Artistic Director & Owner

Natalie J. Kolosci

Ms. Natalie’s ballet beginnings were with Elisa Stigler at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Through Miss Stigler, Natalie was introduced to Miss Ann Barzel, dance critic for the Chicago Tribune and Dance Magazine, who would later become a central figure in launching many acquaintances in the dance field during the next several years.

Natalie made her ballet debut at age 8, dancing with the Bolshoi Ballet Company from Moscow, Russia. For the following six years, she continued to perform, alternating each year with the Kirov Ballet Company from Leningrad. She received a Medal of the Bolshoi Theatre from Asaf Messerer, Artistic Director of the Bolshoi, and was asked to be the assistant coach for the children’s roles, while on tour in Chicago.

Her professional debut was at age 15, dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy with the Allegro Company, Directed by Robert Lunnon and Doreen Tempest of London.  Richard Ellis (of Ellis-DuBoulay Ballet School in Chicago) was another great inspiration for Natalie, dancing roles in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Giselle.  For eight years she also performed in Ruth Page’s production of The Nutcracker in Chicago, progressing yearly to more advanced roles.

While studying on scholarship in NYC with the Joffrey Ballet, she became friends with company member Charthel Arthur, where they later both studied under the direction of Wynn Shaw in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Charthel later became Ballet Mistress of Joffrey Chicago.

Besides her expanded career in ballet, she also directed the Flag Corps for the Lake Station High School Band; did special choreographic selections for the Purdue Drama Club; directed and judged the local Jr. Miss Pageant; was Indiana State Floor Ex Champion for four consecutive years, as well as the National USTA Strutting Champion for Baton Twirling, where she had the opportunity to meet astronaut Ed Mitchell.

As studio owner of Natalie’s School of Dance for over 20 years in Lake Station, she traveled throughout the U.S. with her dance troop, “Fabulous Feet”, participating in regional and national competitions, conventions, lectures, and performances, accumulating over 500 awards.  After 20 years of marriage, raising two sons, and directing her own dance school, she decided to put her dancing and teaching on hold and pursued a career in the business world.

She later became the associate director of the Indiana Ballet Theatre NW, choreographing, rehearsing, and staging full-length ballets including The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, along with several original pieces for the company. She has choreographed and staged several pieces for local dance centers, as well as worked with local park departments and South Suburban College.

Natalie has now been in Portage for over 10 years and continues with expanding her technical classes, choreography, and encouraging students in the dance field, who would otherwise have chosen a different arena. Civic Dance Center’s annual Nutcracker and Winter Showcase has become a holiday tradition in the community. Her challenge has been to re-stage some musical theatre pieces, which would generate audience appeal as well as produce energy and vigor from her students in every annual Summer Showcase- including scenes from West Side Story, Sweet Charity, Chicago, Grease, Cabaret, and Burlesque.

Unafraid of new styles, but holding true to the classics, Ms. Natalie continues to amaze even herself sometimes with creative opportunities that enhance her students and their performances. Ms. Natalie works diligently at pulling everything she can out of her students to make them the best they can possibly be!