First of its kind in area
A native of Alta who began dancing at age five will soon have the opportunity to pass her lifetime of learning on to others in the Storm Lake area this fall, as she will direct a branch of the Just for Kix dance studio in Storm Lake, the first of its kind in the area.
Kara Napierala, who moved back to her hometown two years ago after spending 10 years as a dance instructor in Columbia, Mo., will usher in her new business on Wed., Sept. 4, at the Storm Lake Roller Rink, located at 1405 East Lakeshore Drive in Storm Lake. Napierala, who will teach a number of sessions on Wednesdays for ages kindergarten through 12th grade year round and special six-week sessions for preschoolers, said she was thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to direct dance students in the area.
"I'm really looking forward to this quite a bit," Napierala, 31, said. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to teach, because I love working with kids, and with this I'll have the freedom to teach the way I want to teach. I'm really happy about getting this thing started."
Napierala's studio will operate under the auspices of the Just For Kix program, a precision dance company based out of Brainerd, Minn., which focuses on improving the self esteem of children through dance. Currently in 100 different communities in six states and Canada, Just For Kix also holds summer camps across the country, and Napierala said she learned of the program through one of their camps held at Buena Vista University every summer.
"There have been a lot of kids traveling a long ways to come to the camp at BV in the summer, so people in the area are familiar with Just For Kix, which will help quite a bit," Napierala said. "It's been a really good camp, and now since there will be a dance studio that will be here in town, it will be nice for those kids who want to learn how to dance, because there's not much around unless you travel a ways. We're hoping to get as many kids from the surrounding area as we can."
After beginning lessons at a young age, Napierala took lessons in both Alta and Sioux City and performed in the Ballet Sioux Dance Company before moving on to Stevens College in Columbia, Mo., where she earned a degree in dance from the all-women college. She then operated a studio in her basement before her husband, Tony, received a teaching and coaching job in Cherokee in 2000, necessitating the move back to Siouxland with her husband and two children, Joe and Connor.
After working at the Buena Vista Fitness Center for one year, Napierala attended a Just For Kix directors training convention earlier this month, where she learned updated teaching techniques and earned certification to become director of the local Storm Lake program.
The classes, which will cost $23 per month, will focus on ballet and jazz technique and dances used in drill teams. For more information, contact Napierala at 284-1748.