NINA FLAGG

 

Born in Los Angeles on December 28th to Valdez Flagg and Karen McDonald, Nina began studying gymnastics and dance at age three.  She would continue to train at Los Angeles School of Gymnastics (LASG) for 9 years.  Her dance training began with her mother and continued with other notable teachers such as Stefan Wenta, Yuri Grigoriev, Claude Thompson, Paul and Arlene Kennedy, Ron Brown, Otis Sallid, and Nzingha Camara.  At age twelve, Nina was introduced to director/choreographer Debbie Allen when she was hired as a dancer and gymnast for the 63rd Annual Academy Awards.  This experience would later lead to an extended professional relationship with Ms. Allen.

 

Nina went on to attend the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) for three years.  It was during this period that she refined her dance techniques and enriched her artistic persona.  She excelled under the tutelage of Don Hewitt, Mary Bender, Rudy Perez, Don Bondi, KaRon Brown Lehman, and Hae-Kyung Lee.  

After graduating high school in 1997, Nina began honing her skills in Hip Hop dance while obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UCLA.  

 

In 2001, Nina was invited to teach on the staff of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) in Culver City, CA.  

The following year she began training with Rennie Harris, Hip-Hop choreographer and artistic director of the Philadelphia-based company Rennie Harris Puremovement.   She went on to tour with the company for five years as a principal dancer.  In 2004, Nina also assisted Harris in setting a premier work on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre entitled "Love Stories.”

 

In 2007, Nina began working with renowned dancer and choreographer Toni Basil.  She was hired by Basil as an assistant choreographer for Bette Midler's Las Vegas show at The Colosseum, The Showgirl Must Go On.  In 2008 Nina continued on as a part of Basil's collaborative team for the Tina Turner 50th Anniversary Tour.  

 

In 2011, Nina was once again given the opportunity to work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She was invited by Rennie Harris to collaborate on a full-length original work entitled “Home”, which is currently a part of the company's touring repertoire program.

 

Nina has been on faculty and served as a guest choreographer for the dance departments of UCLA, Cal Arts, Connecticut College, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), and Bennington College (Vermont). She has worked with such artists as Prince, Tina Turner, Bette Midler,  Stevie Wonder, Will Smith, Chris Brown, and J Balvin.  Her choreography has been featured on the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, the TV Land Awards, the 2015 Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies (ABC/ESPN) and Redcat Theatre (Downtown LA). Her television appearances include the Academy Awards, The Today Show, and Goodmorning America. 

 

In 2015, Nina re-joined Bette Midler’s creative team for the Divine Intervention Tour as Assistant Choreographer and Private Dance Coach to Ms. Midler, followed by a return to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre as Rehearsal Director for Rennie Harris’ ballet, “Exodus.” In 2016, Nina joined the Connecticut College Dance Department as a visiting Professor of Hip Hop Dance for the Spring Semester followed by a return to LA to become a faculty member in the Cal Arts School of Dance.  

 

In Summer 2018, Nina returned to the Ailey company as Rehearsal Director for Rennie Harris' "Lazarus", the first hour long evening-length work in the company's history.  In Fall 2018 she transitioned to full time faculty in the Cal Arts Lund School of Dance as a professor of both Contemporary Technique and Hip Hop Dance Technique, Composition and Repertory.