National Dance Academy
rooted in Dance of Iowa.
Founded in 1981, with studios in Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids, the tradition continues to a national level through professional instruction, experience, and two generations of excellence. National Dance Academy offers classes in ballet, Jazz, tap, Hip Hop and lyrical. Your child will love National Dance Academy’s warm, professionally educated and sincere teaching staff. Children enjoy learning solid dance technique and the fulfillment and fun found in the art of movement, while parents are constantly applauding the organization and expertise of the office staff. While visiting one of National Dance Academy’s convenient locations in Iowa City, Coralville, Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls, check out the Dance Shop. The Dance Shop is a boutique carrying all your dancers needs. Dance shoes, leotards and dancer’s memorabilia from brands such as Capezio, Bloch, Motionwear and Body Wrappers can be found at the Dance Shop.
Let National Dance Academy show you why they’ve been Iowa’s leader in Dance studios for 25+ years.
Ashlynd Jones, Owner & Director
Ashlynd Jones, Owner & Director
Ashlynd is the owner and director of National Dance Academy in Coralville and Iowa City, Ia. During her 15 years of teaching experience in the corridor, nearly 10,000 students have crossed Ashlynd's path. Ashlynd teaches students of all ages in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and hip hop. Ashlynd's students and choreography compete at regional and national levels and receive highest honors while Ashlynd consistently receives best choreography awards.
In addition to managing National Dance Academy, Ashlynd teaches master classes at conventions, studios, and high schools throughout the United States, and she judges national talent competitions. Many of Ashlynd's past students have gone on to dance professionally on Broadway, in MTV videos, with companies such as American Ballet Theater, in shows at Disney World, on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and have attend prestigious dance schools and/or Universities.
Ashlynd received her B.F.A. in dance from the University of Arizona. While attending the U of A, Ashlynd was a part of the NCAA Grand Champion Pomline. When not teaching, Ashlynd enjoys working with the West High Drama Department; she has choreographed the musicals Legally Blonde, Annie and Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Les Miserables and West Side Story.
Ashlynd enjoys volunteering for Any Given Child and teaching dance units in gym for the Iowa City community schools as well as teaching, choreographing and performing in Dancing for the Stars, a benefit for The Hope Lodge.
Ashlynd has completed intensives in Houston and Chicago to teach Aerial Silks and fitness classes and is loving the challenge and beauty found in Aerial Arts. Ashlynd has recently gotten married and is loving her life with her fabulous family and amazing dogs.
Michael Kohli, Founder
Michael Kohli, Founder
Michael Kohli began teaching dance in 1971 as a high school student in Storm Lake, Iowa. Michael opened Miss Michael's School of Dance in the basement of her parents' home with seven students. Within five years she added a studio in Cherokee, Iowa as well and had an enrollment of 350 students. After high school graduation Michael studied extensively in New York City. Realizing the need for a college education, Michael moved to Iowa City and graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Dance. Dance of Iowa City was established in 1981. When she added studios in Coralville and Cedar Rapids the business name was changed to Dance of Iowa. Following franchising plans in 2005 the name was changed to National Dance Academy. 20,000 students later, Michael's passion for teaching dance and working with school aged students continues to thrive. The tradition continues.CLOSE
Alissa Capron is a rare jewel, not only in performing but teaching.
Alissa currently attends the University of Iowa and studies dance, yoga and psychology.
Miss Capron is Michael Kohli's personal assistant, and teaches her own classes on Mondays and Wednesdays.
You may also see Alissa teaching silks classes as she works with Mimi regularly in the advanced silks program and teaches camps and fun days on the ropes!
Alissa grew up dancing with NDA, was a leader in Click and graduated a diamond dancer. Alissa was also a 4 year member of the City High dance team as well as captan.
Miss Alissa has impeccable technique herself and the exceptional gift to instill it in dancers she works with.
Mimi Ke is an NDA Diamond Dancer and studied extensively with Michael and Ashlynd growing up. Mimi teaches Hot Yoga and has worked with NDA’s talented competition team as a guest artist. She received her first yoga certification in Hot Yoga in Beijing, China and her second in Ashtanga Vinyasa in Phuket, Thailand. Mimi enjoys combining her backgrounds in dance and yoga in her teaching of Dancetastics. Ms Ke participated in a competitive gymnastics team as well as NDA’s prestigious group Click as was the first place winner of the Iowa State Dance Team Solo Competition for West High. Mimi has trained in Houston Texas with an aerial arts team from Cirque Du Solei's Zumanity to teach Aerial Silks and is thrilled to head our Aerial Silks program at NDA!CLOSE
Barbara danced at Dance of Iowa for 14 years and graduated as a diamond dancer and high point winner at competitions. While attending the University of Iowa Mrs. Kopp assisted Michael Kohli at Dance of Iowa. In 2001, Barbara established the Regina High School dance team which has since gone on to win many State titles. In the summer of 2004 Barbara began teaching at Elite Dance Academy in Alabama. She has won high point awards for her hip hop, lyrical, tap, and jazz choreography at regional as well as national competitions. Barb is currently the City High Dance Team coach and has assisted in taking City to many regional awards and most recently to Nationals in Florida. Barbara is excited to beon faculty sharing her love for dance and children. Barbara's classes always shine. Barbara and her husband have 2 beautiful children Jessica and AJ.CLOSE
Cassie comes to us from the Chicago suburbs. She has been dancing since 3 years old and has loved dance ever since. She danced competitively jazz, lyrical, contemporary and ballet, at a studio in Chicago and was on her high school dance team for all 4 years. Cassie has recieved many overall awards for her studio as well as going to second round of state for her dance team all 4 years. Her major is psychology and she is super passionate about helping kids reach their full potential in life as well as in dance. Cassie also loves to travel and went to Europe for 3 weeks this summer to explore many different cultures. Cassie could not be more excited to start teaching the dancers at NDA.CLOSE
We are so excited to bring Taylor Gomez on staff! Taylor will be sharing her gift with our students in both Coralville and Iowa City. One of our greatest joys is when NDA students go on to study dance and create a career in the arts. Please help us welcome Miss Taylor back to NDA!
Taylor Gomez trained at National Dance Academy from the age of three through eighteen. She then went on to study Dance and Biology at Luther College. Taylor graduated from Luther in May, 2016 and is now living in Iowa City, IA with her husband, Andrew, and their rabbit, Vasco.
Taylor's goal as a dance artist is to introduce others to movement as an expressive art. She believes that the healing properties of improvisational dance can and should be accessed by every body. Taylor enjoys facilitating movement practices, as well as teaching technique and choreography to a class.CLOSE
Natasha Overturff Denny is NDA's award winning competition choreographer. Natasha began her dance training in Des Moines, IA at her mother’s studio, Moore Dance. At a young age Natasha began traveling to Evanston, Illinois to further her studies, where she fell in love with the Giordano Technique and continued to study it consistently throughout her training. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Arizona to continue her dance education under a faculty made up of several past Giordano Company members. While there, Natasha performed various repertoire works from choreographers such as Susan Quinn, Sam Watson, Michael Williams, and was the featured female role in Chicago Medley staged by Ann Reinking and Gary Chryst. Natasha graduated cum laude from with a BFA degree in 2012. Upon graduating, Natasha began her career with Giordano Dance Chicago as a Giordano II and held that position for two seasons. She was then promoted to Senior Performing associate where she performed and toured with the main company regionally, nationally, and internationally for one season, and was then promoted to the main company. Natasha is currently working as a guest choreographer and teacher at studios, high schools, and universities across the country. She has been on faculty at the Great Lakes Dance Festival and has also set works for the company Ballet Nebraska. Natasha is thrilled to be in her second season as a main company member and in her fifth season with the Giordano Dance Chicago organization and family.CLOSE
Lexi comes to us from our sister studio National Dance Academy in Cedar Falls. She is currently a junior at the University of Iowa studying public and global health. Miss Kapanka has been dancing since she was 3 years old. While dancing at NDA CF with Candice and Michael Lexi was on the competition team for 6 years winning numerous high point awards, and is a prestigious Diamond Dancer with National Dance Academy. Miss Lexi also danced for the Valley Lutheran dance team and the All Iowa Honor dance team as well as performed in the Minnesota Ballet’s Nutcracker and danced for the University of Iowa’s Dance Club Diamond Cut tap team. In addition to dance she has a background in cheerleading and gymnastics. We are so excited to have her back with her dance family and know you will love her classes!CLOSE