Bursting with two fully equipped dance studios and a philosophy of noncompetitive learning, Dance Center of LaGrange brings skilled teachers and a miscellany of dance types to the feet of dancers both young and old. Tykes can twirl toward the 45–60 minute summer-session classes to introduce tentative toes to preballet and creative movement (ages 3–4), learning new moves and gaining confidence while composing a rhythmic symphony with their 10-toed orchestra. The Storycise class (ages 3–5) combines storytelling and exercise to produce a hybrid fitness adventure filled with heart-pumping moves and poses that spell entire novel chapters. Teens can hit up the modern/jazz class for a medley of Broadway-style shimmying, and grown-up steppers can twist into adult tap, lacing up specialty shoes to conquer rapid routines and drum out grocery lists onto the hardwood floor.
Though it may have changed names, owners, and locations, the Southwest Synergy Dance has remained true to its core philosophy since it was founded in 1974. Whether teaching classes in ballet, hip-hop, or mommy-and-me yoga, Southwest's instructors always prioritize the development of character and self-esteem alongside physical skills.
Russian-ballet instructor Susan Stantefort originally opened the studio as Susan's School of Dance in South Holland, where she taught students for 13 years. When she, like aspiring actor Abraham Lincoln, moved from Illinois to California, she left her former student, Denny Gurley, in charge of the studio. Gurley moved the studio to its current Orland Hills location, renamed it, and helped transition it to the leadership of current director Connie O?Reel, also known as Dr. Danz.
The wall decals at Simpoley Dance act as visual reminders of the studio's sassy, supportive atmosphere, catching the eye with taglines such as "You look absolutely gorgeous!" and "My other ride is a pole." Between these slogans, students rehearse giddy spins and limb-lengthening stretches, treating the pole as a simultaneous dance partner and workout tool. The studio's instructors host 60-minute Taste of Pole classes for beginners and 90-minute standard pole lessons, as well as advanced seminars for those who really know how up differs from down. During private parties, they guide groups through choreographed routines that incorporate colorful feather boas. They're quick to espouse the health benefits of their art, which tones physiques and builds strength by using the body itself as resistance. For a more grounded but equally rhythmic class, they also showcase the cardio dance steps of Zumba.
Celebrity Dance Studio’s instructors boast impressive resumés that include years of instructor experience and multiple competitions. At Celebrity, they teach a wide variety of dance styles such as cha-cha, salsa, swing, waltz, tango, and hip-hop to name a few. They lead private and group lessons for people of all ages and skill levels, from absolute beginners to hobbyists with an interest in competing.
Rachel Ladd was born to move. The former dance major started strutting her stuff on the ballet and tap floors at the tender age of 2, and by the time she got to the kinetic classrooms of Columbia College Chicago, she'd already garnered experience teaching jazz, tap, and ballet for all levels. When injury diverted her from the dance floor, a series of acupuncture and massage treatments ignited a new interest in holistic wellness that led her to seek certification in everything from massage and reiki to Pilates, sports nutrition, and Zumba. Today, she and her instructors lead classes that she hopes will inspire students to respect and care for their own bodies, sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with everyone from pregnant mothers and kids to consummate athletes and the stiff cats lounging in Chicago's back alleys. Styles ranging from Vinyasa and Forrest yoga to Hatha yoga for beginners comprise the studio's schedule, which boasts classes every day of the week.
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.