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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Schools in Illinois - Chicago

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livers, not to worry - you did not in anyway sound like a commercial!


My post was meant to encourage all to post more information on the schools on that other sub forum in Dance Education... That way if people want to ask follow up questions, etc., there'll be a place to do it.


Treefrog misinterpreted my post's purpose since I only responded to you and pal.


This is a great general thread for all ballet schools in Chicago. :flowers:

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Sorry, BW -- I just reread my post, and realize it was not well-phrased.


I just thought the board would want to avoid the appearance of favoring one school over another. "School of Ballet Chicago" sounds like a school associated with a professional company and, therefore, perhaps more prestigious or advanced or something. In reality, it has only an associated student company, as does Ruth Page. Our resident professional company, the Joffrey, sadly lacks an associated school. :)


I hasten to add, I have no association with either school.

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"School of Ballet Chicago" sounds like a school associated with a professional company and, therefore, perhaps more prestigious or advanced or something.  In reality, it has only an associated student company, as does Ruth Page.  :( 


:shrug: How is it that the full official name of the school would be implying to readers that it is more prestigious, etc.?? No one has posted anything to that affect at all. Chicago has many fine preprofessional ballet programs and the only thing that makes one "better" is it's suitability for the dancer, does the program fulfill that particular dancer's needs, are they happy, etc. -- that does not imply that the chosen school is superior over another. Making an endorsement for a particular school does not automatically mean that all other schools are not as "professional" or committed to the training of their pupils. Ruth Page has been around for a very, very long time and also has a great reputation -- my ballet teacher as a child growing up in the Chicago suburbs danced with Ruth Page Ballet and she was an amazing teacher. (so I know personally that the school has a long standing presence in Chicago). :yes:

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This thread seems to be getting a bit contentious. :yes: So, can I suggest that we get back to the original question, which is recommending schools in Chicagoland? If you attend a school and want to tell about it, please do. Comparisons regarding the style of training, facilities, etc. are fine, but let's avoid discussions about which is 'more professional' or which has more credibility, etc. Just as with everything else here, let's present the facts and let our users decide what school is right for them. :shrug:


If you go west of the city, there is Salt Creek Ballet and further west, Kenneth Von Heidecke in Naperville. :(

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Pace, pal.


I have a feeling if I try to explain any more, I'm just going to dig myself in deeper. But somehow....the urge is irresistable.


It wasn't anything you said. Boston, Washington, San Francisco, Milwaukee ... all these cities have professional ballet companies, and the associated schools are are all "School of the (City) Ballet" or the "(City) Ballet School". I was just observing that while School of Ballet Chicago follows this linguistic pattern, it does not follow the semantic one. That doesn't mean it isn't a great school. It just means that people shouldn't assume it is THE pre-professional ballet school in town. So far, no one has made that assumption; I just wanted to forestall it.


I apologize if I offended.

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Victoria Leigh

Let's just get back on topic here please.

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  • 1 month later...

Other suburban options: Faubourg School of Ballet in Hanover Park (just received the regional outstanding teacher award at Grand Prix). This is an amazing school and has a great summer intensive.



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My dd has been dancing at Faubourg school of Ballet and it is an amazing program. The training is not Balanchine, but good foundational training. It is located in the suburbs, so you don't have to deal with the traffic to get there. As stated B4 this school won the outstanding teacher award and their students took 1st and 2nd in the YAGP Chicago regionals. If you would like more info pm me. There are auditions for the SI program this Sunday.

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Guest dreamofdance

We are facing a possible relocation to Chicago and in trying to start researching ballet options on this site and others, I find myself even more confused. Can a Chicago member give me a brief overview? For example, Joffrey Ballet Company: Do they perform in Chicago or New York? I see the school is in New York. Also, Joffrey Midwest: that appears to not be in Chicago either, but Flint Michigan??? Is the School of Ballet Chicago related to a company? Is there a company in Chicago that is other than Joffrey? I have heard of Ruth Page and a few other schools but is there a company-affiliated school in Chicago?

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Only have a smidgen of info for you, but I attended Ballet Chicago's SI and found their training to be excellent, especially Daniel Duell. They are not affiliated with any professional company, but do have a well-established student company. Not saying it's the best thing in Chicago, but I'd definitely give it a look or even a few sample classes.

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It is thoroughly confusing. Don't feel you are alone.


Okay: Joffrey Ballet is our resident professional company. They perform three programs each year, plus Nutcracker, and occasional other appearances (e.g. at Ravinia or Millenium Park). It is well worth subscribing to season tickets. They perform at the lovely old Auditorium Theatre downtown.


At the moment, Joffrey does not have an associated ballet school. However, they are just completing a new building, and rumors have been around that a school will emerge (and I think AD Ashley Wheater has said he'd like to have one, but I couldn't cite when or where I heard this). So far, there have been no official announcements to my knowledge.


So: there are no schools affiliated with professional companies in Chicago. The two biggest schools in the city proper are Ruth Page and Ballet Chicago. Both are well respected, and each has its own flavor. Both have student/civic companies attached.


There are also a bunch of smaller schools in the greater Chicagoland area. Again, each has its own flavor and adherents. Depending on what you are looking for, you might choose to relocate in a suburb close to a particular school, but it would be hard to give you a whole rundown of what's available. There are some other Chicagoland posters who might be able to speak on the studios their DKs dance at, or that they know of.

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I don't live in Chicago but I was there for the summer helping my family move and I was taking class at Ruth Page. Let me just say they have some great teachers. I would definitely give this school a try. I know there great about dropping in and taking a class.

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In the city, Ruth page, Ballet Chicago, and Lou Conte (affiliated with Hubbard Street) are the most infamous.


In the suburbs you have a wide variety of choices. Many city teachers teach in the suburbs too. My DD takes at Northshore School of Dance in the north suburb of Highland Park. Teachers include Greg Begley (former ballet master Hubbard Street), Pam Tanis (former principal Joffrey/ballet mistress Joel Hall Dancers), Amy Rose (ABT), Ariel Cisneros(Joffrey), Meghan Grantin-McDermott(Gus Giordano Company). Finding this studio saved us from traveling downtown everyday.


Depending on suburb there are many with good reputations. Two that come to mind- Salt Creek (west suburbs), Faulbourgh Ballet (south west suburbs). FYI


Northshore magazine quoted Joffrey's Mr. Wheater as Joffrey school in Chicago to open in 2009.

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If it helps - Ballet Chicago is definitely Balanchine oriented, while Ruth Page is sort of a Russian-American hybrid, with a lot of additional character/modern/jazz classes offered as well. Ballet Chicago is located downtown in the "loop", with Ruth Page located on the near north side (walking distance from Michigan Ave shopping district) and has its own parking lot which is a big plus although it fills up quickly. It used to be free but not sure that it is still the case. If partnering class is very important to your daughter, you should inquire about the number of boys in class and in the attached studio companies. I'm not intimately familiar with Salt Creek (except that it's Russian), Faubourg, Evanston Dance Centre or others in the suburbs so hopefully others will chime in here.


FYI Joffrey Midwest in Flint is a summer intensive only.

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