Jess Novotny, Owner and Artistic Director
Jess fell in love with dance at the age of two and began performing internationally at age thirteen with the Moser School of Dance Performance Ensemble. She toured in China and continued intensive dance training and joined the pre-professional group Relevé Contemporary Dance Company. She performed across the country as well as spent a summer training in Los Angeles at EDGE Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Complex and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios. Jess then attended the University of Iowa where she earned her B.A. in Dance. While at the University, Jess was able to refine her choreographic technique as well as begin her professional teaching career.
Following graduation, Jess moved to Chicagoland where she continued to pursue her love of teaching. There, she was afforded the opportunity to work closely with Kate Jablonski and received hands-on experience and guidance on how to be an exceptional instructor as well as a seasoned production manager.
In 2013, Jess founded Prestige Dance Studio to share her passion of dance in a safe, technically sound and creative environment with the Corridor. Jess has been honored with choreography and most entertaining awards at competitions throughout the nation. Backed by Jess’s love of the performing arts and her 12 years of professional instruction experience, Prestige Dance Studio offers fresh and innovative styles that are unparalleled in the Cedar Rapids area. Miss Jess's competition team has been awarded 7 National Championships, honorable mentions such as the "Kind-hearts Award" and "Angels Award", and many have gone on to dance at the collegiate level.
This year, Jess added Head Coach of the Xavier High School Varsity Dance Team to her resume. The decision to take on an additional coaching role was daunting, but the commitment and dedication of the dancers made it an easy decision. Moving forward, Xavier is adding a youth program to promote involvement in the elementary schools, create a connection between younger and high school students at Xavier. This will also be the first year the Xavier Dance Team hosts the Xavier Dance Jam Competition, an event created by Jess in an effort to bring together competitors from local high schools and dance studios prior to the typical competition season while offering a less expensive opportunity to dance for all who want to participate.
Miss Erin, Teacher
Erin has been performing since she was five with local studios in the Marion, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City areas. Her training has been in Classical Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Samba, Irish Step, and Belly Dancing. After attending Kirkwood for her AA in Liberal Arts, Erin received an entertainment contract with Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL and performed as a character dancer for five years. She graduated from the University of Iowa and received her BA in Dance Performance and Pedagogy. Erin currently lives in Marion with her husband Mike, and two boys, Bryce and Tyler, and #3 on the way this year. Erin loves anything ballet and enjoys going to performances in her free time. She is very excited to spend another year as apart of the Prestige team and watch the studio and students grow.
Miss Trista, Teacher
Trista has been dancing with local studios since the age of three. Her love for dance has continued to grow ever since that first class. Her experience includes ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, poms and pointe. She spent four years on the Prairie High School Dance Team, one year on the Kirkwood Community College Dance Team and this year will be her third year dancing for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. She has also volunteered to help out with competitions as well as judging try-outs, and often attends dance competitions just to stay up to date on all of the newest trends in dance. Her favorite dancer right now is Sophia Lucia. Trista graduated from Upper Iowa University and currently lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Shane, and son, Tate. She is very excited to continue as part of the Prestige family and help students find their love of dance as she did.
Miss Kaytie, Teacher
Kaytie is our Jazz and Lyrical instructor based out of Iowa City. She’s currently a senior at the University of Iowa. Her dance career began when she was 2 years old at the Van Cleve Dance Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. After a short hiatus from dance to pursue other interests, Kaytie continued her training at the Amy Peele Dance Avenue at the age of 11. She continued her training through high school and was also a member of the Lincoln High School Varsity Railette Dance Team. Kaytie is excited to return for her 3rd year at PDS!
Miss Jamie, Teacher
Miss Jamie has been dancing since she was 3 years old in the Iowa City area. Her desire to dance increased with each class she attended, various styles she learned, multiple dance conventions/competitions she attended and most importantly, seeing the passionate impact it made on her life. Jamie won multiple scholarships and awards during her competitive years, even attending a national dance competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She was taught that not only knowing the core essentials of technique and body placement were imperative, but making the audience feel an emotional connection to the dancer is truly what dance is all about. She thoroughly enjoys training aspiring dancers and is thrilled to return for another season at Prestige. Miss Jamie feels like dance is a way to define oneself unlike any other artistic expression, simply because, “dance says what words cannot.”
Miss Jen, Teacher
Miss Jen began studying dance at the age of 6 in a small town in South Dakota and credits her mom's sacrifice of time and money as influential in her love of dance. Over the years, she has studied ballet, tap and jazz, earning her certification in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. During her years at The University of Iowa, she added modern and contemporary to her resume. Miss Jen has taught dance to children ages 6 and up for over 25 years and her love of dance now extends to teaching adults and choreographing for show choirs at Linn Mar.
Stacey, Office Staff
Stacey is our office manager and go-to gal during our busy office hours. Stacey loves the family atmosphere at Prestige Dance Studio and the varying challenges that everyday brings. Having danced from the age of 3 through college, and now raising 3 dancers of her own, spending time at the studio brings Stacey back to her roots. Stacey keeps busy with her 5 kiddos and husband, Chad and splits her (very limited) free time between being a soccer mom and a competition dance mom.
Addy, Office Manager
Addy is our full-time office manager and assistant to Miss Jess. She is a great person to contact for any questions or concerns you have while Miss Jess is with her students. "Big Addy" joined us at the end of our 2014 season after returning from school at Iowa State University. Addy recently accepted the position as the Head Coach of the Washington High School Varsity Dance Team and is excited for her first year of coaching and her third year at Prestige Dance Studio.