Karla Grotting began dancing in her mother’s basement studio as soon as she could walk. Her mother, Kay Larson, taught tap, jazz, acrobatics, ballroom and baton, instilling an early love of movement and music. By 1974, Karla found her way to the Zoe Sealy Dance Center where she fell in love with jazz dance and eventually began working with the Minnesota Jazz Dance Company (MJDC) in 1979. During her time at MJDC, she performed in works by Zoe Sealy, Maria Cheng, David Voss, Clarence Teeters, William Harren, Paulette Cousins, Kerry Casserly, Lea Darwin and others. In 1987, Karla moved to NYC to join JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski and danced in both his New York and Minneapolis companies, which deepened her love for jazz dance, jazz music and its history.
Karla is a founding member, principal dancer and associate director with Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum, with whom she’s been dancing, touring and creating since 1990. Karla graduated from the U of MN-Twin Cities with a BA in Theater and a BFA in Dance, where she continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member. Her awards include a U of MN Student’s Choice Award for Outstanding Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts, a 2007 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers, and a 2010 Sage Nomination for Outstanding Educator. Karla creates her own dance works which blend the unique styles of her tap, jazz, modern and percussive dance experiences, and has created original works for the FFF, St. Olaf College, The Eclectic Edge Ensemble, SPCPA, Gustavus Adolphus College, and others.