The Academy of Movement and Music began unofficially in Stephanie Clemens’ living room in 1971. By 1973, classes were held in a one-room storefront on South Boulevard in Oak Park. In 1977, the faculty had expanded with the growing student body (200) and the Academy incorporated and moved into three large studios and offices on Marion Street. By 1982, further growth necessitated the purchase of the Bishop Quarter Building at 605 Lake Street. Many wonderful parent volunteers helped to renovate the old school building during a busy month, and classes began there in January 1983. Later that year MOMENTA, the Academy’s resident performing arts company, was incorporated and began to create its own theatre space in what had been the old gymnasium. Today the Academy houses an active preschool, Academy A.R.T.S., a large dance program, a music department, MOMENTA, The Doris Humphrey Society and The Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre. There are currently more than 500 students taking courses here.
DANCE is a major part of the Academy of Movement and Music. From the Introduction to Ballet classes up through our Pre-Professional division, our classes offer age-appropriate and developmentally focused work that helps to create skilled young dancers.
Our classes include:
Introduction to Ballet for ages 3 -5
Graded Levels of Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Dance
Our Ballet classes build strong technique and introduce students to the major styles of classical ballet found throughout the world – including the Cecchetti and Vaganova techniques and nomenclature. Students learn classical variations and repertory, beginning with Dance-Me-A-Story classes for our smallest students, and finishing with a flourish for our graduating seniors who perform some of the world’s greatest repertory. We also offer classes in Contemporary Ballet. Students in the upper levels have the option of pointe classes, including, when possible, variations and pas de deux.
Our Jazz and Tap classes are age appropriate, beginning with the youngest children dancing to tunes from popular children’s movies and musicals, through the most advanced dancers learning historical, classic and contemporary jazz styles.
Our Modern Dance classes cover the codified techniques of Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey/Charles Weidman and also include work in improvisation and contemporary dance.
Throughout the Academy’s dance curriculum, we pay great attention to correct biomechanical habits and body placement, and we endeavor to help each student develop a strong and healthy body.
Parking is available on Lake Street, East Avenue or in the metered slots on North Boulevard.