Meet Our Dance Instructors
After high school, Nicole furthered her dance education studying at Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, as well as many other renowned schools and on convention circuits. She opened Nicole’s School of Dance in 2001 to share her passion for dance with students of all ages. In 2002, the first Nicole’s School of Dance competition team was assembled and has continued to grow ever since, competing at the regional and national level. Nicole continues to develop her dance knowledge by attending conventions with her students and judging competitions and high school dance team auditions. Over the years she has won many choreography awards but her biggest reward is watching students grow throughout the year and performing at their annual recital.
Nicole has four beautiful children that spend a lot of time with their dance family. Outside of the studio Nicole enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
“Compare yourself to the dancer you were yesterday” is Nicole’s favorite quote and she truly believes each dancer brings something to the floor. For Nicole, teaching dance is a dream come true. She strives to instill in each of her students the confidence and poise that will serve them in every step of life.
Lisa has been teaching for Nicole’s School of Dance since 2006. She grew up dancing at a local studio and her love of dance followed her to college. She has been teaching at a studio since graduating from the University of Iowa in 1994.
Lisa teaches all genres at NSOD and does choreography for our competitive team. She is an integral part of the studio in and out of class and works great with students of all ages. She is committed to sharing her love of dance, along with instilling work ethic and confidence in her students.
Lisa has 3 beautiful daughters that are all involved in the studio. Outside of dance class Lisa teaches first grade. She spends her free time enjoying her family and friends.
Leah joined Nicole’s School of Dance in 2015 and added a great energy to the NSOD staff. Leah brings a unique style of Hip Hop to her classes and her enthusiasm for dance is contagious.
Before joining NSOD, Leah taught at local studios and choreographed for dance teams across the state, which she continues to do. As co-creator of the Midwest Vision Dance Crew she taught at workshops across Iowa and the Midwest. Leah has trained with multiple teachers in the industry, including: Debbie Reynolds Studio Los Angeles, California, Movement Lifestyle Tour, Industry classes at Monsters of Hip Hop in Chicago and Nuvo teacher classes.
In addition to teaching dance, Miss Leah is going to school to become a Science teacher.
“Dance is my passion, my life, my whole being: and I want to spread the magic that dance can create within the hearts, minds, and souls of all people!”
Faith joined NSOD staff in 2016. She trained at NSOD for 5 years, during which time she was a member of our competitive team. She is currently attending Iowa State University and is a member of the ISU Dance Team.
Faith has experience in ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip hop. She is a great addition to a high energy staff as she is full of life and is very personable. She enjoys seeing the progression of dancers and the excitement of young dancers as they build their foundation.
Faith is studying elementary education at ISU. In addition to dance, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, watching movies and attending Iowa State athletic events.
Courtney began dancing at 2 years old. She has spent her life in the studio and on the stage. She was a 4 year member of the varsity dance team. Courtney graduated from Ankeny High School in 2017. She plans to continue her dance career taking classes at NSOD and on the convention circuit.
Courtney has won many awards at the regional and national level performing with Nicole’s School of Dance competition team. She has taught classes and private lessons throughout high school. She has trained in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop and tumbling
In addition to teaching at the studio, Miss Courtney will continue to be a part of the NSOD competition team. She looks forward to sharing her passion for dance with all her students.
Taylor joined NSOD her senior year of high school and it has been an integral part of her life ever since! In high school, she was a member of the NSOD competition team and the Ankeny/Ankeny Centennial Dance Team. She continued dancing in college, where she competed with the Iowa State Dance Team for three years.
Taylor has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and musical theatre. Her favorite part about teaching dance is watching students grow and develop a love for dance.
Outside of dance, Taylor is a 3rd-grade teacher. She enjoys spending her free time with friends and family cheering on the cyclones!
Sam started dancing at Nicole’s at the age of three and joined the competition team at five years old. She has won many awards at the regional and national level. Sam dedicates herself to her craft and takes every opportunity to continue her dance education. She attends several conventions and workshops each year including Talent On Parade’s GoPro for the past two years. Sam enjoys sharing her passion for dance and helping others reach their goals, as she continues to reach her own in the studio. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and continuing my walk with God.
Katherine was born and raised In the Madison, Wisconsin area. She started dancing at age 3, and her love and passion for it have not stopped since that first class. She was competitive throughout her career having success at both the regional and national levels. At age 14 she traveled to New York to study for 10 days and perform off Broadway.
She is thrilled to be teaching at NSOD and sharing her passion for dance. Her goal is to share her ability to express feelings through dance as well as helping her students find their powerful inner confidence.
Katherine and her husband have 3 kids. A daughter who is part of the competition team at NSOD, 2 energetic boys and their beloved dogs.
The Smith family has lived in Washington, Utah, and Nebraska during Adam’s time in the Army. They are happy and excited to have been able to lay down their roots here in Ankeny in 2017.
When Katherine is not in the studio she enjoys being with her family and friends. She loves anything outdoors, reading, eating ice cream and traveling when she can.
“A dance teacher helps their students find the song in their heart, the beat in their feet, and a passion for life.” -Unknown
Sarah has over 25 years of dance training, performing, and teaching experience. Sarah minored in dance at the University of Iowa before moving to Iowa State University. She danced for the Iowa State Dance Team and taught all genres of dance at local studios. After graduating from Iowa State, Sarah went on to begin her coaching career. She started the freshman dance team at Valley High School and was also the assistant coach of the Iowa State University Dance Team for 9 years. Sarah has choreographed several State Championship pom routines and continues to choreograph pom routines for high school and college dance teams around the Midwest.
Sarah currently teaches in Ankeny. She has 2 daughters that are both involved at the studio. Teaching, choreographing, and performing are a major part of Sarah’s life and she looks forward to sharing her passion for mentoring and teaching children at NSOD.