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.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Southwest Synergy Dance is committed to the art of dance. We work hard to introduce and instill self-expression, discipline, and a passion in each of our students. Whether a student is dancing for fun, or planning to enter the arts on a professional level, we are here to guide you along the way.
What's one tip for first-time students that will make them feel like veterans?
When you first walk in you will be greeted by our friendly desk staff! Check in and have your dancer fitted for shoes. After filling out student info, you will be directed to class! Once in the class, we have 3 viewing windows so you can watch your child fall in love with dance for the first time!
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Since 1986, the faculty of SWSD have worked tirelessly to build the character and self esteem of their students; mentoring the whole child as well as the dancer. With desire, discipline and dedication, SWSD
is raising the standard for generations to come
What do you love most about your job?
We love getting to know your dancers and watching them develop their skills on a weekly basis!
Not only do we get to share our passion for dance everyday, but we get to ignite the same passion in your dancers!
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.