Big City Swing’s mantra is to be fit, be fun, and be social, and it conquers all three of these goals by teaching dance styles that stem from the social clubs of the Prohibition era. Within the spacious ceilings and exposed brick walls of the studio, instructors delve into swing dance and Lindy Hop styles characterized by twirling, leg kicks, and lightning-fast rhythms.
Courses are taught in a four-week series or single-session workshops that also cover styles such as Balboa, the Charleston, and blues. Students seeking more individualized attention can schedule a private lesson or eschew the tradition of the post-nuptial hokey pokey by enrolling in the wedding-dance program. In addition to studio and onsite instruction, Big City Swing’s professional team also performs choreographed numbers at special events. Free street parking is available near the studio.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray has upheld since 1912. Students dance with a partner, or the instructor, who provides a greater understanding of the dance style of their choosing with either method. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in a cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close; rumba moves and swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to one’s repertoire. Arthur Murray Dance Centers provide a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons superbly suited to slicing and dicing a rug until it is no longer recognizable.
Insisting that "if you can blink you can do yoga," Ganesha Yoga and Adventures in Fitness describes itself as "real yoga for real people." The studio stands against the notion that yoga is only for fit people and Twister champions. Nine classes a week are designed specifically for parents and kids of all ages. As a complement to yoga, professional dance instructors guide you through energizing classes like BollyGroove Cardio, Nia, Hoop Fit, Zumba/yoga fusion, and Broadway Fit. Incorporating show tunes and music soundtracks, Broadway Fit classes incorporate a variety of dance styles to the tunes of popular theater shows, including Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since “yoga butts” come in all shapes and sizes, they can outfit you in sizes from XXS to 3X and beyond.
ARTango Center brings 2,000 square feet of Buenos Aires to Chicago in a studio whose ebony hardwood floors, exposed-brick walls, and flowing white curtains set the stage for tango lessons and lively milonga parties. Instructors well versed in the passionate dance teach both neophytes building foundational techniques and those who already sleep with a rose gripped in their teeth at night. Rotating partners help pupils think on their feet, and private lessons intensify learning at a pace comfortable for each dancer. On Friday nights, twirlers of all levels gather for a milonga, a tango dance party that offers a light buffet and the chance to try out ardent steps in an appropriate environment instead of with a bewildered mailman.
In Bollywood films, India’s stars fall in love, sing about falling in love, and most importantly, dance while falling in love. Featured on ABC and NBC, Bollywood Groove teaches its students to replicate some of the genre’s moves, which blend semi-classical Indian dance, hip-hop, and bhangra, an energetic folk-dance style. Set to upbeat tunes, the class routines are also rigorous cardio workouts that work every muscle group, unlike dance classes in which students only learn to blink to the beat. In the kids’ classes, meanwhile, youngsters as young as aged 3 learn movement basics, as well as tidbits about India’s different regions, languages and cultures.
Back in 1974, Lou Conte Dance Studio was nothing more than a twinkle in Claire Bataille's eye. Nearly 40 years and a slew of international acclaim later, the studio has become a pillar of the Chicago dance community. Today, Bataille—who earned the Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Dancer— and her staff lead more than 70 dance and fitness classes every week for teens, adults, beginners, and professionals. Their regular workshops delve into the nuances and history of dance, enhancing the curriculum with focused lessons and special lectures on the dangers of carelessly discarding banana peels.