is a dancer who trained at the University of Iowa, and has been instructing dance since 2016. During her time at Iowa, she taught dance classes and worked as a dance technician for many show choirs in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area. She directed the two prep show choirs at Kennedy High School during her final year of college. Kari was introduced to AcroDance when she moved to Des Moines, and she received her certification from Acrobatic Arts. Kari is one of the handful of teachers in the state of Iowa to be certified by AcrobaticArts, and understands the importance of safe and effective progressions to ensure each student achieves their goals. She teaches Acro, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary and Pre-Pointe classes. Kari is relocating back to Iowa City, and could not be more thrilled to join the Nolte Academy team.
Black History Month Spotlight: We're showcasing contemporary Black artists who inspire us.
Actress and singer Audra McDonald is known for her work on Broadway. She has won six Tony awards for roles in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.
After George Floyd's death, McDonald launched an advocacy coalition, Black Theatre United, which addresses racism in and outside the theater community. No stranger to activism, she has used her voice for issues surrounding voting rights, aiding families separated at the border and homeless youth.
• Audra McDonald & Jason Robert Brown's Singing You Home recording
• More about Black Theatre United
Photo by JOSEFINA SANTOS for ArtNews
Black History Month Spotlight: We're showcasing contemporary Black artists who inspire us.
Contemporary visual artist Julie Mehretu is known for her multi-layered and abstract paintings on a large scale. Her artwork depicts the effects of urban sociopolitical changes. Mehretu was included in Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
From Walker Art Center, "At the onset of a millennium defined by globalization, Julie Mehretu has created a new form of history painting whose themes include identity, cultural history, geography, and personal narrative."
• More about Julie from Walker
• Read an article from ArtNews about Julie's abstractions referencing today's most important social issues
• Watch a video about Julie's process