Nika


Nicole "Nika" English

Photos by Mike Strong



Nicole "Nika" English

soloist

A second generation dancer, teacher, and performer, Nicole "Nika" English grew up immersed in the dance world.  She has been performing since age 5, choreographing since age 12, teaching since age 15, dancing professionally since age 16, and writing dance reviews since her early teens. 

A classically-trained ethnic dancer, her early dance training began with her mother, Gloria English, (also a professional dancer and teacher, and a former member of the Kansas City Civic Ballet). 

She has also studied a variety of ethnic dance forms, including Hindu, Polynesian, Afro-Caribbean, Mexican Folkloric, Flamenco, Gypsy, Balkan, and Middle-Eastern dance.

As co-founder of the Nikoria Dance Academy, she partnered with her mother to create the first publically-offered series of Middle-Eastern dance classes in the Kansas City area, and created the first structured curriculum and teacher-training core for the dance in the area.  Together, they taught at a variety of local studios, prominent at the time, including Westport Ballet (for Elizabeth Hard), Flamingo Studios, Ranchmart Dance School, and TC International Dance Studios.

Nicole English has been writing and doing research on dance for various academic publications in the Kansas City area for the last 20 years, including for the Kansas City Star, and has published some of her personal stories in a book about ethnic dancers.  Often featured in radio and television interviews early in her career, she started a local, public access cable TV show teaching Middle-Eastern dance in the 1980s.  Although short-lived, it was one of the first projects of its kind at the time, attempting to teach the general public and highlight various practitioners of the craft in the dance community.

Specializing in ethnic, folkloric, social, and Modern dance forms, she has performed and taught from coast to coast, (NYC to San Francisco), in live performance, workshops, radio, television, and film/video.

In 2010, she founded the KC Dance Coalition and Raqsi Awards, to create an association of various folkloric dancers in the area, for recognition, professionalism, community, education, and research.

Currently, she teaches as adjunct faculty for the Dance Division of the University of Missouri--Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance (for Dance Technology and World Dance), and in the Social Sciences for South University, Avila University, and Park University.  She is also finishing a PhD researching dance, culture, and community, using dance as embodied, sociological data.

Co-founder of the Nikoria Dancers, she continues to perform in a variety of venues (festivals, weddings, concerts, conventions, restaurants, museums, etc.) and teaches dance with several studios in the KC area (City in Motion, Amore Dance, Kansas Ballet School, and others), and works with local non-profit organizations doing research and promoting dance and the arts for children, in education, and for the community at large.

 

 

Nika


"Nika"

Nika

"Nika"