CK Dance Academy’s Story

The CK Dance staff is an amazing group of instructors. They have post-high school education with many holding academic degrees in dance or education. The teachers have performed on college teams as well as semi-professionally. Instructors also perform as part of CK’s Christian Dance Ensemble, performing at local churches and ministry events.


Kari Swanson Neth grew up in Lincoln, studying with Cheryl Priess Dickey, Marcia Kirk, Karen McWilliams and Susan Jaskolka. As a member of the Lincoln City Ballet Company, she danced under Elizabeth Merrey and Betsy Bobbenhouse. A graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School, she studied dance at Oklahoma City University and ultimately earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska. She has performed at the Lincoln Community Playhouse (“Guys and Dolls,” “West Side Story,” “Will Roger’s Follies”) and Pinewood Bowl (“Broadway Revue”). She has performed multiple character roles at Disneyland. Kari has owned CK Dance Academy (formerly Club Kicks) since 1995. She loves teaching dance and passing her knowledge and expertise along to other students.

Around Town
CK Dance Academy is proud to perform around Lincoln and surrounding areas. Performances have taken place at Gateway Mall, Lincoln’s Streets Alive, Lincoln City Mission’s Starry Night fundraiser, nursing homes, Lincoln Children’s Museum, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Farmer’s Market and Roca Berry Farm. CK Dance Academy dancers have performed in Branson, Missouri,  Disneyland and Disney World.

CK Dance Academy was organized in January 1995, under the name Club Kicks, with squads at three Lincoln elementary schools. Since then, hundreds have participated in dance, cheer and pom classes at various locations. All-Star Teams were started in 1997 for dancers who wanted to dedicate more time and energy toward the competitive drill team experience. These teams — known as Club Kicks All-Stars — have successfully competed in Chicago, Minneapolis, Southern California, Kansas City, Des Moines, Omaha and Branson, bringing home numerous superior trophies and plaques. After many years on the competition circuit, we have hung up that hat. As our dance enrollment grew we are now a non-competitive dance studio.

Meet Our Teachers

Tahani Gondolfi
Tahani started teaching dance in 2017 and specializes in hip hop and lyrical. Her passion for dance has grown and intensified over years but she is particularly inspired by dance that tells a story. She strives to be a light and positive influence in other people’s lives. For someone to tell her she was the reason they started to dance and to be a part of someone’s story is what energizes her.

Malorie Heidbrink
Malorie began her dance career at 9 years old training in ballet, contemporary and jazz at a competitive studio in Waverly. While in the competition circuit, she learned to love team dances which inspired her to start the dance team at Waverly, of which she was the captain throughout high school. She continues to stay connected in the Waverly community choreographing the high school musicals in the spring. She spent her college years in Tennessee furthering her dance experience with an improvisation company. In 2018 Malorie  started teaching at CK Dance Academy and she has loved watching her students grow as dancers and individuals.

Ashley Johnson
Ashley has been dancing at CK Dance Academy since she was a 3-year-old. Her experience ranges from Seward 4th of July parades to the competition stage and to Disneyland. She earned her Early Childhood Associate of Arts degree from SCC. Now she works full time at Willard Community Center as the lead preschool teacher.  When she’s not teaching or dancing you can find Ashley cheering on the Huskers and the Chiefs.

Maddie Horne
Maddie began dance at the age of two years in Lincoln. She then danced competitively for 9 years in the styles of tap, jazz, and lyrical. Maddie started at CK Dance when she was 16 as an assistance and has been teaching various styles since. She particularly loves tap and loves to share her passion for dance with others! In her spare time, she is a speech pathologist for LPS and a member of the Air Force.

Addi Weeder
Addi started dancing at the age of three in Parker, Colorado. When she was six-years-old she began to dance competitively. She trained at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy in Greenwood Village, Colorado before moving to Lincoln for college. Addi is a Dance and Nutrition, Exercise, & Health Sciences (Pre-PT) major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This is her first year at CK dance teaching both at the studio and for the Kicks For Christ after school program. 

Ciera Carlson
Ciera Carlson has trained in a multitude of dance styles since she was 4 years old. She began teaching dance in North Platte at age 14 and is thrilled to be able to continue teaching here in Lincoln. Her experience ranges from teaching studio classes to choreographing musical productions and working with school dance teams as well as other local organizations. She will be graduating from UNL with her BA in Dance this May and will be pursuing her Physical Therapist Assistant License starting in the fall.

Abby Huenink
Abby began dancing at the age of three and has been trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap. She was a member of the Phipps Dance Company in Hudson, WI for four years and has been assisting and teaching dance classes for multiple years. Abby grew up in Stillwater, MN and is currently a freshmen studying architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She can’t wait to continue sharing her passion of dance with students at CK Dance Academy!


If you have any questions about our studio or classes we offer, please send us note! We are quick to respond and want you to feel as comfortable as can be.

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