The Lake Forest Dance Academy is proud to celebrate our 44th year of providing quality dance programs for all ages! We offer a variety of classes for all ages including dance play, creative dance, ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, and tap. We offer challenging programs designed for the serious dance student, as well as classes for children, teens, and adults who simply love to dance or just want to experience the rewards of this artistic discipline.

Founded in 1974, Lake Forest Dance Academy is the most established dance studio in the area and is the only local studio that...

  • Offers induction into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts
  • Offers a complete certification in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet
  • Provides you with the most cost-effective, comprehensive dance program available
  • Has highly educated and trained faculty dedicated to total student development

If you have any questions about our dance program, please contact:

Valerie Gonzalez, Director
Lake Forest Dance Academy
Phone: 847-810-3948
Email: gonzalev@cityoflakeforest.com

Join our dance family!

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DRESS CODE

Strict attention to required attire is essential to good dance discipline and will be adhered to in all classes. Students who do not meet the requirements for class attire will be asked to observe class.

ALL CLASSES:

  • Hair is to be worn in a bun or ponytail at all times for all classes.
  • No jewelry is to be worn in class.
  • No loose fitting garments are to be worn over leotards.
  • Please label all attire and shoes.


PRESCHOOL

Creative Dance & Tiny Tots:

  • Comfortable clothes, bare feet or ballet slippers, pink leotard and tights are optional

Pre Ballet 1 and 2:

  • Solid pink leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers

Pre Ballet w/ Tap & Pre-Tap:

  • Same as above with black tap shoes
  • Please no laces. Replace with elastic tap ties or Velcro.

Kinder Hip Hop & Pre-Hip Hop:

  • Comfortable clothes and black athletic shoes
  • Boys - Solid white shirt/black sweatpants, black athletic shoes


BALLET

  • Hair is to be worn in bun
  • Solid black leotard, pink tights (no shimmer)
  • Pink ballet slippers
  • Short dance skirts may be worn only at the discretion of the teacher.
  • Boys - Solid white shirt/ black sweatpants, black ballet shoes


JAZZ

  • Solid color leotard, tan or black tights (no shimmer)
  • Tan jazz shoes: Intro, Level 1 & 2 Black jazz shoes: Level 3 & up
  • Black leggings or shorts may be worn at the discretion of the teacher
  • Boys - Solid white shirt/ black sweatpants, black jazz shoes


TAP

  • Solid black leotard, tan or black tights (no shimmer)
  • Black tap shoes (Tap 3 & up black tap oxford)
  • Black leggings or shorts may be worn at the discretion of the teacher
  • Boys - Solid white shirt/ black sweatpants, black tap oxford


MODERN

  • Solid black leotard, black convertible footless or stirrup tights (no shimmer)
  • Bare feet, black leggings or capris may be worn for class
  • Boys - Solid white shirt/black sweatpants, bare feet


HIP HOP

  • Comfortable clothing (athletic wear)
  • Black athletic shoe
  • **No Jeans**
  • Boys - Same


Irish

  • Comfortable shorts and t-shirt, socks or ballet slippers,
  • Irish shoes optional for beginner classes*
  • Boys - Same as above

* Available through the instructor

POLICIES

CLASS PLACEMENT POLICY

All classes higher than Level I require placement confirmation for registration. Class progression and advancement is determined by the LFDA faculty. This promotes progress and minimizes the risk of physical strain. Returning students receive placement information by mail. LFDA reserves the right to determine necessary class re-assignment for students who are not registered in the appropriate level class. New students must attend a placement class prior to registration. To schedule placement evaluations please call the Dance office at 847-810-3948.


WITHDRAWAL & REFUND POLICY

HALF YEAR CLASSES: All requests for withdrawals must be received in writing at the Recreation Center. The amount credited will depend on when the written request is received. For withdrawal requests received in writing no later than 7 days prior to the beginning of the class, a credit equal to 90% of the fee paid for the class will be placed on your account. From 6 days prior to the start of class until before the 3rd meeting of the class, a credit equal to 80% of the class fee will be placed on your account. No refunds will be given after the 3rd meeting except in the case of documented medical reasons or moving out of the local area.

FULL YEAR CLASSES: Withdrawal requests received in writing no later than 7 days prior to the beginning of the class will receive a credit for the class fee paid less 5% of the full class fee. Withdrawal requests received from 6 days prior to the beginning of the class until before the 3rd meeting of the class will receive a credit for the class fee paid less 10% of the full class fee. Withdrawal requests received after the second class meeting, but before December 15 will receive a credit for the second semester.

No refunds will be given after December 15 except in the case of documented medical reasons or moving out of the local area.

RECITAL FEES: The Dance Academy staff must be notified in writing of a dancer's intention to not be in the recital by November 1 to receive a credit for the Recital Fee. If a dancer is withdrawn from a class due to an instructor recommendation or class cancellation, a refund will be issued for all remaining classes. If a dancer is transferring from one dance class to another, there is no penalty.

INCLEMENT WEATHER: Should the Recreation Center close due to the weather or circumstances beyond our control, dancers should make up classes in another class at the same level or below. Teachers may choose to schedule a makeup day should the calendar allow.

IRISH DANCE: Classes are a contracted program and are subject to the policies of O'Hare School of Irish Dance. Prorated registration is not available.


ATTENDANCE POLICY

The dance office must be informed in advance of all absences. Three (3) absences, excused or Unexcused, could result in limited recital participation; this will be at the instructor's discretion. Excused absences are illness, injury, bereavement, religious observance, and required school commitments. Missed classes may be made up during the same session at the same or lower class level. Please email LFDA@cityoflakeforest.com or call 847-810-3948 to report all absences.

Our inspiring LFDA faculty credentials include:

  • Masters Degrees from the University of Michigan and Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and undergraduate degrees from Northwestern University, Western Michigan University, University of Wisconsin, Sarah Lawrence College, and other top university dance programs.
  • Graduates of London's Royal Academy of Dance, the Kirov Academy of Ballet and Ballet Theatre of St. Petersburg Conservatoire, Rambert School of Ballet.
  • Former American Ballet Theatre soloist.
  • Past members of the Gus Giordano Jazz Company, Joel Hall Dancers, River North, Luna Negra, Thodos Dancers & Chicago Tap Theatre
  • Certified members of the National Dance Education Organization, National Honor Society for Dance Arts, Dance Masters of America, the Cecchetti Council of America, and Progressing Ballet Technique.
  • Adjunct faculty members of Lake Forest College, Carthage College and Northwestern University.

Meet Our Staff

Abigail Bentley
2019 Anida Sedala Memorial Merit Award Recipient

ANIDA SEDALA MEMORIAL MERIT AWARD

Lake Forest Dance Academy established this award in honor of Anida Sedala (1927-2001), former Director of the Academy (1974-1995). Anida moved to the United States from Nokia, Finland in 1949, opened a ballet studio in Lake Forest, and was on the faculty of the Gus Giordano Dance Center in Evanston for over 30 years. Anida was founder and Artistic Director of Lake Shore Dance Theatre and a devoted advocate of the Cecchetti Method of teaching classical ballet. In 1956, Anida and her sister Pirkko founded the Cecchetti Council of America's Midwest Committee. Anida coached many area teachers and became a nationally recognized Cecchetti Method adjudicator. The recipient of this award is chosen is a Cecchetti student exhibiting dedication, potential, and love of dance. The annual award consists of tuition for one ballet class for one full season (September - May).


Kiera Burns
2019 Raising the Barre Annual Award Recipient

RAISING THE BARRE AWARD

This award is presented to the dance student who has shown extraordinary leadership and dedication to Lake Forest Dance Academy as well as technical achievement and performance skills in multiple dance disciplines including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Tap. Nominated by the entire faculty and Directors, this award consists of tuition for one dance class for one full season (September - May).



Julia Knipfer
2019 Outstanding Modern Dancer Award Recipient

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MODERN DANCE AWARD

The modern dancer must understand and incorporate the use of time, space, energy, and relationships in all aspects of performance. Highly developed skills in creative improvisation and strong versatile technique are looked for in determining nominations for this award. It is an exceptional dancer who will receive this award. This award consists of tuition for one modern class for one full season (September - May).