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A Chat with Expression Dance Studio

What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?

Expression teaches technique in a fun and enjoyable way. All ages and levels are welcome, and will immediately be part of the family. Styles: ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, creative movement, dancing with disabilities, mommy and me, and musical theater.

What's one tip for first-time students that will make them feel like veterans?

First-time students will learn to appreciate and dance, and will quickly learn technique and expression. All students are encouraged to express their creativity and individuality.

What was the inspiration to start or run this business?

Studio owner Amber Alonzo dreamed of opening a dance studio her entire life. In 2009, her dream came to fruition. Amber strives to create a safe, fun and educational environment for all dancers.

What do you love most about your job?

All of the teachers at Expression bring a love for dance and teaching. Expression teachers are inspired every day by their students, and are constantly growing as dancers for and because of their students.

21 W Quincy St.
Westmont,
IL
US

If not for the 30 miles that separate them, Broadway in Naperville would feel right at home on Chicago's theater row. Yet somehow that separation of city and suburb allows their art to flourish and their imaginations to run unburdened by Windy City hubris. For founder and artistic director Andrea Wukitsch, Broadway in Naperville is about theater at its purest—an almost magical tool that fuels the human spirit through storytelling—and less about guys on wires pretending they're spiders.

As a professional theater company, Broadway in Naperville ensures that every staging is stunning with inventive works drawn from across the globe. As a dramatic and technical arts conservatory, Broadway in Naperville transforms budding actors, dancers, and singers into spotlight-ready pros while instilling them with the skill-set to navigate the Great White Way.

2867 95th Street
Naperville,
IL
US

Employing a battalion of teachers and other educators, Arrowhead Tutors pairs each student with a thoroughly screened expert to aid them in understanding any subject. The staff at Arrowhead Tutors is ready to coach students on an array of subjects, including foreign languages ($40/hour) and full 12-hour ACT prep packages (a $700 value). Students from kindergarten to twelfth grade can also opt for a Try Us package, linking up with a tutor at the cheerful facility before spending three hours immersed in untangling anything from Hamlet to the advanced ciphers used to communicate across playgrounds. In addition to the personal attention, tutees receive an assessment test based on Illinois State standards: 20–30 questions either centered on a single subject or focused comprehensively on grade-level-relevant material. Taking about an hour to complete, the assessment test both illuminates problem areas and sharpens each student’s ability to use No. 2 pencils as makeshift chopsticks.

220 N Larkin Ave
Joliet,
IL
US

At FieldCrest School of Performing Arts, students ascend through three levels of stardom?I'm a Star (for toddlers through preteens), Fashion Plate (for toddlers through preteens), and Camera Ready (for teens)?through bundles of acting, modeling, and dance classes that build a solid foundation of arts education. Acting classes build upon pantomime and improv before moving into performance and technique, and modeling sessions teach students how to prowl and pose like a pro on the catwalk. Ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop lessons give pupils the grace and moves they need to perform classical and contemporary routines.

Since its founding in 1977, FieldCrest has cultivated a motivational environment that encourages self-expression and poise. Besides arts classes, it also offers etiquette courses that can convert even the most slovenly kids and adults into Miss Manners devotees.

201 Main St
Park Forest,
IL
US

Putting together 200 burlesque shows in four years takes heartfelt dedication and an inordinate supply of pasties. For Vaudezilla founders Red Hot Annie and Dick Dijon, it was a dream come true. Their saucy theatrics have entertained audiences all over Chicago with monthly shows such as "Lincoln Fair" and the long-running, critically acclaimed burlesque parody of The Big Lebowski, which received four-star acclaim in Chicago Stage Review. The crew at Vaudezilla has also worked to innovate the art form, assembling live-band burlesque shows and story-based burlesque theater at Stage 773. In 2011, Vaudezilla opened its Belmont Avenue studio, where professional and amateur performers rehearse for shows, take belly-dance and Zumba classes, and learn the art of burlesque, which was perfected decades ago by 20th-century sex symbol Burl Ives.

3614 W Belmont Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Seasoned stage and screen actor Antoine McKay founded McKay Arts to give fresh faces the courage to step into the limelight and provide established artists with a place to cultivate and hone their craft. Antoine, an alumnus of The Second City's theaters in Detroit and Chicago, trains and manages actors and artists and also provides them with creative outlets in the form of regular performances at the Athenaeum Theatre, Pressure Comedy Café, and other local venues. He instructs students of all ages and skill levels in classes of approximately 12 students or in private coaching sessions, which give patrons ample attention and endless attempts to guess who is knocking at hypothetical doors.

6015 North Francisco Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US