Read artistic director Erika Overturff’s full-circle journey: from her start as a young dancer studying under Marina O’Rourke and Tatiana “Tanya” Bechenova at Dubuque’s Academy of Ballet, to founding American Midwest Ballet, and to bringing the company’s production of The Wizard of Oz back to her hometown 13 years later.
“‘I remember Erika as a very young dancer,’ [Marina] said. ‘Probably because she was very exuberant. She was very dramatic, and I like that about dancers. She had a big smile, and she still has that big smile.’
“Overturff doesn’t remember having a passion to want to be a ballet dancer, although she knew she loved to dance.
“’I have always loved dance,’ she said. ‘It’s been such an important part of my life. If you can find something like that in life, you’re lucky. And I was lucky.’“-Michelle London for the Telegraph Herald