Nicola Elliott is a South African Choreographer and Dance Educator


Nicola grew up in Cape Town and moved to Grahamstown to study Theatre at Rhodes University. Her studies included Psychology, French and Music, and she majored in Drama and English. In her Honours Degree she explored Physical Theatre, Contemporary Performance and Dance Education as well as Choreography. She completed her formal studies with a Master’s degree in Drama specialising in Choreography in 2010. In 2011, she returned to Cape Town and began working as a freelancer.

Professional work:

Nicola’s work is divided between Choreography and Teaching.

Her Choreography has received awards and nominations including the once-in-a-lifetime Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance (2014). Her explorations of form in works like “Run!” (2013), “Chalk” (2015) and “Made in order to fly” (2011) are juxtaposed with very personal works such as “Bruising” (2014), “Fragile” (2012) and “Proximity Loss and Having” (2011). In 2015, she branched into Theatre for Young Audiences with a work entitled “Fingers and Toes, My Body Knows” (2015) for 0-4 year olds. In 2021, during the COVID pandemic, she spent two weeks in a Zoom residency with LevyDance Company and created "Rift". In various formats and with different constellations of performing artists and collaborators, her work is experimental and has increasingly taken on metaphysical questions. 

The Teaching side of her work began when she was a Drama, Dance and Body Conditioning tutor at Rhodes University. After having explored a variety of teaching roles in secondary, tertiary, institutional and public environments, she is now an experienced and sought-after teacher across a range of educational practices including creative process facilitation, teacher-training, integrated dance, language teaching, and corporate coaching. In 2019, she lived and worked in China, creating workshops for babies, training teachers, and directing performances with children at Marphy's Playhouse (Chengdu) and ENTeducation (Shenyang). Since 2020, she has found a home back in Cape Town at Michael Oak Waldorf School. 


Nicola is based in Cape Town, South Africa. She teaches at Michael Oak Waldorf School. Her current choreography project, RIFT, was commissioned by LEVYdance Co in San Francisco and was created entirely on Zoom.  

Nicola Elliott interview on Bush Radio 20 July 2018.mp3

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