• 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


    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

    • Ballet: leotard & tights; leather or canvas ballet shoes
    • Tap: Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing (leotard & tights, t-shirt/tank top with leggings, shorts, etc.); black tap shoes
    • Jazz/Musical Theater/Contemporary: Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing (leotard & tights, t-shirt/tank top with leggings, shorts, etc.); leather or canvas jazz shoes
    • Hip Hop: Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing (leotard & tights, t-shirt/tank top with leggings, shorts, etc.); hip hop shoes or clean sneakers that are worn only for class
    Overall, dance attire should allow the student to move freely without need for readjustment, and allow the dance teacher to see and correct the dancer's form and lines. 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 accessories should not be worn.
    Shop shopnimbly.com/DownersGroveParkDistrict to see suggested options for tights & shoes, and gain access to Revolution Dancewear's full stock of bodywear, 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

    We are seeking new members - join our dance company and grow as a dancer! Auditions are open to all dancers age 7 & up. During the audition process, dancers will learn and perform a short combo, as well as demonstrate basic skills and techniques. We are open to dancers of all levels and experiences, and will be looking for overall potential, energy and drive! After the audition, we will discuss which dancers we think will perform best together, and put together groups for routines and rehearsal schedules.

    Interested in being part of a team, but not ready for competitions? Check "non-competition" on the Audition Form. Given enough interest, we will put together a non-competitive group that will have opportunities to improve their dance foundation by performing within the community.

    When: Tuesday, August 10, 6:00pm
    Where: Lincoln Center Auditorium (935 Maple Ave)
    Who: All dancers age 7 & up

    Please fill out and return an audition form to afontanetta@dgparks.org. Forms are also available at the Lincoln Center registration desk and in the dance rooms, and can be returned to registration staff, Ms Aimee, or Ms Kathleen.

    audition form

    Check out the 2021-2022 Imagine Dance Team Handbook for more information about Imagine Dance Team:

    imagine dance team hand book

  • 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