Mary Mayer's career in Irish dancing started when she took her first lessons in Ireland while staying with her grandmother in the early '70s. She loved it so much that when she returned to Chicago, she—as well as her brother John—began taking lessons at a local Irish-dance school, where they danced with such people as Lord of the Dance creator Michael Flatley. Both Mary and John eventually starting placing at regional and national championships.
In 1980, they founded the Mayer School of Irish Dancing. It began in a basement with only five students—two of who were their younger brother and sister, Paul and Julie Mayer. These two followed in their older siblings' footsteps by placing in championships and even landing roles in Road to Perdition. Paul trained actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and danced with her in the film. Julie also trained many actors and performed alongside Paul Newman and Daniel Craig.
Though John has since retired, Mary continues to teach classes six days a week in Villa Park and Galena. Paul and Julie man two of the school's additional locations, which now span four states. Their students have placed in regional and national championships. Some have even traveled to Ireland to put their skills on display at the All-Ireland Championship and see if any snakes have found their way back yet.
Let the beat take you away at Des Plaines' Studio Phoenix, Inc.
Sign up for one of the kickboxing classes and learn basic kickboxing and self-defense moves.
Premier Fitness offers a number of classes to whip you into shape in no time, including Zumba.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
So when you need to learn a few professional dance moves for your wedding, the staff at Studio Phoenix, Inc. in Des Plaines is here to help.
For a workout you won't dread, carry out your cardio at DO Zumba in Elmwood Park.
Service and taste make a great restaurant, and that's why you won't be disappointed by this gym.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join in the fun at this gym.
Learn how to properly defend yourself with one of these kickboxing classes.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Put on a performance at Mount Prospect's Jazzercise Mount Prospect Fitness Center, where dancing is second nature.
Exercising once a day might seem like a pain, but aerobics classes make it less of a chore and more of something to look forward to.
These kickboxing classes allow you to build endurance and learn basic kickboxing moves.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.