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teacher, students honing their skills

Karlee Fuelling, Elsie VanDaele, Anna Kerns, and Izsy Fauser before the Awards Banquet.

It’s been a busy summer and fall for Anna Kerns owner of Northeast Iowa Dance Academy (NIDA) in Oelwein. While planning and overseeing construction of the new NIDA at the junction of Highways 150 and 281 on the south edge of Oelwein, she also attended the 2019 Summer Dance Workshops.

The workshops are a nationally recognized annual event where dance professionals hone their teaching technique, educational theory and personal dance development. Sponsored by the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM), the workshops took place July 14-21 and featured Teacher Training School: four days of intensive classes focused on teaching acro, tap, jazz and ballet to children.

Anna Kerns is a member of CNADM, which means she has passed a rigorous membership exam and adheres to the association’s strict standards and code of ethics for teaching dance.

“I’ve returned from the CNADM Dance Workshops feeling re-energized and so excited to bring cutting edge choreography back with me to Northeast Iowa!” said Kerns, who has owned her studio for 11 years. “I especially learned a lot from Victoria Barlow; she really knows how to relate to the teachers and she shared innovative ballet technique that I can use in the dance classroom.”

Victoria Barlow is a former principal dancer with Shanghai Ballet. She currently teachers in the Chicagoland area.

“She was one of the many highly sought-after CNADM faculty members who instructed the teachers at the 2019 Summer Workshops. Additional renowned dancers who traveled to the CNADM Workshops from all parts of the country included Jay Fagan, Michael Foley, Kaelyn Gray, Nick Pupillo, Juan Sanchez and more,” Kerns said.

Since 2008, Anna has earned a reputation for providing students an educational dance experience. As the 2019-2020 dance season takes shape, she has moved to the new NIDA location, where three separate dance studios are housed.

Classes are offered in acro, jazz, ballet, tap and hip hop for all levels of dancers, from beginners to advanced. To learn more, email or call 563-608-0556.

Local dance students attend nationally recognized Ballet Forum

Izsy Fauser and Karlee Fuelling from Northeast Iowa Dance Academy (NIDA) attended Ballet Forum in Oak Brook, Ill. The five-day ballet intensive provides students the opportunity to study with professional classical ballet faculty. Izsy and Karlee participated in the creation of a new ballet, and performed two dances at the Ballet Gala to celebrate the end of their week.

This intensive included daily ballet and pointe classes, along with a few acro, lyrical, and jazz classes. They were placed into levels based on their ability and danced many hours each day.

“Izsy and Karlee focused on their ballet technique and improved individually as young artists, working with well-known instructors, including Victoria Barlow, Jessica Odasz, and Kaelyn Gray to name a few,” said Anna Kerns, NIDA owner/instructor.

At ballet gala Izsy Fauser performed two works, a character piece created by Juan Sanchez and a ballet piece choreographed by Victoria Barlow. Karlee danced in Kate Jablonski’s piece titled “Hero.” Karlee was also in a classical ballet piece created by Jessica Odasz.

VanDaele participates in national Dance & More training

Elsie VanDaele from Northeast Iowa Dance Academy in Oelwein attended Dance & More in July. This special session is a week of dance training for the older dance student who wants to make dance their full-time profession. Classes are designed to help evaluate the individual dancer. Elsie was chosen for a piece that was performed at the Annual Awards Banquet.

Elsie worked closely with choreographer Nick Puppilo. Nick created a new work for the Dance & More students, which Elsie was casted in. Pupillo is the founder of Visceral Dance Chicago and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet.

Elsie has been dancing for the past 10 years and is a senior at Wapsie Valley High School.