Hi, I’m Nikki Renée.
The Last Dancer began as a creative outlet after working freelance as a website designer. The name, The Last Dancer, is symbolic of the dedication and passion in being born to dance, and encompasses the lifestyle that comes with being a dancer.
When I started this blog, I was searching for support to keep dancing. As a former professional dancer, I expected this to be fairly easy but found a lack of resources, respect and opportunity in ballet for adults. Since the articles were first published in 2014, I have experienced a change in this genre and am optimistic for the future of lifetime study in dance.
I graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and have a digital design company with my business partner, Linda Oeffling and associate extraordinaire Nicole Rhino. Linda & I met working at a ballet studio and we are finally reaching to our entrepreneur’s dream of building our own brand and designing our own products.
Job sharing, with an age span of thirty years between three women, has enabled me to balance over the years being a wife, mom and artist. In our work, we come to agreements that really aren’t ours alone but wouldn’t exists without each other. Humble critique and working collaboration, is what we refer to as our “Co-Art”.
Outside of The Last Dancer, I enjoy spending time with my three boys, who are usually on a baseball field, taking daily photos of the Persian cat, Snowbelle, hiding in my historic house and dreaming of traveling. I love to thrift, act, sing, swim and ski and the favorite place I have ever lived is Venice Beach. I try to keep up with my fashion Tumblr diary and maintain an online gallery of original co-work. Someday I will dedicate more time to fine art, like my mom and my grandfather have done in painting.
My work and life are completely intertwined. Most days I have my hair in a bun and wear my ballet slippers as socks in my shoes. Not as often as I’d like to but when I can, I take adult ballet classes at Naples Academy of Ballet, Barrington Dance Academy, Judith Svalander School of Ballet and practice Gyrotonics at Expand Movement and Wellness. After 45 plus years of dancing, I always discover something new when I am dancing and it has become my spiritual space.
While there are vast differences in individuals, there’s a beautiful agreement in the familiar saying, “They’re Dancers” that all hold true if you are a dancer at heart. Art enhances emotion and my hope is that this space inspires you to keep going and growing too.
Hi I’m Nikki, The Last Dancer. I started this shop + blog as a creative outlet and to continue my identity as an artist. My whole life has been influenced by dancing and this shop focuses on items that speak to a dancer’s entire lifestyle. If you found yourself here, my hope is that this website offers you inspiration too. The shop contains my own products and the blog is original content.
~ Keep Going, Keep Growing with the Grace + Style of a Dancer ~
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