Lydia Heidt

Lydia's headshot in a red top in front of a dark background
Teacher at Dance Davidson and Company Member with Baran Dance, Charlotte

Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance/Theory, UNC Charlotte (2019)
Minor in Spanish and Certificate: Advanced Dance Studies, UNC Charlotte (2019)

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Lydia Heidt's love for dance began at a very young age when her older sister was enrolled in dance by her parents.

"I don't really remember it, but my family told me I would try to dance in the aisles during my sister's recitals. They enrolled me in a ballet/tap combo class at Charlotte School of Ballet as soon as the school would take me. Around first grade, I decided I wanted to start Jazz and began training at Sullivan Dance Centre."

She continued dancing, and finally enrolled at UNC Charlotte to further her dance training and prepare her for life after school. One thing she learned here that she had not prior was intentionality and purpose.  "These qualities are central to my work as a choreographer. It also gave me insight and context to the dance forms I train in and teach. As an educator, it is essential that I teach my students where/how the dances they study originated in order for them to better honor, embody, and understand them."

Her favorite memory on campus? "UNC Charlotte connected me with some really incredible artists and friends who continue to inspire me today. My fondest memories are from time spent with them. My introduction to Silvestre Technique with Professor Tamara Williams really changed my life, though. It was the first time I felt really connected to a specific technique. Silvestre Technique felt deeper than moving for movement's sake, and it is still very close to my heart. Overall, African Brazilian was by far my favorite class. The music and dance is filled with so much light and energy. That was the one class that I knew would always fill my spirit up when I felt less than 100%."

As a working professional in the arts, Lydia gave us a look into some of her favorite projects since graduating. "In June I got to perform and choreograph for Baran Dance's tenth anniversary show "TEN." It was a big production, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Currently, I am working on putting together a show for Metamorphic Dance, a collective that I started with friends while attending UNC Charlotte. The pandemic pushed back a lot my post-grad plans and our debut show was one of them, but thanks to the Arts  Sci&ence council (and the grant nomination from my longtime mentor, Professor Audrey Baran) we are scheduled to perform our show "Emergence" at Open Door Studios in the summer, June 23-24! Most of the performers/choreographers are UNC Charlotte alumni or current students, so it's safe to say it would not have been possible without UNC Charlotte being a part of all our journeys!"

Along with starting her own collective and being a company member for Baran dance, Lydia is also a teacher at Davidson Dance. She also works with Dahlia Grove,a local nonprofit for women survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual exploitation.

Lydia's advice for current students is, "Study as many styles as you can. Dip your toe into anything that interests you, because it will make you a more well rounded artist. Take Silvestre Technique and African Brazilian dance with Professor Williams!"