Nichole Ortega began her classical ballet training in 1975 with Sandra Allen. From 1984 to 1990, she continued her training with Jacqueline P. Colledge, as a member and soloist with the Utah Regional Ballet Company. Nichole completed her undergraduate degree in Health Education and Dance Education at Brigham Young University, and earned a Master of Arts in Dance, from California State University, Long Beach. For ten years, Nichole acted as a secondary dance educator, developing the dance program and Dance Company at Payson High School in Payson, Utah. Currently, Nichole is in her eleventh year at Utah Valley University where she is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance. She teaches Ballet, Dance Education, and other core courses and is currently a co-director for Repertory Ballet Ensemble. Nichole is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization, was President of the Utah Dance Education Organization from 2008-2010, and is currently the Past President of the Utah Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters. She served two years as the Secondary Endorsement Dance Representative for the Utah State Office of Education and has choreographed for Synergy Dance Company, Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Utah Regional Ballet, Utah Regional Ballet II, Boise State College, and Scera Shell Outdoor Theater. She was awarded an NEA grant, along with Angela Banchero-Kelleher and Kim Strunk, to re-stage Dance for Walt Whitman by Helen Tamaris, and another NEA grant along with Doris Trujillor and Monica Campbell for the project "Celebrated Voices". Nichole has been published twice in The Academy Journal and once in The Journal of the International Arts in Society, and has shared her research at several conferences, including her most recent presentation at the International Arts in Society Conference in Berlin, Germany. She was also awarded the UVU Presidential Fellowship for her research, "Dance Loops" along with Barton Poulson.