Kara Mickel

Kara Mickel

I first taught Kara in ballet when she was a young girl. Since then, I have also been her hip hop, jazz and acrobatics teacher. She has performed in many of my Dansations and Nutcracker pieces.     I have always enjoyed working with Kara.  She commits and shows up, puts the hard work in to all she does and always seeks out new opportunities for growth.  She brings a helpful, patient and positive attitude to all my classes and rehearsals. She was a first pick as one of my assistants in acrobatics last year.  Kara is a patient and exceptional leader with the younger students!     What is special about Kara? Kara is kind- kind to everyone and everything. This kindness translates into beauty when she dances.  She can be a powerhouse one moment and then switch to softness in another.  She has a big heart and shares it with her younger sister, her classmates and the students in which she assists.  The dance world is so lucky to have this sweet soul as a part of it. I am fortunate to get to be one of her teachers.

Lovetta Downes

Dance to me is not just something I do for fun, I do it because I love it.  It is something that I can work on continuously and something I can excel at.  I love that when I dance I can become a new person, a free spirit.  When I dance I file like I can rule the world and conquer any emotion, a moment of peace, a joyful excitement, energized or relaxed.

I love that after a performance people tell me that I made them happy and that they want to be just like me someday.  That just makes my heart melt.  In The Nutcracker I played the Court Mistress.  It was the best role I have ever played.  After the last show was over, a girl I used to teach came up to me and said, "I loved you in this part.   When I get older I want to be Court Mistress just like you."  Inspiring others through dance is definitely worth all the hard work and effort and it reminds me that dance is not just about me, it is about others.  I'm not sure where dance will take me, but I hope it will be something I enjoy forever.  -Kara Mickel

When Kara was three she announced that it was time for her to go to dance class. We ignored her at first, but her persistent prodding continued for a month until on a cold, fall day I found my way to SVAD. “I’m not sure how to do this,” I stammered, “but my daughter is insisting that she dance.” Kelly, with a smile and an understanding nod, gave me the schedule and we began our journey in dance.
There have been many moments along the way when I am reminded that dancing for Kara is more than pointing toes, pink tutus, and moving to music. The backstage whisper, “Mom, I’m so happy right now,” when she was four. That sacred time when she stood proudly on her first pair of point shoes. The glow of accomplishment when she finally landed her aerial. Running into the arms of her teammates after a long break. Comforting an injured friend who could no longer dance. Leading a group of wiggly little girls as they began their journeys in dance. All of these moments are an investment in the soul of my daughter. Dance has provided opportunities for her to persist, overcome, succeed, lead, shine, and love others. I believe these lessons will follow her for a lifetime and have added to the beautiful creation that is my daughter.     - Kathlyn and Jim Mickel