Dancers of Minnesota: Katie Nolan

Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

When and where did you start dancing?

Katie Nolan. Photo by Matt Blewett

I started dancing when I was 2 years old at Dancers Edge. I later danced in Arizona, then at NRG Dance Center, and now Summit Dance Shoppe. My parents have said that I was always dancing as a toddler, so they decided to put me in dance. I instantly fell in love with dance. I found it so fun and I loved being able to get all my energy out doing something I loved. To most people dance was something to do for a few years and then move on, but to me I knew that it was something I was going to want to do forever.

How has your style progressed?

Throughout all of my years dancing I have progressed into seeing dance as an art, not just as a sport or activity. I can put my own take/interpretation onto the choreography to make it my own. As a kid I loved ballet and tap, and did not have a huge passion for any styles like lyrical and jazz. Today while I still love ballet and tap, more of my focus has shifted to styles like lyrical, jazz and contemporary

What do you love about dance today?

Today I love and appreciate dance for so many things that it has given me in my life. Dance for me is an outlet, it is something that I can do to express my feelings. I love being able to apply a situation in my own life into the dances I do. Being at dance is like my second home, it is one of the only places where I feel like I can truly be myself. I am so grateful to have a place like this. I also love how in dance you can always improve, there is never perfection and there is always something more that can be done. Always striving to be better is part of what makes dance so fun! Finally, I love being able to learn constantly at dance, whether at the studio, dance team, or in the convention room. I find learning in dance to be so fun and being able to learn from amazing choreographers is something that I am so incredibly grateful to be able to do.

Katie Nolan for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What are 1-2 challenges you have sustained in your dance career?

When I was in 5th grade I was held back a year on my team for dance, which at the time was very disappointing but in the end I couldn’t be more grateful for what I learned from the situation.

Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What is a lesson you learned from the challenge above?

I learned a super strong work ethic, that year I took every extra class I could and that constant drive to improve has stayed with me ever since. I did not have the same mentality in dance before then. I also learned how in control I was of my own success, what I put into practice was what I got out of it. As disappointed as little 5th grade me was, I seriously couldn’t be more grateful for the experience and I don’t know if I would be in the place I am today if it was not for that.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Honestly, as simple as it is, just confidence. Although to some I may come off as confident, I tend to be pretty self conscious, or unsure of myself. That doubt and worry started to come out in my dancing in my dances, at the studio, and in places like the convention room. I am still working on it today, but I know that when I am confident while I dance, I can put myself out there, perform, and reach my full potential.

Do you want to give a shout out to anyone?

I would like to thank my family; my dad Tim, my mom Emily, and my brother Chris for their endless support throughout my years dancing, without them I don’t know where I would be today.

I would like to thank Stephanie Wise Olson-Elm, all of the Summit staff and the Maple Grove Dance Team coaches for always pushing me in everything that I do, and for amazing opportunities throughout the years.

Finally, I would like to thank all of my lifelong friends I have made through dance. I can’t imagine what dance would be like without all of the amazing people I have met and been on teams with. I am so grateful for the supportive dance community that Minnesota has!


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