Nicole Kutella: Co-Director

Nicole began dancing at the age of 3 and has been teaching for over 17 years. She has trained in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Afro-Cuban, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary and various other forms. She grew up training across the Chicagoland area, as well as being involved with her high school’s pre-collegiate dance program. Nicole earned merit based and technical based dance scholarships to attend summer intensives at both Columbia University in Chicago and The Lou Conté School of Dance. She received her BA in Dance, as well as a secondary degree in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship graduating with Honors from the University of Iowa. While in college she performed and toured with a small professional modern company around the Midwest. She has taught along the Front Range for over 9 years. She has directed dance troupes and teams for over 7 years. Her choreography was adjudicated and selected for numerous performances throughout high school and college, and has been presented through out the Front Range at various competitions and events. Dance is Nicole’s passion, she believes dance can bring joy to everyone & every ability. She strives to make her classes energetic & fun, while teaching dancers to be safe, smart, strong, confident, & empowered in and out of the studio. Dance has also led Nicole to find passion and healing in Yoga. Nicole has earned her 200 Hour Yoga certification and recently finished her yoga certification for ages 2-17.

Miranda Lung: Co-Director

Miranda started dancing in New York at the age of 4, performing at various benefits, shows, and citywide events. She taught in New York for 8 years alongside other professional choreographers, performers, and educators. Upon moving to Colorado, she was named Director of performance troupe for two years and brought her choreography to the Boulder area at various showcases and local events. She founded her own dance troupe focused on community in 2019, merging to co-create The Dance Department. She is trained in the Vaganova/Cecchetti methods of Ballet, rhythmic tap from Broadway quality educators, and improvisational and technical modern techniques from a member of the Isadora Duncan company. She implements structure, fun and technically based teachings in all of her classes, ensuring each student receives quality, professional dance education and leaves feeling ready to start their own path within the dance world if they so choose. Miranda provides a customized, technically focused, individualized dance curriculum customized for each class, style, and student. She develops strong, smart, technical, versatile dancers who will have fun in class and leave learning something new each week. Dancers can expect to grow in their skills, confidence, performance abilities, team spirit, and self-worth in each of Miranda’s classes.

Emily Lehman: Admin Assistant/Substitute

Emily was born and raised right here in Colorado and began dancing at the age of 3! Throughout her dancing career, she has studied Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Modern, and Jazz. She has been a teaching, substituting, and assisting dance classes for 3+ years. She has choreographed several dance pieces for both herself and other dancers. Dance is one of her biggest passions in life. She works to teach dancers skills they can use both in and out of the classroom She is currently attending the University of Northern Colorado pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Norah Haarstad: Instructor

Norah grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She began dancing at the age of two. She was a competitive dancer for ten years and was trained in jazz, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, and hip-hop. She was a four-year varsity athlete for her high school’s competition dance/Poms team, 2018 state champions in Illinois. Norah began teaching dance in 2016 and has since taught jazz, hip hop, lyrical, Poms, and tumbling classes. Norah is currently finishing her psychology degree at Colorado State University and would like to continue her education in the health professions. 

McKenna Whitley: Instructor

McKenna grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and began dancing at the age of three. She is well versed in ballet, pointe, modern, and jazz techniques. She graduated in 2022 from Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in dance. While in college she taught for the GCSU community dance program and in the local elementary school system. She has also performed many roles, including the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, among other ballet and modern works. She loves bringing a positive attitude to the dance studio, making it a fun place to grow and learn. She is currently attending Colorado State University, pursuing a Master of Social Work.

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