• Young Children's Dance Program

  • Rachel Kuhr Spalliero and Samantha DeDanedictis are our Directors of the Young Children’s Dance Program
    (Please review Rachel's and Samantha's biographies on the Instructor page.)

  • Please contact The Academy for a current schedule for ALL Young Children’s Dance Program classes. It is very important that new clientele please call ahead to schedule a complimentary trial placement class: (630) 495-4940.

    Please note: some classes listed may be closed due to full capacity, so it is important to speak with The Academy so we can direct each Parent and their Young Dancer to the proper class, day and time.

  • The Academy takes pride in having limited class sizes according to age and level so that the needs of each child are addressed. Only in this manner can individual attention and correction be given and structure of each class be maintained. Experienced and highly trained Instructors are a Hallmark of the Academy.

  • Story Dance A - Ages 3 - 4 yrs

    A 45 minute introduction to dance designed specifically for the very young dancer, emphasizing taking turns, listening and following directions while exploring movement and creativity. After a brief meet and greet and age appropriate dance warm-up, students are guided through a short story dance study utilizing their new dance movement skills. Students experience a variety of short story dance topics inspired by favorite music, children's books and story ballets, too. Children attend class while parents and siblings may watch from the attached parent observation room. This is not a recital based class, but students are invited to participate in an end of the year, in-studio, "Visitors Day" to showcase their dance accomplishments for family and friends. 

    The last portion of the class is devoted to pre-tap studies. Children will be sent to the parent observation room to change into their tap shoes. Story Dance students are invited to participate in the end of the year recital.

    Leather ballet shoes and tap shoes are needed.

  • Creative Dance (Pre-Ballet & Tap) Ages 4 - 5 yrs

    A 1 hour class offered for students entering their third year of study in the Young Children's Dance Program, students with previous dance/group class experience, or students new to dance with instructor's permission. 

  • After a pre-ballet based seated warm-up, students will work facing the barre in parallel and first position. Emphasis on increased coordination, balance, memory, musicality, strength, and flexibility is part of students' training.  This class works on refining gross motor skills, age appropriate ballet terminology and positions, and movement that enhances cognitive and physical development. Technique class will be supplemented with Story Dance studies periodically throughout the year. The last portion of the class is devoted to basic tap. Children will be sent to the parent observation room to change into their tap shoes. Creative Dance students are invited to participate in the end of the year recital.

    Leather ballet shoes and tap shoes are needed.

  • Discover Dance (Pre-Ballet & Tap) Ages 5 - 6 yrs

    A 1 hour class offered for students entering their third year of study in the Young Children's Program, or students with previous dance/group class experience. This class includes syllabus material from Creative Dance with a more advanced focus on fundamentals of basic ballet. During this course, dancer's technical work progresses from facing the barre in parallel and first position, to one hand on the barre. 

  • Continued advancement of gross motor skills, classroom etiquette, ballet terminology, exploring musical rhythms, and proper body alignment are all a primary focus at this level. Dancers will further explore their creative dance skills and advance to studies in hip hop, musical theatre and jazz basics.

  • Technique class continues to be supplemented with Story Dance studies periodically throughout the year for creativity and fun for our young students. The last portion of the class is devoted to tap with individual steps now taught in short combinations. Children will be sent to the parent observation room to change into their tap shoes. 

  • Dancers participate in the end of the year recital. After completing this course, students are prepared to advance to Pre-Ballet in the professional ballet training program, A/B Stretch and Strengthen, Tap/Jazz I, Hip Hop, and/or may audition to participate in The Academy Dance Alliance competition team (Academy Dance Alliance). In this manner, students can "Discover" which form of Dance they truly enjoy and wish to pursue.

    Leather ballet shoes and tap shoes are needed.

  • Young Children's Summer Workshop Dance Program

    Ages 3 - 4 yrs, Level  I
    (two 1-hour classes)

    Ages 5 - 6 yrs, Level  II
    (two 1½-hour classes)

  • Summer Workshops are open to young dancers who have completed Story Dance A or students new to dance who wish to sample our Young Children’s Dance Program classes prior to enrolling for the school year.  These two day workshops offered during the summer are an exciting opportunity for dance students to study one or several story ballet classics.  Past workshops topics have included:  Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, The Firebird, and Coppelia among others. 

    Other Dance Workshops offered in the past have been “Dress-Up and Dance” and “It’s a Princess World” to name a few. After a Creative Dance warm-up and short study, students learn age appropriate excerpts from the featured ballet.  At craft time, students create a prop or costume accent to include in their dancing.  Workshops culminate in a brief in-studio showing for parents and guests, set to music, during the last 15 minutes of the second workshop day.  Students may register for one or several two day workshops throughout the summer.