Welcome home!

LFDA's Fall Dance Classes are under way. Registration is ongoing!

Join our dance family!



The Lake Forest Dance Academy is proud to celebrate our 45th 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


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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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

* Available through the instructor



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.


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.


Regular attendance is essential to maintain/advance level(s).

o If sick, please do not attend class.
o Please notify dance office of absences: emailLFDA@cityoflakeforest.com or call 847-810-3948.
o At the time of notification, you may request a makeup class.
o Makeup classes must be reserved in advance.
o If injured, attend to observe and learn lesson.


In the event that we cannot hold in person classes due to a government stay at home order, all dance classes will be held virtually until the order is lifted.


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


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

We are committed to offering our dancers a safe and clean environment!

As we transition to in-studio instruction, please read the following procedures that have been implemented in accordance with Restore Illinois Guidelines:

  • Class sizes will be limited and physical distancing markers will be in place.
  • All programming is drop off only. Students will enter through the recreation doors near the Fitness Center and will sign in to allow for contact tracing.
  • All students should be dropped off no more than 5 minutes before class and picked up immediately after class.
  • All instructors will have their temperature monitored at the start of each shift.
  • Prior to coming to the studio, we are asking parents to check student's temperature.
  • Please keep your child home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms or if you/your child have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID- 19.
  • Upon entering and exiting the studio, students will sanitize hands with antibacterial gel.
  • Students are required to wear a face covering to enter and exit the building, along with all common areas.
  • All staff and students are asked to wear a face covering when exercising/dancing.
  • All participants will have their temperature monitored using an infrared thermometer each day of participation.
  • Staff will sanitize and disinfect shared surfaces frequently.
  • All classes must follow our dress code. Leotard and tights for ballet, leotard with dance shorts or leggings for jazz, lyrical, modern, and tap. Comfortable form fitted clothing is appropriate for hip hop. Dancers should arrive dressed in class attire whenever possible. Changing areas do not provide enough physical distancing.
  • Hip hop dancers should wear shoes in the building and change into clean gym shoes prior to entering the dance studio.
  • Dancers should limit the amount of belongings they bring with them to class.
  • Dancers should all bring their own reusable water bottle with water to class. Water fountains will not be accessible. Refillable stations will be open.

LFDA COVID-19 Policy:

  • Program participants should stay home if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Program participants who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health.
  • In the event any participant or staff member or immediate family member of either, tests positive for COVID19, knowingly comes in contact with anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19; exhibited any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, including fever; or traveled outside the United States; LFDA must be notified immediately.
  • LFDA will, at minimum, mandate that any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or has recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 follows the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it pertains to quarantine, isolation, and return policies.
  • Should a positive case of COVID - 19 be reported, LFDA may need to close for sanitation and for contact tracing to occur. Classes will continue virtually when deemed necessary for client and staff health.

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

Donations to LFDA are appreciated and accepted though the Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Donate here