• THE DOWNERS GROVE SCHOOL OF DANCE

    Our dance classes are centered around offering dances of all ages and abilities a chance to learn different styles of dance with an emphasis on safe and correct technique. We strive to create a safe and supportive environment that allows all participants an equal opportunity to grown and learn both artistically and physically, while having fun! Dance classes take place in dedicated dance rooms at the Lincoln Center. Studios feature dance floors, mirrors and ballet barres.

    Register Online


    SPRING RECITAL

    Date: Saturday, May 14
    Location: Downers Grove Park District Recreation Center Gymnasium (4500 Belmont Rd)

    The Spring Dance Recital is an opportunity for students participating in full session (January-May) classes to show off what they have learned throughout the season! Family and friends are encouraged to come and watch the students' performances. If your dancer will not be able to participate in the recital, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Classes participating in the Dance Recital will be divided into multiple performances. If your child is in multiple classes or you have multiple children in the program, they may be in separate performances. A non-refundable costume and recital fee is included in the price of the class.

    VIEW THE PROGRam

    important recital information

    costume detailS

    Click here to see which show your child's class will perform in:

    RECITAL SHOWS & TIMES

    Click here to see when your child's dress rehearsal is:

    DRESS REHEARSAL SCHEDULE

    Tickets: Tickets go on sale Monday, April 11 at 9:00am

    • $5 in advance (through May 11)
    • $10 beginning May 12

    PURCHASE TICKETS

    Recital DVDs/Recordings: Professional video will be available from Zaker Video; all purchases include a digital download and a DVD. A link for online ordering will be available soon. Orders can be placed now at zakervideo.com.


    Class Progression

    Introductory or "pre-dance" classes focus on learning through movement, developing balance, coordination, and other fine- and gross-motor skills. Dancers are introduced to age-appropriate techniques and vocabulary.

    Classes then progress to more disciplined and advanced techniques while promoting positive attitudes, poise and self-confidence. We follow an adaptive curriculum - the techniques and lessons focused on in each level of classes are unique to the group of students in the class at that time.

    Dancers are continuously evaluated, and your child's instructor will provide you with recommendations on which classes to take from session to session; you should expect your dancer stay in the same level of class from Fall to Winter-Spring for 1 to 2 school years. Dance classes are divided into age categories, but dance instructors may recommend moving your dancer to a different level after the first few classes of a new session.

    Class Attire

    Overall, attire should allow the student to move freely & comfortably without need for readjustment, and allow the dance teacher to see and correct the dancer's form and lines so that we can teach & practice dance safely! A leotard & tights, or dance pants/leggings/athletic shorts paired with a t-shirt are good choices. Please see below for suggested shoes:

    • Ballet: leather or canvas ballet shoes
    • Tap: black tap shoes
    • Jazz: leather or canvas jazz shoes
    • Hip Hop: hip hop shoes or clean sneakers that are worn only for class
    • Combo Ballet/Tap: both ballet & tap shoes
    • Combo Ballet/Hip Hop or Ballet/Jazz: ballet shoes are fine; a change of shoes is not needed
    • Combo Jazz/Hip Hop: jazz shoes are fine; a change of shoes is not needed. For pre-dance classes (ages 3-6) ballet shoes may be substituted for jazz shoes

    All classes: Midriffs must be covered. Skirts and tutus are optional. Hair should be pulled back so that it stays out of eyes & off the face. Bows or non-functional hair accessories should not be worn. Bracelets, necklaces and dangly earrings should not be worn due to safety concerns.

    Visit shopnimbly.com/DownersGroveParkDistrict to see suggested options for tights & shoes, and gain access to Revolution Dancewear's full stock of class wear, footwear & accessories!

  • Imagine Dance Team

    Imagine Dance Team focuses on strengthening the foundations of a dancer's technique and confidence, while also providing opportunities for personal growth, leadership and teamwork in a fun and supportive environment. It is our hope that dancers will not only create a strong foundation for dance, but also create lasting friendships & memories!


    Auditions

    Join our dance company and grow as a dancer!

    Location: Lincoln Center Auditorium (935 Maple Ave)
    Date: Friday, April 22
    Time: 5:30pm
    Age: 7 (entering 2nd grade in fall 2022) & older

    This is a no-cut audition process; we are open to dancers of all levels and experiences! The primary reason for holding auditions is to meet the interested dancers and see how they might work together. Depending on the number of dancers auditioning and different skill levels, dancers may be split into groups, or we might offer the chance for dancers to participate in more than one dance. During the audition process, dancers will learn and perform a short combo, as well as demonstrate basic skills and techniques.

    If your dancer is interested in auditioning, please fill out and return an audition form & sign the activity waiver before April 22nd. If your dancer is interested in joining Imagine Dance Team, but cannot attend auditions, please reach out to Anna at afontanetta@dgparks.org.

    audition form

    Forms can be returned to afontanetta@dgparks.org, Ms. Aimee, Ms. Kathleen, or at the Lincoln Center registration office. Forms are also available at the Lincoln Center registration desk and in the 4th floor hallway outside of the dance rooms.

    We plan to take a step back from competitions in the 2022-2023 season and focus on community performances; however, if you are very interested in competitive opportunities, please let the program supervisor know - email Anna at afontanetta@dgparks.org.

    Regularly scheduled practices will not begin until September; registration for fall practices will open in July. During the summer, dance team members will be asked to take part in at least one weekly class (not a camp), plus at least two summer workshops.

    Check out the current draft of the 2022-2023 Handbook for more info about Dance Team:

    handbook

    Questions? Please reach out to Anna Fontanetta at afontanetta@dgparks.org


  • Private Lessons

    Private and semi-private lessons are 45 min in length. Pricing is as follows:

    • Private - $37/lesson
    • Semi-Private (2 students) - $22/lesson/student
    • Semi-Private (3 students) - $15/lesson/student

    Days, times and styles are subject to instructor availability. To schedule a private lesson, please email Anna Fontanetta at afontanetta@dgparks.org.

  • MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

    Aimee

    Dancing most of her life, Aimee is extremely passionate about sharing her love for the art of dance with others. She is a 2020 graduate of Millikin University where she studied music and dance. There she trained under esteemed artists Laura Chiaramonte, Angela Miller, and Sean Morrissey, led Millikin's premiere hip-hop dance crew, Physical Graffiti, and performed with the Alabama Ballet. She has also taken classes from world renowned dancer/choreographers Austin Lim, Mia Michaels, and Stephen "Twitch" Boss.

    While she has been trained in a variety of genres from ballet to musical theatre, her favorites include tap and hip hop. She has taught and choreographed for all ages with various theatre productions, dance concerts, camps and classes. Through teaching, she hopes to continuously share the love and joy that dance has brought her.

    Gianna

    Gianna Buffano is a dance teacher and performer originally from Dallas, Texas. She first started lessons when she was just two years old and grew up training at various dance studios around the country focusing on both competition and concert dance. Gianna has learned, performed, and taught dance genres such as ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop, tap, and musical theatre since she was 14 years old. She trained primarily at KJ dance studio in Plano Texas under instructors such as Kristy Blakeslee, Brian Stevens, Jeff Amsden, and Katey Finazzo.

    She is currently working to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Pre-Occupational Therapy Track at The Ohio State University, graduating in May of 2022. During her time at Ohio State she has performed pieces by Susan Petry, Crystal Michelle Perkins, Nyama McCarthy-Brown, and Valarie Williams. She served as the member of two Ohio State dance tour groups, the 2019 school tour group and the #Mentalhealthdance2u traveling panel. She has worked and collaborated in dance research with Master of Fine Arts candidates Brianna Johnson, Andi Pei, and Jing Dian. Gianna has also received scholarship awards for her excellence in dance, such as the Mimi Lamantia and Family Scholarship. Gianna has found a passion in teaching and is excited to be able to share her love of dance with her students!

    Kathleen

    Kathleen is a Chicagoan that has been dancing since she was six years old. Trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and Hip Hop, she received her BA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago where she had the privilege of performing works by Emma Draves, Stephanie Martinez, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. She was also a part of Joel Hall Dance Company II and performed a piece by Duwane Pendarvis. Additionally, Ms. Alvarado has performed in dance festivals such as Going Dutch, where she performed "Out of Focus" by Sophia Perez, and in "Room" by Megan Amal at Mess Hall.

    As a teenager, Ms. Alvarado volunteered in the YMCA Youth Intervention program. She was given the opportunity to teach, and saw firsthand how her passion for dance can inspire others. Since then, she has taught throughout the Chicagoland area with Red Clay, Design Dance and Music House. Above all, Ms. Alvarado believes that dance has the ability to bring people together no matter where they are from; dance can strengthen bonds and build an inclusive and diverse community that learns how to communicate and work together.

    Michelle Dawson - Dance Kids USA

    Dance Kids USA, formed in 1995 by Michelle Dawson, is a mobile dance school offering pre-dance classes for your budding dancer as well as parent-tot classes. Michelle also teaches adult tap classes in cooperation with the Park Districts of Woodridge and Lisle. Michelle began dancing at the age of 3, and never stopped. In 1989, she began teaching at Park Districts, schools, studios and child care centers across the area. Michelle studied dance at the College of DuPage and Roosevelt University, and has continued her education by becoming a licensed Pilates and Zumba instructor, in addition to attending classes and workshops. Michelle has continuously demonstrated her love of dance and teaching by creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in her classes; she is truly dedicated to the enrichment of each child.

    Shasta "Puanani" Hud - Hula Classes

    Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai'i, Shasta began to dance hula at the age of five, and continued dancing throughout her teen years with Auntie Lucy Lee, and later in her early twenties with Auntie Rose Joshua. It was in her early twenties that she was selected, among a group of Hawaii's most talented dancers, to represent Aloha Airlines and travel the world spreading the Aloha Spirit through Hula.

    Shasta went on to form her own troop, Hula 'O Puanani, and began teaching in 1994 to all ages: from keiki (students) as young as 5, to teenagers, young adults and gracious ladies (45+). Auntie Shasta continues to expand and share her knowledge of hula by attending workshops throughout the Midwest as well as back home in Hawai'i, and is part of the Hula Association of the Midwest. She is proud to teach what she has learned and share her "Aloha" and passion for hula with her Haumana (students). Through her and her Haumana, she continues to carry on the spirit and beautiful tradition of Hula!

    VIEW UPCOMING CLASSES