Wilmette, IL

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Updated on:
Wed, 2015-05-27 01:51


Center for the Arts: Dance

Annual Spring Recital

Saturday, June 6 at 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 7 at 2 p.m.

Recital tickets will be available for purchase online beginning Friday, May 8, at 9 a.m. Tickets will be available for purchase in person beginning Monday, May 11, after 9 a.m. at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette. Tickets are $10 per person. All seating is reserved.

For more information contact Julie Nichols

Dance Department Open House

Sunday, May 17
10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Gotta dance? The Dance Department is hosting a variety of free classes. Bring a lunch and stay for the Dance Team Showcase. Registration is required because space for free dance classes is limited. Please contact Julie Nichols . Free classes listed below:

10:30-11 a.m.

  • Creative Dance, age 2-3
  • Ballet for age 3-4

11-11:30 a.m.

  •  Ballet, age 4-7
  •  Ballet, age 8-12


  • Jazz, age 4-7
  • Jazz, age 8-12

Noon-12:30 p.m.

  • Acro Demonstration

1-2 p.m.

  • Dance Team Showcase

Dance Team Auditions

Saturday, June 13

  • 1-2 p.m. for age 6-9
  • 2-3 p.m. for age 10 & up

Dancers age 6 and older, with a minimum of one year dance experience, are invited to audition for the Wilmette Park District’s Dance Team. To arrange an audition—or if you can’t make this audition date/time—email Karly Strong-Walchli for an application or pick one up at the Community Recreation Center.

Nutcracker 2015 Auditions

Sunday, August 30
Calling dancers and actors to audition for the Wilmette Park District production of “The Nutcracker”! Dancers age 4-9 will be welcome to register for our Nutcracker classes in the fall session without an audition. Dancers age 10 & up wishing to audition, please email Karly Strong-Walchli to schedule a time slot. Actors age 7 & up wishing to audition, please email Wendy Avon to schedule a time slot. Auditions take place at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette.

Dance Artistic Director
Karly Strong-Walchli
Tel: 847-920-3930
All Dance Force and production-related questions should be directed to Karly Strong-Walchli.

Questions regarding classes should be directed to Julie Nichols 

Dance Department Staff

Karly Strong-Walchli, Dance Artistic Director, graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in dance and studied with well known masters including Jan Erkert, Margi Cole and Lar Lubovitch. Karly’s teaching background includes Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap and Contemporary and she has been with area studios such as Picture Us Different, ARCC Ballet and St. Alponsus Elementary Center for the Arts.

Cathy Jacobson started choreographing and teaching by age 13. She directed Diana School of Dance, a studio with more than 400 students, by age 16. She has worked in studios, theaters and preschool programs. She specializes in students who begin to dance later in life.

Kirsten Markham received training at Gus Giordano and also has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a choreographer and has performed in many local theaters.

Maria Politis has been dancing her whole life. She has studied at Columbia College Chicago, Joel Hall Dance Center and Le Ballet Petit School of Dance.

Margaret Sinn received classical ballet training in the RAD method from Helen Marques.  She has performed with the Hong Kong Ballet Group. She received her postgraduate diploma in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey.

Required Dance Attire

Students MUST wear the following appropriate dance wear so instructors may properly observe and teach muscular movement:

  • Preschool and Kinder Ballet: Any color leotard, skirts are acceptable, pink tights, pink leather ballet shoes. Hair must be up and off the neck.
  • Ballet I-Advanced Ballet: Black leotard, pink tights, pink leather ballet shoes and hair in bun. No skirts or tutus will be allowed.
  • Tap: Solid colored dancewear and tights and/or shorts or jazz pants; black tap shoes. Patent leather tap shoes are acceptable for Pre-Tap through Beginner Levels I-III. Oxford/Jazz tap shoes with hard steel toe and full sole (no split sole) are required for intermediate levels and above. No jeans, hair in bun or high ponytail.
  • Girls’ Jazz and Hip Hop: Solid colored leotard and tights or stretch jazz pants, black jazz shoes or dance sneakers. Hair must be in bun or high ponytail. No jeans.
  • Boy’s - All Dance Classes: Comfortable pants or shorts, white shirt and dance shoes (black leather ballet shoes for Ballet; black jazz or black leather ballet shoes for Jazz; black tap shoes for Tap). No jeans or sweat pants.

A Message to Parents: Age, Attire and Attendance Requirements

For all programs, age requirements will be as of the date of the first class. Please do not request to have your child put in a class he/she does not belong in. Girls must wear their hair off neck for ALL CLASSES. If dancers are not properly dressed for class or come 15 minutes late, they will be asked to observe class and not participate. Warm-up exercises are a very important part of class. All requirements are set to benefit the children and make instruction more consistent for the program leaders. In some instances, the requirements have been set for the child's safety.

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