Nicole Messina Billow has taught tap and jazz for more than 25 years. Her professional career as a dancer got started after she competed in the 1999 Miss America pageant. She was a top 10 finalist and preliminary talent winner for her tap dancing. After that, she traveled as a professional dancer/actress for the next couple of years. She performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Marquis Theater on Broadway and the Harris and Showboat Casinos in Atlantic City. Nicole traveled in a national tour called Absolut Tap where she was mentored by professional tap dancers Derek Grant and Aaron Tolson. She appeared in commercials, TV and Film until she eventually decided to focus on choreography and teaching. She is so excited to be a Mentor at ZZ DANCE!
What is your best dance memory?
As a kid, my best dance memories involve performing several times a week on the Atlantic City Boardwalk with Lucille Russo’s Boardwalk Star Review. We also did a ton of shows for charity and fundraisers from nursing homes to the March of Dimes televised telethons so from a young age, it had been important for me to use my talent to give back!
What is your favorite dance accomplishment?
My favorite dance accomplishment is definitely winning talent in the Miss America pageant and then getting to perform on live television as a top 10 finalist. It was something I dreamed about since I was a little girl!
Do you have a pet?
I have a dog, Lexi. She was an early Christmas present to my kids and I swore I’d NEVER get a dog! I love her!
Why do you love to teach?
I love to teach because I always try to share a life lesson. Dance is so much more than movement and steps and I love sharing my stories of defeat and perseverance!
What is your greatest accomplishment in life so far?
My most important accomplishment in my life is raising 3 amazing, smart, kind and goal-oriented kids.
Who inspires you to dance?
My parents inspired (and still inspire) me to dance. When I was a kid, they did everything they could to give me every opportunity to dance and they encourage me to continue to fulfill my dreams as a dancer and teacher.