Welcome to the Park District of Oak Park District Dance Program! Our programming provides high-quality, affordable dance education in a fun and interactive format that builds community, positive self-awareness, rhythmic interpretation of music, as well as physical, social, emotional and cognitive development for adults, teens, and children of all ages. The Park District of Oak Park is a place where everyone can dance!
The teaching team is excited to share our love of dance and dance education with the Oak Park/River Forest/Forest Park communities. We strive to make performing arts opportunities accessible to the public and encourage whole families to participate and develop their movement potential. These programs are easy to follow, taught by experienced, patient, kind, and educated teaching artists!
The Park District of Oak Park provides dance classes for infants to adults, from Baby Wearing Ballet, Classical Ballet, Tap, Hip hop & Jazz, and World Dance Fusion and more--Classes are held at the Gymnastics Recreation Center at 21 Lake St, Studio 1, and Stevenson Center at 415 Lake St, Second Floor, and Ridgeland Common at 415 Lake St.
Early Childhood Dance Programs
Ages infants – 6 years
The atmosphere in our studios is comfortable, warm and friendly. The curriculum encourages natural dance movement in cooperation with, imaginative play, musicality, independence, sensory and fine motor development, strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and spatial awareness. Dancers roll, stretch, jump, dart, and swing while learning about body, effort, shape, space, time, and direction. The benefits are physical, social/emotional, and cognitive. Sensory exploration and movement exploration guides children to understand ownership of their bodies and create movement goals.
This program teaches children to play with purpose and enjoy dancing, and to begin listening to directions from a teacher. Dancers also expereince the joy of dancing for your community both in class and in the theatre.
Youth Dance Programs
Our Youth Dance classes develop turnout, coordination, beginning skills, spatial awareness, and discipline while developing both friendships and a love of dance. Dancers are led to advance their dance vocabuary and practise sharing their ideas, and understanding of the art form.
Adult Dance Programs
Adult classes are inclusive, easy to follow, and led by friendly and experienced instructors. Dance keeps you actively exercising, learning basic skills or refining, and having fun while meeting new people. Adult programming in Swing & Ballroom, Latin, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Modern Dance is offered seasonally throughout the year.
For additional information, please contact Candace Lee, Dance Coordinator@pdop.org.
Want to learn more about our dance programs? Watch our videos!
Meet the Dance Coordinator
What to Expect in Class
Suggested Dress for Participants
Proper attire is required for all Dance classes:
· Hair must be secured away from the face, preferably a bun if possible.
· Please no stiff fabric or jeans for normally scheduled classes.
Specific dance attire information is as follows:
Pirouettes with my Partner
Dance & Tumbling
Leotard or skirted leotard and pink/skin toned tights or solid colored T-shirt and athletic-type shorts or leggings. Pink/skin toned leather or canvas ballet shoes, or bare feet
Leotard or skirted leotard and pink/skin toned tights or solid colored T-shirt and athletic-type shorts or leggings. Pink/ skin toned leather or canvas ballet shoes, black tap shoes
Lyrical Jazz & Acro
Leotard or skirted leotard and pink/skin toned tights or fitted jazz pants, capris or leggings. Bare feet are preferred, ballet shoes or black jazz shoes allowed
Hip Hop & Tumbling
Hip Hop & Jazz
T-shirt and athletic-type pants or shorts, fitted jazz pants, capris or leggings, clean sneakers, bare feet are preferred for jazz, jazz shoes are allowed
Clothes you can move or stretch in. Ballet shoes for Ballet, non-rubber soled shoes for Swing, Ballroom and Latin, clean sneakers for Hip Hop
Support Local Business for Dance Wear / Leo's Dance Factory at 7601 W. North Ave, River Forest. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly providing an excellent fit for shoes.
Consistent Attendance is essential to dancer’s progress in class. We recommend that dancers attend each week if possible. If your child is ill, we discourage their coming to class. If you anticipate an absence from your child’s class, please inform your teacher in advance or email Candace Lee @ Dance_coordinator@pdop.org
Visit the restroom before class begins. Requests for breaks are distracting to the class as a whole.
Please make sure that your child has had water, a snack, washed hands, and visited the restroom prior to class as to not disturb the rhythm of the class and their focus.
To enter, we will line up at the far door. To exit, we will use the doors closest to the restrooms.
Parents/guardians may only enter the room when there is an observation day. If you feel that your dancer may need some transitional help into the dance space, please email Candace Lee and the team will do our best to accommodate your dancer’s needs.
We aim to provide excellent customer service with proactive communcation by your teacher and teaching assistant, Dance Coordinator, Customer Service Staff, Dance Studio Newsletters and emails. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to discuss them with your instructor or contact Candace Lee, Dance Coordinator, at Dance_coordiantor@pdop.org