As a child, Pia Hamilton danced as Min on the children’s TV show Barney and Friends. Nowadays, she continues to showcase her love of dance at Intrigue Dance and Performing Arts Center, an all-ages studio she co-owns with her husband, actor Dustin Hamilton. The camera-seasoned duo has opened a spacious new facility that houses three dance studios, offering classes such as ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. They also host musical-theater classes that impart genre-specific dance tips, such as never to dance directly in front of Annie. They accommodate multiple skill levels, introducing both kids and adults to the world of dance.
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.
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.
Sisters Kerry and Krista Knee combined Kerry’s business know-how with Krista’s passion for fitness to create Flirty Girl Fitness, an all-female studio that torches calories during more than 100 classes a week. Their hand-picked fleet of all-female instructors teaches a variety of empowering classes, such as Abs & Booty, Pole Dancing, and Kick Ass Cardio. The studio also streams entire, uncut classes for Flirty Girl Fitness Live, a program beamed to out-of-towners who want to brush up on their dance moves. Weekend classes and private bachelorette parties invite ladies to sip cocktails from the licensed bar while they dance on the bar-top, spin on poles, chair stripteases,or get pampered in the spa.
Discover a better way to impress at swanky social functions than by singing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in its entirety. With today’s side deal, $15 gets you one private lesson and one group dance party at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio Downtown (a $35 value). Located in the Loop conveniently close to the brown and red lines, Fred Astaire Dance Studio offers instruction to everyone from those in need of pre-wedding pointers to those preparing for the upcoming Intergalactic Hustle-and-Jive Championship. Couples and stag dancers are equally welcome with today’s Groupon. Each couple only needs to buy one Groupon.
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.