As it celebrates its second anniversary, Evanston’s Foster Dance Studio is pleased to announce it has exceeded its initial growth expectations in the highly competitive North Shore dance marketplace.
“We are very pleased at the response to Foster Dance and the strong demand for our classes and Company program,” said Wilmette resident and executive director, Sally Turner.
According to Turner, enrollment has surged in the past year and the studio has expanded its course offerings to include more classes for children, teens and adults and has added a fifth level to the popular Foster Dance Company program, its performing ensemble.
“From the get-go, we made the strategic decision to offer a flexible curriculum to meet the needs of a full-range of students,” said Turner. “We offer two dance ‘tracks’ – one for the serious dancer who typically takes between 4 and 10 classes per week, and a second, more flexible track for those students who love to dance, but also participate in other activities.”
Turner credits a large part of the studio’s success to artistic director Ronn Stewart’s vision for the studio and his previous experience running a successful studio and dance company. A professional dancer who performed with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and Aspen /Santa Fe Ballet, Stewart also ran Moving People Dance Theater in Santa Fe for nearly a decade before moving to Evanston with fiancé and Associate Artistic Director, Sarah Goldstone.
“Creating a dancer is more than just enabling technical excellence,” said Stewart. “At Foster Dance, we consider the whole person. Our goal is to instill a real passion for dance, create healthy and well-trained dancers, and encourage all students to achieve their personal dance goals.”
Foster Dance is also building a reputation as a studio that attracts top teaching talent and exposes students to a variety of dance techniques.
“Our teaching staff includes current and former professional dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, Giordano, Hubbard Street, Dance Crash and others who have a gift for working with young students,” said Stewart. “This year, we brought in several outstanding guest artists for our 2013 Summer Intensive Program, including principal dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, a member of the West Side Story touring company, a dancer from Azure Barton and Artists, and a former member of Hubbard Street.”
In addition to its core dance curriculum, Foster Dance offers unique classes, including Stewart’s improvisational dance technique called MoPeD (More People Dancing) -- an aerobic and improvisational approach to body awareness that allows students to experience the benefits of thoughtful and exploratory movement without having to learn or memorize set choreography-- as well as its GYROTONIC program, which combines elements of yoga, pilates and dance to provide a holistic approach to body awareness for dancers, athletes and people of all ages and abilities.
According to both Stewart and Turner, the Foster Dance approach has struck a chord in both students and their families.
“As we’d hoped when we opened our doors, we’ve found a strong demand for what we offer,” said Stewart. “Our students and their parents tell us how much they appreciate the quality and passion of our teaching staff, our flexible scheduling options and the sense of community that comes with being part of the Foster Dance family.”
The fall session for Foster Dance began on September 3. Openings for select classes are still available.
About Foster Dance
Foster Dance Studios trains healthy and passionate dancers of all ages across the North Shore through an exceptional dance curriculum taught by top dance professionals. Designed to encourage all students to achieve their personal goals, Foster Dance provides flexible, open schedules and a personalized curriculum. Classes include ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, theater dance, tap, hip-hop and the studio’s signature class, MoPeD. Just steps from the Foster train stop in Evanston, the 3,000 sq. ft. studios are easily accessible to the North Shore and Chicago.
Foster Dance Studios was founded in 2011 by a team of four individuals passionate about bringing their unique vision for dance instruction and performance to the North Shore. The leadership team includes professional dancer and artistic director, Ronn Stewart and associate artistic director, professional dancer and certified GYROTONIC instructor Sarah Goldstone, both of Evanston, executive director and former attorney, Sally Turner of Wilmette, and business manager and former banker, Kathryn Ebert also of Evanston.
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