Iowa Dance Theatre’s Artistic Team works with many dance professionals in the Central Iowa area to produce our performances. Team Leaders Janice Baker, Elizabeth Adams and Ami Yaro work together on our annual Nutcracker production at the Civic Center. Long time IDT contributor Cathy Bergman has recently revived the popular annual Tap Des Moines event. Our Artistic Team is dedicated to IDT’s mission of increasing opportunities for young dancers to perform in productions within the community that can only be experienced in a collaborative environment.
Janice Baker started working with Iowa Dance Theatre’s founder Mary Joyce Lind’s first ballet company, the Des Moines Civic Ballet. She participated in many productions, starting with the 1975 Nutcracker, performing as a Doll and Snowflake, as well as serving as Assistant to the Director. Janice has been active in Iowa Dance Theatre since its inception. She was Assistant Director of IDT’s first Nutcracker ballet in 1985, and was a Nutcracker Rehearsal Director / Choreographer through 2004, returning again in 2015. She has been Director of IDT’s annual production of Dracula for over 15 years.
Janice has served on the dance faculty for the Performing Arts degree at Iowa State University since 1984. She also specializes in methods of teaching dance for public education and adaptation of dance for special populations. Janice has been a judge for the Bill Riley Show for over 20 years. Ms. Baker is the director of The Dance Place – a center for traditional and creative dance for children and adults in Des Moines.
Elizabeth (Beth) Adams starred in Iowa Dance Theatre’s production of Firebird in 1993, and as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 1994 IDT Nutcracker. In 2000, she started as a Nutcracker Rehearsal Director / Choreographer for Chinese, followed by many years with the Party Scene as well as other scenes, including the Grande Pas de Deux. Beth is IDT’s Spring Show coordinator.
Elizabeth has lived and danced all over the world. She trained on scholarships at the Joffrey Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet, School of American Ballet and Louisville Ballet Academy. Ms. Adams has danced professionally with Princeton Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Chamber Ballet USA, Colorado Ballet and Ballet West. She was principal dancer for Ballet Met (Ohio), Ballet Iowa and The Neuman Project (Iowa). Ms. Adams currently co-directs and teaches with her husband, Hank Adams, at the The Pointe Academy in Valley Junction, West Des Moines.
Ami Yaro began working with Iowa Dance Theatre as a Nutcracker Rehearsal Director / Choreographer for the Snow Scene in 2003, after performing in Spanish in 2002. She has also worked with the Flower Scene, Spanish, and Chinese Variations.
Ami has a BA with honors in Dance and English from the University of Iowa, where she received the Dance Department Scholarship. She performed at The Kennedy Center as a National finalist for the American College Dance Festival. Ami was an instructor and choreographer for Iowa State Center’s Nutcracker and has been a master teacher at Iowa State University’s Dance Department. She was ballet program director at the Creative Movement Dance Company for nine years. Ms. Yaro is now the director and owner of the Iowa Ballet Academy in Urbandale, Iowa.
Cathy Bergman started as a Nutcracker Rehearsal Director / Choreographer for the Angel Scene in 2002 and continues to bring her magic to the Scene, after many years working with both Des Moines Civic Ballet and Iowa Dance Theatre in publicity, marketing and ad sales. She was the coordinator for IDT’s Tap Des Moines – a moving tap parade – from about 1993 to 2008 (approximately). Due to popular demand, IDT revived Tap Des Moines in 2016, with Cathy at the helm again.
Cathy has taught dance for more than 30 years in the Des Moines area. While she has a BS degree in Speech Pathology, she also took many classes in dance, kinesiology and physiology. She has studied with Shirley Weaver from the Kansas City Civic Ballet and Gloria English at Central Missouri State University. She was Vice President and teacher at CSMU Dance Theatre. She studied with Mary Joyce Lind and at Iowa State University. She taught dance at Lind Dance School for many years. Ms. Bergman is currently owner of Partners n Dance.