Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Dance Program offers professional dance training for children 3 and up in the Heart of Lincoln Park

Register now for classes in Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Musical Theater, Ballet, Tap and Ballet/Tap Combo; Winter session starts Jan. 6, 2014

See TDC’s Youth Ensemble perform Dec. 7 & 8 at the Drucker Center,
Menomonee Club for Boys & Girls

CHICAGO, ILThodos Dance Chicago is growing its Youth Dance curriculum for children ages 3 to 18 at the company’s professional rehearsal home, the Drucker Center Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, 1535 N. Dayton St. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Youth dance classes with Thodos Dance are fun, inspiring, and different in that all instructors are also professional dancers and current members of the company’s 12-person ensemble. Thodos dancers Jessica Miller Tomlinson and John Cartwright, Co-Artistic Directors of the Youth Dance Ensemble, along with TDC ensemble members Kyle Hadenfelt and Tenley Dorrill oversee a dance curriculum rich in diversity, with classes in seven core areas – Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater, Modern, Ballet, Tap and Ballet/Tap Combo.

For the more serious dancer, the Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Ensemble is a next-level, audition-based opportunity for children grades 5 through 12 to perform in a pre-professional dance company. Auditions for the Thodos Dance Youth Ensemble can be arranged by calling the TDC office at 312.266.6255.Selected participants will enjoy a fun, yet rigorous training program that includes appearances alongside Thodos Dance Chicago, the opportunity to choreograph their own new work, and performances at Youth Ensemble concerts and special events.

Registration for Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Dance Classes is now open at thodosdancechicago.org/DanceEducation, or by calling (312) 266-6255. The Winter session runs January 6 through May 17, 2014. Classes within each core subject area are offered in basic, intermediate and advance levels, and in a variety of age ranges, primarily junior kindergarten to grade 3, grade 3 through 6, and grade 7 through 12. Classes are held late afternoons, evenings and weekends to fit into busy family schedules, and Drucker Center offers free parking. Prorated prices are also available for students joining classes throughout the year. For class times and registration fees, visit thodosdancechicago.org/DanceEducation.

Note:  Parents and children interested in sampling the program are encouraged to attend the Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Ensemble Winter Concerts, Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, December 8 at 6 p.m. in the Fasseas Whitebox Theatre at the Drucker Center, Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, 1535 N. Dayton St., Chicago. The concert will feature imaginative works created by professional Thodos dancers especially for the ensemble, a full company dance piece choreographed by 14-year-old Youth Ensemble member Ileana Lopez Martinez, plus special guests the Old Town School of Music Rock Youth Ensemble. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling (312) 266-6255 or the door, subject to availability.

More About Education Initiatives at Thodos Dance Chicago

Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) is an ensemble of twelve versatile dance artists with a captivating style that uses a variety of dance forms. The company holds an innovative place in American contemporary dance due to its unique mission of inspiring expression through 1) dance performance, 2) dance creation and 3) dance education.

Thodos ensemble members sharing their professional talent, knowledge and skills with our next generation of dancers through the company’s Youth Dance initiative fits precisely into the company’s mission. Full integration into a professional dance studio environment is conducive to teaching performance, choreography and even production skills. In fact, all members of the Youth Ensemble are invited to submit choreography proposals for the ensemble’s annual Winter Concert, and one is selected for full production. This closely models Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances professional choreography series featuring new works created by the company’s own ensemble members, one of TDC’s key dance creation initiatives.

Thodos Dance also engages young audiences with education outreach programs including master classes, residencies and assemblies. A current example is Connections, an interactive, experiential assembly program for schools and community groups that builds on the company’s acclaimed story ballet A Light in the the Dark, the Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, using contemporary dance to spur discussions about disability awareness.

Connections is being offered throughout Chicagoland in anticipation of Thodos Dance Chicago’s Winter Concerts 2014, February 22 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, and March 8 and 9 at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance. The program for both local engagements includes a world premiere dance+architecture collaboration with Studio Gang Architects, and a reprise of A Light in the Dark, back by popular demand.  For tickets and more information, visit thodosdancechicago.org.

About Thodos Dance Chicago

Thodos Dance Chicago was founded in 1992 by Melissa Thodos, a young Evanston-born, Chicago-based dancer and choreographer who wanted to create opportunities for local dancers to create, perform and educate. Fast-forward 20 years, and Thodos is the only female choreographer to have helmed her own mid-sized, contemporary dance company in Chicago for two decades with this unique, three-part mission.

Thodos Dance Chicago is supported by the Illinois Arts Council-a state agency, Target, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Arts Work Fund, The Morrison-Schearer Foundation, The Saints and many individual and corporate sponsors.

For more information, visit thodosdancechicago.org.