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Kate Riegler, 27
Classical Ballet Instructor and Director at Credo Dance Academy
After growing up in Arkansas and Springfield, Kate Riegler moved to New York City at the age of 18 to study dance at The Ailey School. She moved on to the Fort Worth, Texas, area the next summer after being offered a job with the Texas Ballet Theater. Riegler eventually started teaching there, but when the opportunity arose to return to Springfield and take over for Credo Dance Academy—a subsidiary of the Messiah Project—she jumped at the chance to be closer to family.
Her role at Credo is largely dance instruction, although she also does the bookkeeping and administrative work for the organization. Riegler introduced the “Growing Little Ladies” summer program, a week-long dance camp where girls learn etiquette, do crafts and choreograph an end-of-week production for parents. Credo also conducts programs for Rountree Elementary School and features dances from around the world as part of the school’s internationally focused curriculum.
Riegler also devotes time as a court-appointed special advocate for CASA of Southwest Missouri. “I would recommend it to anyone who wants to do something different and substantial,” she says.
Ballet still affords Riegler the chance to dance and travel. She spent last summer in London in a professional training program for teachers through the Royal Academy of Dance. In 2010, she filled in for a Jackson, Mississippi, group on a performance trip to Russia. ï¡¿
Occupation: Classical ballet instructor, Director of Credo Dance Academy
Education: Royal Academy of Dance (London, United Kingdom) and The Ailey School (New York, New York)
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
Long story, but in brief, through the providence of God. I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer, and I was, but I actually enjoy teaching more than dancing. For some reason, I had the old adage, “those who can’t do, teach” stuck in my head for some time. Once I swallowed my own pride, I grew to love teaching even more than dancing. Then I found out that the saying isn’t the least bit true! Teaching is an art form unto itself.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
For me, it comes from within. I am internally motivated to do what I do.
3. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
Traveling, antiques shopping, and finding great music. I’m also an avid football fan…especially college football.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role? Why is it important to you?)
CASA of Southwest Missouri. It’s a fantastic organization that equips everyday citizens to advocate for the well- being of abused and neglected children in our area. I have a heart for children, and being a CASA is a wonderfully effective way to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role?)
Royal Academy of Dance (Associate and Registered Teacher)
Springfield Dance Alliance (choreographer and dancer)
7. How would you define the secret to success?
Persevering in trial.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
You mean I have to pick one?! I absolutely love seeing “the light bulb” turn on in a student’s eyes.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
Springfield is such a family-oriented town!
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Chill out. Stop and smell the roses!
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
I cannot remember!
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
Integrity, perseverance, and humility.
13. Why are you a 20 under 30?
To be honest, I’m still asking myself the same question!
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
New and exciting choreographic projects through Messiah Project and the Springfield Dance Alliance!
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
There are two: The first is a work set to the music of G.F. Handel’s Messiah. The other is our Christmas production, Cosmic Christmas, which is an adaptation of Max Lucado’s An Angel’s Story.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Christ makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without laughter and sore feet.
Ten years from now, I hope I don’t have arthritis!
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would keep calm and carry on.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is I’m not 30 yet! (And knowing someone took the time to nominate me.)