Whether your kids love to bop along whenever music is playing or you simply need an activity to channel all of their boundless energy, dance is beneficial to children of all shapes, sizes and interests. Here are a few of our favorite places for kids to learn ballet, hip hop, jazz and more.
ABC Dance Academy
- Address: 4444 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
A small class size makes learning how to dance a lot less scary for little ones. ABC Dance, located in Portage Park, believes a more personalized class experience results in better dancers. All age levels are welcome here, with pre-ballet and hip hop offered to tots as young as 3 and 4. Looking for a less traditional class? Kids will love learning how to strut their stuff in breakdancing lessons or perfect their cartwheel in rhythmic gymnastics.
Darla’s Dance Center
- Address: 6236 S Central Ave, Chicago
For 30 years, this South Side dance studio has provided opportunities for little dancers to dance ballet, tap and even tumble to their hearts’ content. Darla’s Dance center nurtures passion and creativity while teaching children dance fundamentals.
Dance to Evolve
- Locations in West Loop and throughout the North Side
Dance to Evolve has branch locations all over the city (and Evanston), so you’re sure to find a studio near your neighborhood. Their classes — including tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop and more — will help children develop coordination and boost confidence. Families with toddlers will love the parent/child Movement and Music class, where toddlers can get their wiggles out.
Hyde Park School of Dance
- Address: 5650 S Woodlawn Ave #1623, Chicago
Ranked as the best dance studio in the city in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2022 issue, Hyde Park School of Dance offers classes in pre-ballet, tap, creative movement, African dance, hip hop and modern dance that are specifically geared towards dancers ages 7 and under, but classes for all ages are available.
Joel Hall Dancers & School
- Address: 2951 W Montrose Ave, Chicago
World renowned choreographer Joel Hall, along with artistic director Jacqueline Sinclair bring their knowledge and expertise to life at Joel Hall School. The only problem with this dance studio? The sheer amount of classes available makes deciding which one to take a bit of a challenge. There’s truly something for everyone; from Baby Hip Hop to Teen Jazz (and lots of adult programs, as well!).
Kenwood School of Ballet
- Address: 1100 E Hyde Park Blvd, Chicago
From Tiny Twirlers and pre-ballet programs to beginner classes that focus on poise, etiquette and self-confidence, your child’s time and dedication will be well rewarded when they practice at the Kenwood School of Ballet. Classes in musical theater, hip hop and acrobatic arts are also offered.
Le Ballet Petit School of Dance
- Address: 4630 N Francisco Ave, Chicago
As you can imagine, this North Side studio is a true haven for ballet lovers, and is the perfect place for your tiny dancer to learn how to plié. Kinder ballet courses start at just 3 years old and there’s a class every day of the week. Always wanted to learn dance as a child, but never had the opportunity? Le Ballet Petit has adult classes that prove it’s never too late to gain a new skill. Jazz, hip hop, lyrical, tap and stretch & strength classes are also offered.
- Address: 2223 W Roscoe St, Chicago
If your little one isn’t quite ready for a hardcore dance class, Tutu School could be the right fit. Lessons are low pressure, and often involve fun elements like bubbles, silly music and plenty of imagination. Tutu Toddlers starts at just 18 months, so children can become familiar with ballet and movement at a young age. Classes go up to age 8, with the highest level helping prep kids for more disciplined ballet.
Arlington Dance Academy
- Address: 25 S Dunton Ave, Arlington Heights
Little ones can learn ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary dance, modern dance and more at Arlington Dance Academy. Toddlers who love to move will enjoy the Dance with Me class where parents and their kiddos move, dance and mingle. Advanced pointe classes are also offered for older ballet students looking to further their practice.
Dance to Evolve
- Address: 430 Asbury Ave, Evanston
From tap and jazz to ballet, hip hop and more, the children’s dance classes at Dance to Evolve will help develop coordination and boost confidence. Families with toddlers will love the parent/child Movement and Music class, where toddlers can get their wiggles out.
DuPage Dance Academy
- Address: 109 E 1st St, Elmhurst
Help your child develop a strong dance foundation with beginner ballet and tap classes. Specialty and intensive summer dance workshops are also offered.
Incite Dance Center
- Address: 3915 Oakton St, Skokie
Little movers as young as 18 months can learn the basics of creative movement at Incite Dance Center. Once students are confident in the fundamentals of ballet, hip hop and jazz, they can move up to beginner technique classes.
Morgan Dance Academy
- Address: 2700 W 91st St, Evergreen Park
Owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, Morgan Park Dance Academy offers year-round classes for dancers as young as 18 months. In each session, classes build on each other from week-to-week to ensure that your child is constantly learning and growing in their craft.
Southwest Synergy Dance
- Address: 7909 W 171st St, Tinley Park
Classical ballet, musical theater, tap and jazz — oh my! Dance classes in all these styles and more are offered at Southwest Synergy Dance. Each year, students will have a chance to showcase their hard work and creativity in a themed dance recital.
Stage Door Dance Academy
- Address: 15801 Oak Park Ave, Oak Forest
Currently on their 31st season, Stage Door Dance Academy is a trusted south suburban studio where kids can twirl, spin, leap and dance. Classes for beginners include Wee Dance (18-36 months), Twinkling Stars (3-5), Mini Movers (5-7) and Dance Explosion (7-9).
DaMaira Dance Studios
- Address: 1146 Chicago Ave, Oak Park
From private lessons to performance troupe, DaMaira has a class for every skill level and need. Ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, lyrical and combo lessons are all available to kids ages 3 and up. Parents are welcome to watch their child’s class on a video screen in the waiting area or through a viewing window. And a fun bonus for any engaged couples in your life — the studio also offers affordable and private wedding dance lessons.
Dance Center of La Grange
- Address: 539 South La Grange Road, La Grange
This dance studio’s website proudly announces that “Dance is an art…NOT a competition.” Their classes focus on passion and fun for dancers of all ages. Those looking to go beyond a regular class schedule can join youth performance groups where their creative expression can grow and flourish.
- Address: 1401 W Lake St, Addison
No matter where your child is on their dance journey, Dance Xplosion has a class and placement option for them. Classes styled for beginners are offered on a drop-in basis for children who want to get a feel for dance, including learning a routine to perform in the annual recital. For kids that are further along in their dance journey, competitive youth dance programs are offered on an audition-only basis
Impact Dance Studio
- Address: Locations in Countryside and La Grange
For over 30 years, Impact Dance Studio has taught young dancers how to move and groove. The studio offers many style-specific classes for all ages, as well as combo classes where dancers can learn moves from many different styles of dance. Not sure if your kiddo is ready to commit to a class? Try out your first class for free!
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