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.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
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When you are here, you are treated like family. Your first lesson is always free and we match you up with one of our talented instructors who will customize your lesson to help you accomplish your goal! We offer additional programs like Rock Band, Acapella and
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Tristan Warwick's piano skills have earned him everything from gigs on Chicago’s Radio WFMT series to more than 100 first place honors in numerous piano competitions. Drawing on more than 20 years as a pianist, Tristan helps ready the next generation of expert ivory ticklers at Palos Heights Piano. During 15, 30, or 60-minute lessons, he teaches students of all ages everything from navigating their way around a keyboard to how to decipher and play a Bach fugue. Once a year, Tristan invites his pupils to don semiformal attire and showcase their newly refined skills during a formal concert for family and friends.