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Meet Ms. Karly Pierce Lystad

Karly Pierce Lystad is a former Gasper dancer starting during the Carousel Dance Theatre era (currently Gasper's School of Dance). She teaches everything from Musical Theatre to Ballet, Jazz, and Lyrical. She is a well rounded dancer, as well as instructor. We have loved watching Karly grow up as a dancer and now as an instructor passing on her knowledge to a new generation. It is so great to have her spirit back in our studio again this season.

Karly Pierce Lystad

Q & A with Ms. Karly

Q. What is your favorite part about teaching?

A. I love seeing students begin to believe in themselves and the "light-bulb" moments of steps beginning to click in their heads. Teaching dance is more than educating dancers on proper technique, it's about cultivating a love for movement and building self-confidence in young students.

Q. What inspired you as a dancer? (What inspires you?)

A. I always admired watching my older sister perform when I was younger. She was my inspiration to start dancing, and continues to inspire me today.

Q. Tips for our dancers?

A. When you become worried about not advancing fast enough, struggling with certain steps, or fear that you're not good enough, remember that your instructors are always rooting for you and want nothing more than for you to succeed!


Karly Pierce Lystad began her dance journey at the age of four in Fargo, ND. She credits her strong jazz technique to training with Gasper’s School of Dance and Performing Arts under the professional instruction of the Gasper family. During her time with Gaspers she studied classical ballet, pointe, tap, modern, and jazz technique rooted in the styles of Luigi, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, and Jack Cole. In addition, Karly gained instruction at Minnesota State University Moorhead, the University of Montana Missoula, Luigi’s Jazz Studio NYC, and has attended several dance conferences and workshops across the United States.

Karly began her musical theater choreography career at the age of sixteen under the guidance of her mentor Matt Gasper, and has since choreographed for area high schools, community theaters, fine art camps, and children’s theaters. She has been teaching dance for eleven years in the styles of jazz, tap, lyrical, ballet, and fitness at various studios including Gasper’s School of Dance, DanceworX Studio Bismarck, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and International Music Camp.

Aside from instilling her passion of dance and movement in her students, Karly has a degree in Mass Communications with minors in Psychology and Dance from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She has a love for working with children with diverse backgrounds and is happiest when helping elevate students to being their best selves. She is so thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the studio that gave her so much as a young dancer and continue the tradition of excellence at GSDPA.

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