Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Nikolas LaMaack



Download Full Text (194.0 MB)

Download lamaack-interview.pdf (2.0 MB)


Media is loading


Nikolas LaMaack was born in Davenport, Iowa. He grew up in Davenport with his two parents, older brother, and three younger siblings. During his time at Davenport North High School, LaMaack pursued a variety of activities and was an active participant in his class. He went on to become the president of the drama club, president of the environmental club, and president of his class. Nik was also active in theater, which is where he learned of his enthusiasm for dance. Nik went on to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Columbia College Chicago. His deep understanding of dance and choreography has led him to become an educator at Dance Beat, a dance studio in Channahon, Illinois. There he teaches a multitude of dance styles and techniques ranging from contemporary, modern, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop to people ages four to seventeen. Since the shutdown of Columbia College Chicago on March 13th, Nik, the second semester junior, has been teaching and studying remotely in his apartment in Uptown, Chicago. When he is not dancing, you can often find him walking Chicago’s lakefront trails with his dog, Elio, or pursuing other creative endeavors. Nik plans to stay in Chicago for the foreseeable future to pursue his dance career.

Publication Date



Columbia College Chicago




COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus, dance, junior, Iowa

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Conducted in spring 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

The interview covers a wide range of topics regarding life prior to and during COVID-19. Topics such as his childhood and high school career, college decision, living situation, remote learning, quarantine, financial situation, and mental health are covered within the interview. Nik discusses his college options and what impacted his final decision. He explains the logistics of the dance department at Columbia and shows satisfaction with his educational path. He mentions his initial feelings regarding Coronavirus and what happened upon finding out about the shutdown. He also breaks down Columbia’s decision and discusses what Columbia could have done better.Finally, due to the pandemic, Nik describes the difficulties of navigating remote teaching as a dance instructor at Dance Beat. He says “since that's changed to being online, a lot of it has needed to have adaptations and it's hard to teach...”(349). He mentions that his studio has closed as of May 2020, forcing him to adjust to other financial outlets.

Interview with Nikolas LaMaack