Winterset Ballet & Dance Studio
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I grew up in Lamoni, Iowa, and started dancing when I was 4. I took ballet and jazz and in 8th grade, my teacher, a former professional dancer, started me on pointe. I was fortunate, coming from a small community, to have had that opportunity. I continued to take ballet, pointe and jazz through high school. I attended Iowa State University and began dancing for the audition-only, modern dance group, Orchesis I. While there, I began choreographing dances. One of my dances was selected to go to the American College Dance Festival in Iowa City. I also participated in two dances which were selected to go to the Festival in New Jersey. My junior year, I received the Anna R. Toman award which is presented to the Orchesis I member that most significantly contributed to the ISU dance program.
After graduating from ISU with a degree in Zoology, I stayed in the Ames area to work in a freshwater research lab. In 2002 my husband Clint and I moved to the Winterset area, where he grew up, to farm. I then worked as a veterinary technician at a small animal clinic in West Des Moines for 11 years.
Through that time my passion for dance never waivered. I became inspired watching my daughter, Delaney, experience her first year of ballet. I decided to follow my dream and open my own studio, Winterset Ballet and Dance Studio, in September of 2012. I am excited to have the opportunity to teach dance and I am thrilled to be able to pass on the passion for the art of dance to future generations in the Winterset community.
Nicole Eckles, Owner and Director
Dance can mean many things to many different people. Here at Winterset Ballet and Dance Studio, my philosophy is that dance is not only important for developing one’s physical abilities, but for one’s mental capacities as well.
As with anything, a strong foundation is needed for growth to occur. Because of this, at Winterset Ballet and Dance Studio, ballet is strongly recommended for dancers. Ballet gives that strong foundation by giving one structure and technique in order to learn how to control one’s body and have a strong core. More than one style of dance is also recommended. Tap classes are available for all ages, Jazz and Hip-Hop can be added in first grade and modern in 5th grade.
Once those building blocks have been placed, I believe one can achieve four things: courage, confidence, self-motivation and perseverance. First, one will have the courage to try new moves and challenges, and to go out there and perform to the best of their abilities. Second, one will have the confidence that they have a strong base and hence the ability to dance at the level they truly desire. Third, one will have the self-motivation to keep trying and to push to the next level. Finally, one will have the perseverance to stick with it no matter how difficult it may seem. These are qualities that not only carry one as a dancer, but through the rest of life as well.
In keeping with this, I believe that a dancer will find an environment here at Winterset Ballet and Dance Studio, where they can express themselves through the art of dance, and take with them lessons learned that they will always cherish.