Nordhoff Dance Alliance

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Last year, the Nordhoff Dance Alliance applied for a grant from the Ojai Women’s Fund. The Dance Alliance was awarded just under $3,000 and this money helped director Kim Hoj to buy new tap shoes and costumes for her dancers - specifically for the performance of “Searching the Skyline,” the 2018 Spring Dance Concert.

As a child with a heart defect, Kim found the silver lining to her cloud in the one form of exercise in which she was allowed to participate: dance. And so started her lifelong interest. She loved to dance on her grandparents’ shag rug and to choreograph dances in her childhood garage, and, while never pursuing dance as a career, she maintained her interest into her adult life. After teaching Psychology at Nordhoff High School for a number of years, she was asked to head up a dance department. This, in turn, resulted in her establishing the Nordhoff Dance Alliance in 2004.

Costumes for the Nordhoff dancers are very simple and reused for several years. A colorful tank top over a plain leotard can help target the audience’s eye and a change in either tank top color or leotard can easily offer a completely different statement. Since there are 70 dancers and a need for three costume changes per show, such an uncomplicated approach to costuming made good use of our grant money.

The original tap shoes that Kim purchased for the program in 2004 were inexpensive and have worn poorly, although they are put back into use nonetheless. She was able to start replacing them this year using a portion of the OWF grant.

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Her thrifty and creative use of the OWF award had an outsized impact on the dance program. Kim feels that not only is any production creatively boosted by proper costumes and shoes, but she also feels that the professional look in turn helps the program attract more funding. Click here to learn more about the Nordhoff Dance Program and Dance Alliance.

Kim has recently moved onto a new job with the County of Ventura, but if you wish to find out more about her and the wonderful work she continues to do in dance, check out her website at danceimpactlab.com.