Welcome to the Downers Grove School of Dance! The program is designed to meet the needs of the beginner and seasoned dancer from preschoolers to adults.

    Classes are held in dedicated dance rooms in the Lincoln Center and include ballet, tap, line dancing, jazz, hip hop and Irish dancing.


    Our dance year encompasses four sessions: one for fall, winter, spring and summer. The objective of the fall, winter and spring sessions is to prepare the students for a spring recital by focusing on both technique and combinations. Our very young dancers follow shorter session schedules.

    Participants must be the age listed in the program details within one week of the first day of the class. For questions regarding placement, please contact Akeila LeClaire, Cultural Arts Specialist at 630.963.1300.

    CLASS ATTIRE is ballet, jazz, hip hop or tap shoes depending on which class you are registered. Leotard and tights and/or bike shorts and T-shirt are recommended.


    Having trouble finding a class time to fit your schedule? Private dance lessons are available for you or your child. These lessons are a great way to improve your skills with one on one attention instruction. Various days and times are available. If you have any questions, or would like to arrange lessons, please contact 630.963.1300.


    Ms. 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 Dance Dimensions of Bolingbrook and started her own company, A True Gem Dance Co., in January 2011. She has taught at the Des Plaines School of Dance, the Joel Hall Dance Center, Le Ballet Petit, Walter Payton High School, The Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and numerous Chicagoland Schools and workshops. Amethyst has danced with The Joel Hall Dancers, GI Alliance Dance Co., Ballet Entre Nous, School Street Movement and God's Lively Stones. She has appeared in numerous commercial and film productions including the Bozo Show, Hoodlums, Soul Survivors, and Quebec with John C. Reilly. Amethyst gives thanks to her family, friends and to the many teachers and people who have supported her over the years.

    Ms. Michelle Dawson with Dance Kids USA

    Michelle started dance at age 3 in the areas of classical ballet and tumbling. Shortly after she began jazz, tap, and gymnastics, and she studied pointe for 7 years. Michelle danced and competed with a local company for 6 years. She was captain for both her high school and college cheerleading squad. Michelle won Junior Miss Young of the Year scholarships for talent, physical fitness, and scholastic ability. She studied dance and mathematics at the College of DuPage and Roosevelt University. Currently Michelle is continuing her education in dance and physical fitness, attending classes, workshops, and conventions. In 2002, she became a certified Pilates instructor. In 2008, she became a licensed Zumba Instructor, and later a licensed Zumba Gold and Zumba Kids instructor. Since 1989, Michelle has taught with many different studios, park districts, organizations, private schools, and child care centers. In 1995, she formed Dance Kids USA, a mobile dance school giving dance, gymnastics, movement, and cheerleading instruction at various locations. Michelle has a demonstrated love for teaching and is dedicated to the enrichment of each child.

    Barbara McNulty with McNulty Irish Dancers

    Barbara McNulty T.C.R.G. teaches Irish Dance and 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, our students are eligible to compete in sanctioned Irish Dance competitions throughout the world.

  • sheer death casting call

    Excel in dance when you become a part of this dance team! The first half of class will cover technique, and the second half will work on choreography. Technique will have an emphasis in ballet, jazz, modern, and lyrical. This is an invitational program. Participants must have permission from instructor to participate and are also required to enroll in a minimum of one additional dance class.


    Imagine how far you can go with the Imagine Dance Team! Develop your individual talents and grow as a dancer with our team rehearsals that work on technique and choreography. Performances and competitions will provide opportunities to showcase your new skills!


    • Saturday, Aug. 25 at 2:00 pm at Lincoln Center


    • Highly motivated dancers 7-16 years old
    • Max of 10 additional team members
    • Learn a short dance routine during the audition
    • Demonstrate the following:
    1. Turns in second position
    2. Leaps including but not limited to calypso and switch leaps
    3. Double and triple pirouettes
    4. Level of flexibility including but not limited to splits in left, right, and center
    5. Ability to improvise dance
    6. Ability to dance in a group

    Team Rehearsals:

    • Fridays 4-6:15 pm
    • Emphasis in ballet, jazz, modern and lyrical
    • Additional dance class and 30 minute specialty class required


    • 7 times per year
    • Includes 3 competitions plus Spring and Winter Recitals

    Team Requirements

    When placing new members or adjusting the placement of current members of Imagine Dance Team, these are the things we look for when making a determination on where the dancers should go:

    Imagine Dance Team: Garnet

    • Technique requirements:
      • Right or left and center splits
      • Double pirouette
      • Leaps:
        • Right or left grand jete
      • Pas de bourree
      • Leg grab hold
    • Intangible requirements:
      • Highly motivated
      • Passionate and driven
      • Stage presence including facial expressions and energy
    • Also, Garnet team members will be cast in no less than 1 large group piece.

    Imagine Dance Team: Topaz

    • Technique requirements:
      • Right, left, center splits
      • Leaps and Jumps:
        • Calypso leap
        • Switch leap
        • Reverse leap
        • Right and left grand jete
        • Tilt Jump
      • Triple pirouette
      • Turns in second
      • Leg grab turn
      • Extension
      • Illusion
    • Intangible requirements:
      • Highly motivated
      • Passionate and driven
      • Stage presence including but not limited to use of the stage, facial expressions, energy, ability to tell a story through movement/emotional expression
    • Also, Topaz team members will be cast in no less than 3 pieces.

    For audition questions, please contact Akeila LeClaire at aleclaire@dgparks.org or at 630.960.4491.