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10 Things Monica Kridler Can’t Live Without

Photo credit: Fred Kridler

When Monica Kridler received an invitation from childhood friend Lori Klinger in 2001, she had no idea of the impact the conversation would have on her-and on thousands of central Ohio children. Klinger was heading to their hometown of Akron, Ohio to conduct a two-week training in an educational modality created at the National Dance Institute in New York City that she hoped would gather momentum across the country. Launched in 1976 by acclaimed dancer, choreographer and actor, Jacques d'Amboise, the National Dance Institute brings ballet into public school curriculum as a medium through which professional dancers and musicians support existing subject matter while also teaching children invaluable lessons about leadership, determination, and collaboration.

For Kridler, who had been forced by injury to abandon professional ballet aspirations in her teens, the opportunity struck at a unique trifecta of passion, resources, and connection.Revisiting her roots in ballet instruction (which had been nurtured in the studios of Klinger’s mother), Kridler saw the potential for the program in central Ohio and set to work identifying partners to help her prove the concept. By 2003, Momentum was created and twenty years later, a dream to dance that had once been shelved continues through Kridler’s leadership to be a dream come true for communities throughout greater Columbus. Today, Momentum serves more than 1600 children annually in more than 25 elementary schools and youth-serving organizations, primarily in under-resourced neighborhoods where children often have limited access to the arts. In addition to their weekly school-day curriculum, Momentum also offers Early Learner and Advanced Team programs-maintaining a connection with some of their kids through high school graduation.

Visiting the Momentum offices, it is hard not to soak up the pride, joy, and optimism exuded by Kridler (currently serving as Interim Executive Director) and the entire team. For more information on how you can support Momentum programs, join the Momentum teaching staff, or attend the spring performances scheduled for May 10 and 12 at the Jo Ann Davidson Theatre inside the Vern Riffe Center downtown, visit

  1. 1.The ARTS. Especially ballet, as a once aspiring ballerina. Go BalletMet!

  2. Second chances. Everyone needs the grace of understanding and forgiveness.

  3. Swensons burgers, fries, and shakes! I grew up on them in Akron, Ohio.

  4. The right tool for the job. From the wonder of a simple whisk to the MooMoo (car wash), there is joy in great form and function.

  5. The children of our community and our partners in support of them. Every child deserves opportunities to reach their potential.

  6. The garden. The full cycle from seed to herb or flower is a wonder and uniquely satisfying-as long as they survive the bunnies along the way.

  7. Exercise. The fluid, whole-body movements of yoga, swimming, and Barre 3 are restorative, even when they push me to the limit.

  8. One-time recipes. From Ina Garten to the New York Times, great dishes abound, and I lovemaking them all, but just once; I seldom repeat a recipe.

  9. Girls’ night out. I love my girlfriends and the times we can all gather to share, laugh, and support each other.

  10. Saving the best for last: My family. Here’s to them all, here in Columbus, in Boulder, in Akron, in Coshocton, all those on this earth, and those now in the great beyond. It all starts and ends with them.


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