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Where I Dance

I’ve been getting questions about where I dance and how I found the classes – if they are supportive, how good you really have to be, etc. I’ll keep this page updated with where I am dancing (and if I get to dance in any cool places when I travel, I’ll post those here too). Because I take both Tap and Ballet, and because of my job schedule, there isn’t one studio where I can take all my classes.

(n.b. I live in Chicago where I have access to world class studios and teachers every day of the week – I know I am spoiled!)

I’m a regular at:

Joffrey Academy of Dance (Adult Open Division)

Joffrey Tower
10 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

I get to dance with views of State Street and in studios where great dancers train and practice. Every time they let me in to take class I wonder if they realize how big of a klutz I really am…(I take Basic Ballet on Saturday mornings, advanced beginner on Friday nights and occasionally Sunday morning Beginner Ballet ). I can’t recommend classes with Lynne or Trish enough – it’s a supportive environment where everyone is challenged to work hard but not to work past any limits. Bad knees? It’s ok not to jump. Bad hips? It will be ok to do a combination from third rather than fifth. They both use a broad background in movement and kinesiology to really explain each movement.

Joel Hall Dancers & Center

5965 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60660

Here, I take tap with Mark Yonally – the artistic director of Chicago Tap Theater. I take a Music Theory/Improv class followed by an intermediate technique class each Wednesday evening. The improv class might seem a bit intimidating – the majority of the students are either members of Chicago Tap Theater or other professional dancers, but it is a warm and inviting group who are always cheering and supporting every dancer.

American Rhythm Center / Chicago Human Rhythm Project

401 S. Michigan Ave, #300
Chicago, IL 60605

I started taking classes here on a whim – I was looking for more tap classes because I wanted to dance every day. I ended up starting halfway through a session in Lane Alexander‘s Tap II class on Tuesday nights (a class that the students have nicknamed Tap Too in honor of the frequent celebrations). While the classes build throughout a session, I was welcomed with open arms. This winter I even got my mom to start coming to class. I’ve recently added Tap III with Lane and an improv class with Nico Rubio. If improving terrifies you (like it does me), I highly recommend dipping your toes in the water with this Monday night class.

I drop in at:

Lou Conte Dance Studio / Hubbard Street Dance

1147 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607

I’ve taken Beginner/Intermediate tap, basic and beginning ballet here. I’ve only had substitutes for the ballet classes that I have taken, but the mix in those has skewed a bit younger than other studios I dance at. The Beginner/Intermediate tap is great – the location just makes it not ideal to be a regular class for me.

Rast Ballet

1803 West Byron, Suite 201
Chicago, Illinois 60613

I just discovered this studio, and I love the owner/instructor’s (Natalie Rast) no-nonsense attitude – if you want to do ballet, you work to get it right. I started taking Advanced Beginning Ballet here on Monday nights with one of my Joffrey friends. The range of experience and ages in this class is the greatest of any of places I have taken class. There are a large number of regulars in this class, so be prepared to be challenged (and sweaty).