From age 5 to 18, dance was my life. Wait—let me rephrase that—it was my life. Ballet, hip-hop, jazz and tap were best friends A, B, C and D. While my classmates at school enlisted in soccer, choir and a host of other activities, my daily joy was dance class. As a teenager, I danced competitively, and nothing made me feel more peacefully exhilarated than being on stage. I didn’t care how I placed. When I danced, it was just me, the music and the movement.
Even so, in college, other things took precedence—major eyeroll, strict professors—and dance just sorta … died a sad death. It stayed that way for a good decade, until I finally was like, “This is insane.” I started looking into adult classes, and as it turns out, old habits die hard. I got my groove back in no time.
I’m happy to report that dance is my best friend once again, and I’m here to spread the good word. Whether you’re a total novice or the next Misty Copeland, the North Shore has a variety of dance studios that offer a range of classes for adults. (Bonus: many classes are held at times that are convenient for parents of school-age kiddos.) Take a look, and do as Lady Gaga commands: just dance.
North Shore School of Dance
Enjoy an hour-and-a-half of ballet instruction for advanced beginner/intermediate or intermediate/advanced students. Or join a class that’s on my list to try: beginner/intermediate hip-hop. Holla!
505 Laurel Ave., Highland Park
Studio North Academy of the Performing Arts
If you’ve never tried tap, this is the place to give it a go. Studio North also offers an adult ballet class, as well as Werq Dance Fitness (you know you want to—and if you really do, read on).
Werq Dance Fitness
What’s Werq? A cardio dance class set to the beat of your (OK, my) favorite pop and hip-hop tunes. Basically, you get to dance and you’re working out. Hello, my personal heaven. Classes are offered often and all around the North Shore, from Northbrook and Deerfield to Bannockburn and Arlington Heights. Check Werq’s site for location details.
414 Linden Ave., Wilmette
DancEd Dance Center
Make Fridays your day of dance with adult jazz at 9:30 a.m. followed by adult tap at 10:45 a.m. Think of it this way: you’ll be one genre away from achieving triple threat status.
3131 Dundee Rd., Northbrook
Arthur Murray Dance Studio and Fred Astaire Dance Studio
If you’d rather drag along a dance partner in crime, ballroom might be your jam. Ballroom also more easily masquerades as a social activity, perfect if you’re looking to just have fun (and maybe pick up some mad skills along the way).
1328 Waukegan Rd., Glenview
4187 E. Dundee Rd., Northbrook