Nikki Hefko / by William Smith

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Born in Mobile, Alabama, Nikki began her dance training at Mobile Ballet and moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University from which she graduated with high honors earning Bachelor and Master degrees in Literature and Education.  She continued her dance training at Loyola Ballet, Ballet Hysell, and the New Orleans Ballet Ensemble becoming a frequent performer on the New Orleans concert dance scene.  
 
Later, as a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell, Nikki danced in some of the world’s greatest theaters, such as New York State Theatre, The  Kennedy Center, The Dorothy Candler Pavillion, and the Sadler’s Wells Theatre.  She toured the states and abroad dancing a full repertoire of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets by George Balanchine, Michael Smuin, and John Taras.  In 2006, she performed at the White House, captured in the PBS Special, In Performance at the White House, honoring the life and career of Arthur Mitchell.   Additionally, Nikki danced with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, The Metropolitan Opera and other national companies as a freelance dancer.  During her time in New York, Nikki branched out into the world of theatre and experimental dance performing with Kinetic Dance Theatre and Caridad Martinez and Dancers at the La Mama Experimental Theatre.
 
Nikki’s choreography has been performed at various New York City venues such as Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Riverside Church, Symphony Space, Harlem Stage, and The Actors Fund Theatre, as well at the Louisiana Dance Festival in Baton Rouge, LA.  In 2012, she was selected by Harlem Stage to present her acclaimed work, myself when i am real, to the music of Charles Mingus, at E-moves 13.  In 2013, paired with composer Patricia Giannattasio, she choreographed Dance Theatre of Harlem company members for Music and Motion, Original Dance and Music, CUNY Composers' Alliance.  Created by Grammy nominated composer Tania Leon, Music and Motion paired choreographers and composers to collaborate and create work performed by professional dancers and The American Modern Ensemble.
 
An American Ballet Theater® Certified Teacher in levels Pre-Primary through 7 of the ABT® National Teacher Training Curriculum, Nikki is owner and director of The New Orleans School of Ballet.  She was a faculty member at Dance Theatre of Harlem School and Brooklyn Ballet, where she also served as Summer Intensive Director, Joffrey Ballet School and Jean Leigh Academy of Dance, as well as a guest instructor nation wide.