The beguiling motions of Irish step dance are just a hop, skip, and several tap-filled jumps away at the Chicago Academy of Irish Dance. Here, world-championship medalist and certified instructor Mallory Wendt introduces students to the Emerald Isle's traditional dance forms. Mallory can also guide more advanced students, too, drawing upon training she received from legends including Tim O’Hare, Mark Howard, and Glasgow's McLoughlin family.
The professional instructors at Actors Training Center at the Wilmette Theatre empower all types of dramatis personae with targeted acting training. Boasting more than 20 years of stage and screen experience, instructor Ryan Kitley leads aspiring actors on a six-week introduction to lifting the spirits of audiences more effectively than Mary Tyler Moore tossing a puppy into the air. Students dissect individual scenes for both the stage and taped on-camera scene work, working together while they forge the communication skills and confidence needed to thrive as performers. The session concludes with a film screening during class, following by a performance of onstage scenes for a live auditorium full of supportive friends, family, and ionic columns.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
Renovated in 2006, the nearly century-old Wilmette Theatre entertains theatergoers with a rotating slate of current and classic offerings, including Hollywood blockbusters and niche art films. Cylindrical light from a whirring projector flickers across two auditoriums, where movie-going duos can snack on buttery tubs of popcorn while sipping a soda and whispering spoilers into the facility’s pristine Soundfold curtain. The Wilmette underwent a key renovation in 2006, fortifying the century-old venue’s commitment to quality art with fresh coats of paint, an overhauled concessions center, and screenings of feature-length still lifes.