Contemporary Dance Class: Interview with Kara Nolte

The countdown to First Dance Vancouver’s Dance Lover Workshop: December Edition is on! We will be posting about some of the styles of dance being hosted December 22nd/23rd and December 29th/30th at the Scotiabank Dance Centre! Check out what our experts have to say…


Contemporary Dance Class: Interview with Kara Nolte

Kara is the co-owner of First Dance Vancouver and will be teaching contemporary dance at our next workshop. Here is a description in her words of what to expect in one of her classes.


FDV:  What do participants do in your contemporary class?

KN:  Participants follow me through mindful, intuitive and thoughtful combinations to expressive and inspiring music. They will be asked to repeat these combinations as they are guided through a warm up on the floor, standing, and moving through space.


FDV: Where do the moves come from?

KN: The moves come from various modern dance and contemporary techniques. Many of the concepts come from my background in ballet, my personal study in yoga and theatre and my recent foray into DANCEPL3Y.  I have pulled inspiration from classes I have taken over the years with Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond of Out Innerspace Dance Theatre/Modus Operandi, Artemis Gordon of Arts Umbrella, Amber Funk Barton of the Response Dance, Denise Clarke of One Yellow Rabbit, Claire French of Restless Productions, Justine Chambers, Donna Krasnow, and in Graham-based modern at the Ailey School in NYC.  The moves explore the concepts I have found most useful and exciting as a dance artist. The moves come from a desire to give participants a solid understanding of how to build into explosive, musical and grounded patterns that are uniquely their own.


FDV:  How is your contemporary dance class  similar to other dance classes? How is it different?

KN:  Similarities = changing levels, moving from slow to fast, counting to music

Differences = focus is on being mindful, thoughtful, grounded, and challenging ourselves individually


FDV:  Who are your contemporary dance classes for?

KN: People who want to look inward and get down at the same time


FDV:  Where can one find other contemporary dance classes?

KN: Every major city in the world has contemporary dance classes. Here in Vancouver, Harbour Dance, Modus Operandi, the Dance Centre, iDance, Arts Umbrella, and Dance Moves Vancouver and more will have different kinds of contemporary dance classes that draw from different inspirations and techniques. Each teacher is different there are countless techniques that have been developed over the last century that could be described as contemporary dance. There is at least one for every curious mind.


FDV:  What reservations do people express about taking a contemporary dance classes and what can you say to calm those fears?

KN:  People feel it might be too difficult, technical or on the other hand too “interpretive”.  My class is made to focus on concepts as opposed to steps, so that the work is always about the journey. We repeat and practice to these concepts to different tempos and in different combinations so the class is always moving. It is important to me that my class be encouraging, physical and fun!


Check out First Dance Vancouver’s Contemporary Dance Class with Kara Nolte  at our Dance Lover Workshop, Tuesday December 23rd from 6-7