• 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.

    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 (ballet pink or black preferred); leather or canvas ballet shoes (white or pink preferred)
    • Tap: leotard & tights (ballet pink or black preferred); black tap shoes
    • Jazz: leotard with either jazz pants, tights or leggings; black jazz or ballet shoes (leather or canvas)
    • Hip Hop: leggings, bike shorts or yoga pants, and a fitted T-shirt; hip hop shoes or gym shoes that are not worn outside

    Skirts and tutus are optional for ballet, tap and jazz. Hair should be pulled back into a ponytail, off the face. Please do not put bows or other accessories in the hair, especially on the top of the head.

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    MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

    Amethyst Cooper

    Amethyst is a sought-after dancer, teacher and choreographer. She started dancing over 20 years ago studying Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap, Hip Hop and Pointe. She also teaches at Amethyst CooperMrs. Amethyst Cooper has been with the Downers Grove Park District since 2012, but she has been teaching dance for over 15 years. She studied dance at Columbia College, and has danced with The Joe Hall Dancers, GI Alliance Dance Co., Ballet Entre Nous, School Street Movement and God's Lively Stones. She has also danced in commercial productions including The Bozo Show, Hoodlums, Soul Survivors, and Quebec with John C. Reilly. Amethyst has taught for numerous private dance schools, including her own company, A True Gem Dance Co., as well as throughout the Chicago Public School system. Amethyst is also a licensed Zumba instructor, and continues her dance education by attending teacher classes and workshops.

    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.

  • Imagine Dance Team

    Develop your talent and grow as a member of Imagine Dance Team! Imagine Dance Team runs from summer auditions through the school year, and is comprised of a performance-only (non-competitive) level and two competitive levels.

    Check back for audition dates for the 2020-2021 season

    Imagine Dance Team Handbooks

    Citrine Team

    Garnet and Topaz Teams

  • HULA

    The Downers Grove Park District is proud to offer Hula classes taught by Shasta "Puanani" Hud. Shasta currently offers parent-tot hula classes as well as hula for children.

    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

  • McNulty School of Irish Dance

    Open your child's eyes and heart to Ireland's traditional dances! Learn the Irish Jig, Reels, Hornpipes and team figure dances. The McNulty School of Irish Dance program is designed to challenge each dancer to achieve his or her personal best, and develop concentration skills, coordination and self-confidence.

    Dancers begin learning solo and team dances in Irish soft shoes and then progress to more complex soft-shoe and heavy-shoe steps over time. With the exception of beginner classes, enrollment requires the instructor's recommendation. To enroll in a heavy-shoe class, you

    Performance Opportunities: Irish Dance classes typically do not participate in the Park District recitals, but may have other performance opportunities throughout the year.

    Attire: Black t-shirts or leotards, black shorts, white socks. Irish, jazz, ballet or light gym shoes. No long pants of any kind. must be enrolled in a soft-shoe class during the same session

    View upcoming classes

    Barbara McNulty T.C.R.G., founded the McNulty School of Irish Dance in 1971 in Naperville, Illinois. Barbara is recognized by An Coimisiun (the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin Ireland) and the North American and Mid-American Irish Dance Teachers Associations. She is fully certified to teach Irish Step Solo, Figure, and Ceili dancing. Because of these accreditations, students are eligible to compete in sanctioned Irish Dance competitions throughout the world.

  • Private Lessons

    Private lessons are available for $36 per hour-long session. Days, times and styles are subject to instructor availability. To schedule a private lesson, please email Anna Fontanetta at afontanetta@dgparks.org.