Senior profile: Nate Thaman

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Senior profile: Nate Thaman

Megan Cleveland, features writer

Classical music consumes the theater as he waltzes across stage. He begins a sequence of turns while the spotlight follows him. He approaches center stage, finishing the dance and bows as the audience’s applause overtakes the theater. For Nate Thaman, senior, dance has been his passion for the past 14 years.

At three years old, Nate began studying ballet at the Dance Center of Kirkwood (DCOK). As his interest for dance developed, Nate also added tap and jazz to his repertoire.

“At first it was about me having fun, but then things got more serious,” Nate said. “I started taking more classes and I had to decide if I wanted to continue through high school. Luckily, I decided to stick with it.”

Being a high school male dancer at KHS, Nate encountered judgment from others. Rather than reacting negatively to these comments, Nate focused on the benefits of dance, such developing his strength and meeting new people.

“At one point I thought it wasn’t cool to dance because I noticed that most boys don’t dance,” Nate said. “However, without dance, I wouldn’t have met some of my closest friends that I have now.”

Throughout his dance career, Kelli Thaman, Nate’s mother, has provided constant support. She encouraged Nate to continue his passion by reminding him how it benefits his character and physical strength.

“Dance gave him confidence as he grew up,” Kelli said. “He is a shy kid but you can see that every time he is on stage, he is being himself and having fun.”

Along with his family, Kathy Massot, Nate’s ballet teacher, supports Nate’s passion by showing him the significance of males in the ballet world. Being the only male high school dancer at DCOK, Nate is able to demonstrate the strength and masculinity within his ballet technique.

“The younger boys can now see what a male dancer does differently from the female dancer,” Massot said. “Nate shows high leaps and partnering which the younger boys would not have ever seen had Nate not been performing with us all these years.”

Although Nate will not pursue dance in college, he will continue to use the tools he developed through dance, like determination and perseverance. Within his final months of dancing, Nate said he hopes to continue improving his dance technique and ending his dance career positively.

“Dance is such a unique art, and I would not have learned some of my most important life lessons without it,” Nate said. “At the end of each show, it gives me sense of achievement, and that’s how I know it was all worth it.”


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