“I thank the Lord for allowing me to use my gift of dance to teach and inspire others
to learn and enjoy the art of dancing.”
-Miss Kitty Lee Dahlberg
I was born January 10, 1928 in Chicago, where I spent most of my early years. The times back then were hard and I really owe gratitudeto my great aunt who was a star in the silent movies. She encouraged me to take dance lessons so she arranged and made provision for me--and that was the beginning of my journey. I loved dancing, it was all I ever wanted to do as I was growing up. Because my father’s job moved him around, we traveled a lot. I took dance lessons whenever I could…St. Louis, Arkansas, Lincoln, Omaha, and back to Chicago. At one point, when we lived in Omaha, I would babysit to earn 50 cents so I could take a dance class. I danced with a dance troupe and performed around the Midwest over the summer. When we moved back to Chicago a girlfriend and I took classes together, and we did some shows. We auditioned for the USO and we both made it! Unfortunately, my father would not sign the papers. You can imagine my disappointment. We moved back to Omaha where I graduated from Tech High in 1946. I took up classes again and did a few shows in Omaha. I met my husband Jack at a dance where he had just come back from the war. He was a great dancer and we really hit it off. We would go dancing all the time and were asked to perform at special functions and clubs and to this day we both still enjoy dancing together.
Three years went by and we married and started a family. When my first son, Steve, was 5 years old I started working with him and 3 girls in our neighborhood. I knew I wanted to be home with my children but I also wanted to contribute to our income. That is when I decided to teach and began in the basement of our home. When our second son, Don was 5 years old he started and then we had Diane and when she was old enough she would sit and watch me teach and before you know it she was taking dance. I taught in my basement at two different houses before making the move to a studio outside the home. As the years went by we moved our studio location two more times.
So this is how it all began and now 52 years later I am retiring. Throughout those years my students and children went to conventions with me, danced on Show Wagons, and in competitions and all did very well. Some of my students went on to study dance and musical theater.
Some were Rockettes and some performed on Broadway. We have had 4 Junior Misses and 7 Miss Nebraskas. I am so very proud of all the girls and boys who have been students.
I have met and made many dear friends through this wonderful journey. The years when I taught by myself, choreographed the dances, created the recitals, picked out costumes, did the billing, etc. I was very fortunate to have student’s mothers who came alongside me and gave me assistance. We spent hours planning, sewing costumes, and most of all laughing and sharing our lives together.
I have been blessed with a wonderful family who have really supported me. My husband helped me in so many ways—making beautiful scenery, helping backstage, and most of all, holding down the home front in the early years. My daughter-in-law, Ann, worked with the preschoolers, office work and helped with the recitals. My sons, Steve and Don along with my son-in-law, Scott, also helped with recitals backstage and wherever I needed. Diane had a studio in Illinois and she would come home to help so it was really a family project. Diane and her family moved back in 1993 and took over running the studio and I worked along with her and I have loved every minute of it. I have 7 grandchildren that all danced here and it has been such a joy to see the gift of dance instilled in them. They are all so wonderful and have all started their journey in life and I know that the closeness of family and the discipline that comes with dance training has attributed to the success each one has enjoyed. I also have 5 great-grandchildren who are precious and I look forward to watching them dance to the music!
There have been so many wonderful people and friends who have helped me along the way I can’t thank them enough from the bottom of my heart for all they have done and have meant to me throughout the years.
Most of all, I thank the Lord for allowing me to use my gift of dance to teach and inspire others to learn and enjoy the art of dancing.
As I look back at my journey I am able to say it was always a joy and a labor of love to get up each day and look forward to doing what I enjoyed.
Thanks For The Memories! “Keep Dancing” ---
Love, Miss Kitty