The Northbrook School of Dance offers a curriculum-based approach to dance education. With our caring, professional dance instructors, students experience an exciting program, full of dancing, performing and most importantly, the ability to learn and progress.
Our mission is to encourage students of all ages and levels and to introduce them to the wonderful world of dance while gaining the benefit of self-confidence, poise and physical well-being. Our teachers are dedicated to providing quality instruction through positive reinforcement and are actively involved in the students’ physical and mental development.
Northbrook School of Dance features two dance studios with sprung wood floors, mirrors and ballet barres. The program is divided into three sections: the Young Dancer Program (preschool and kindergarten), the Youth/Teen Dance Program (age 6 and older), and the Adult Dance Program, featuring technique and social dance classes.
Dance Class Descriptions
Register online or call the Performing Arts Office at 847·291·2367 for more information.
Young Dance Programs
Our Young Dance program is designed for beginners and returning students.
This class is designed for younger students who are not ready to be in a class alone and for parents who would like to be involved in introducing their children to dance. Children will learn about music, rhythm, creative movement, development and control of gross motor skills, and social interactions, by following directions and taking turns. Each session ends with a dance party in place of a recital.
This new dance class is structured for the developmental needs of 2-year-olds.While learning fun creative movement, children will be introduced to socialization skills of sharing, taking turns and basic dance line and circle formations. Tutu 2s classes end their year with an Observation Day in place of a recital.
Preschool Creative Movement and Dance
Students learn about coordination and rhythm while they explore free and creative body expression with their active imaginations. Preschool Creative Movement and Dance classes end their year with an Observation Day in place of a recital.
This class prepares very young dancers for our Pre-Ballet and Kinder-Ballet programs. Children are introduced to a low-key, lightly structured class, learning basic introductory ballet and tap steps and movement. This class culminates with an Itty-Bitty April Dance Recital in the Leisure Center’s Little Theatre.
This dance class will introduce preschoolers to music and movement through a structured progression that focuses on creative expression and group interaction. Children learn basic ballet positions, tap steps and dance terminology.
This class will introduce children to basic ballet and tap exercises at the ballet barre. Ballet and tap steps will include more upper body arm and hand movements and an increased vocabulary of dance terminology.
Youth/Teen Dance Program
Our Youth/Teen Dance program is for students who are new to dance or have some dance training and wish to continue with a more in-depth study of the art.
Students extend their pursuit of dance beyond the fun of ballet basics into a more applied-technique stage of development. Class structure and self-discipline are emphasized with students following proper ballet etiquette. Students are introduced to the barre, learn a variety of ballet movements, and learn to memorize ballet combinations with correct musical timing.
Students build on their prior ballet experience and continue to develop as confident and capable dancers. Combinations at the barre become more complex and complete with an emphasis on head and arm positions as well as the turn-out of the legs. Center work is introduced with students demonstrating an understanding of proper ballet technique and poise, as well as the self-control necessary to progress through an extended ballet sequence. This level encourages cooperation with partners, musicality and the creative artistic expression of dance. Prerequisite: One year of Ballet I or equivalent
Students continue to build on ballet technique with increased barre and floor work, advanced jumps, turns and leaps, and more intricate dance combinations. Dancers are expected to be self disciplined and focused as they progress toward advanced work. Prerequisite: One year of Ballet I and Ballet II or equivalent
New! On Your Toes - Ballet/Pointe Program
The On Your Toes three-phase Ballet/Pointe program is structured to prepare serious ballet students to become strong enough to get up on pointe shoes. Students in this program are required to take a Northbrook School of Dance Ballet class. The program offers an hour of ballet (Ballet II & Ballet III), followed by a half-hour of Pre-Pointe (9+ yrs), Pointe Transition (10+ yrs) or Pointe (12+ yrs).
Students in the Pre-Pointe and Pointe Transition class will not be on pointe shoes, as these classes are structured to provide extra floor barre and technique to strengthen the legs and muscles.
As students progress in Pre-Pointe, instructors will evaluate them annually to determine their readiness for Pointe Transition (10+ yrs.) or Pointe (12+ yrs.). The training process in Pointe is a long journey; there are no short cuts.
Note: Since men in ballet support female dancers on pointe, only women wear pointe shoes. Boys in the Pre-Pointe, Pointe Transition or Pointe class will strengthen their ballet technique and assist with partnering and supporting female dancers on pointe.
As students’ skills progress, we will add a Ballet IV class as needed to accommodate their increasing mastery. A prerequisite for this class is an instructor evaluation.
Combination and Special Dance Classes
This class is designed as an introduction to basic tap and jazz technique. The tap portion covers basic steps and combinations, as well as timing and rhythm. The jazz portion focuses on positions, turns, jumps and leaps. Students learn center and locomotive progressions, as well as proper stretching techniques to enhance strength and flexibility.
Continuing training in tap and jazz techniques places an emphasis on more advanced combinations and floor work. The tap portion challenges students with syncopated rhythms and time steps. The jazz portion builds on basic technique with more advanced turns, jumps and leaps. A ballet class to complement jazz training is suggested but not required. Prerequisite: One year of Tap/Jazz I or the equivalent
As our students’ skills progress, we will add a Tap/Jazz III/IV class as needed to accommodate their increasing mastery. A prerequisite for this class is Tap/Jazz I & II or the equivalent.
Combo: Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop
This beginning class provides a great introduction to ballet, tap and hip hop. Children learn the basic steps and what makes each type of dance special.
Get your groove on with popular dances from the music channels. This entertaining and energetic class keeps students up to speed on the latest moves. The movements are modest and age-appropriate, and lyrics are not offensive. Prior dance training is helpful but not required.
Teen Hip Hop
This high-energy class provides hip hop training, including the latest dance trends and break-dance moves. The class welcomes students who want to get funky as well as serious dancers looking to improve hip hop skills. The movements are modest and age-appropriate, and the lyrics are not offensive.
Musical Theatre Dance
Aspiring stars of the stage and screen can learn the basics of musical theatre dance. They’ll dance to the music of favorite Broadway shows, such as Wicked, Hairspray, Mary Poppins and Annie.
Teen Musical Theatre Dance
Students continue exploring the genre, learning combinations to musicals originally choreographed by Broadway greats such as Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett. They’ll dance to shows like West Side Story, Chicago, A Chorus Line and Hello Dolly.
Northbrook Dance Ensemble
Performance Dance Teams
Alpha (Ages 5-8) and Omega (Ages 9-17)
The Alpha and Omega dance teams are for dancers who would like to experience additional performance opportunities and work on perfecting technique, performance ability, and moving their skill to the next level. Participants will learn choreographed routines in varying dance forms, such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Modern from rotating dance instructors on staff.
The teams also will participate in dance competitions when prepared.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in a Northbrook School of Dance class
Note: Costumes will be chosen later in the season and will require an additional fee, not to exceed $50.
Private Dance Classes – Youth and Adult
Serious dance students can sign up for one-on-one weekly lessons with an instructor in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hop Hop or Musical Theatre. Lessons are one-half hour on Fridays or on an alternate day, based on instructor and room availability. Private instruction also can benefit anyone preparing for an audition. Register through the Performing Arts Office to arrange a time slot with our instructors.
Our adult classes offer a chance to study various dance forms from Ballroom and Wedding Dance to Tap/Jazz and Ballet/Lyrical.
Discover the wonderful world of Ballroom and Latin dancing in this introductory course. Improve your skills, learn new steps, and learn how to lead and follow. Enjoy dancing the rumba, swing and tango with just a few hours of instruction. Couples are recommended but not necessary. Couples will not rotate partners. Singles are not guaranteed a partner. Wear comfortable clothing and hard-soled shoes. Fees are per person.
Is your social calendar filling up? Be prepared to dance to any type of music, such as Live Rock Band, Top 40, Latin, or Big Band. This class will introduce you to the waltz, cha cha and swing dances. You will learn to move to the groove. Couples are recommended, but not necessary. Couples will not rotate partners. Singles are not guaranteed a partner. Wear comfortable clothing and hard-soled shoes. Fees are per person.
Combo Dance Class – Ballet and Lyrical or Tap and Jazz
Take advantage of two evening adult combination dance classes: Ballet & Lyrical and Tap & Jazz. Classes are designed for beginners and those who wish to return to dance. Classes are fun and comfortable; they will add variety to your daily exercise routine. Adult dance classes do not perform in the recital. Dress comfortably with proper dance shoes – ballet, tap or jazz.
See the following dress codes listed by class. Jeans are not acceptable for any dance class.
- Parent/Child Dance: clean gym shoes or pink ballet shoes (parent & child) and comfortable clothing that allows for free movement
- Tutu 2s & Preschool Creative Movement and Dance: pink ballet shoes and comfortable clothing that allows for free movement or leotard and tights (optional)
- Itty-Bitty Pre-Dance, Pre-Ballet/Tap and Kinder-Ballet/Tap: pink ballet and black tap shoes, leotard and tights
- Ballet Program: pink ballet shoes, black leotard and pink tights, ballet skirts optional, hair secured off the face and neck, with longer hair in a bun
- Lyrical: lyrical shoes, leotard and tights
- Tap/Jazz Levels I-IV: black soft leather tap (no high heels and no patent leather) and black jazz shoes, leotard and tights, jazz pants (optional)
- Combo I (Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop): pink ballet and black tap shoes. Gym shoes can be worn for Hip Hop or black hip hop shoes or jazz sneakers (optional), leotard and tights
- Hip Hop: loose clothing and black hip hop shoes or jazz sneakers
- Musical Theatre & Choreography: black jazz shoes, loose clothing
- Social Dance: casual wear and hard-soled shoes
- Boys: black shoes (ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop), white T-shirt and black pants