Classical, Country, Dance, Disco, Folk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Latin, World Music
You know you've got a great dance instructor when she crashes your wedding in a cat costume ... that did not actually happen, but it was a long-running joke at our lessons with instructor Rachael Fromkin. And you really do know you've got a great dance instructor when you invite her to your wedding! (That did actually happen.) We had so much fun with Rachael her at our lessons that we invited her and her beau, Colin, to our wedding, and they were lovely guests. We genuinely loved dancing with Rachael. She is, of course, an excellent dancer herself, but also a great teacher - thorough and extremely patient with our clod-hopping tendencies. And she's just plain fun to hang out with - gracious, warm, and hilarious (see "cat costume" reference above). We were new to ballroom dancing and my husband had some qualms about "this whole dance thing" (he already had one signature dance move which he felt should have been entertainment enough for our guests), but Rachael won him over in a single lesson. We learned a ton and had a blast doing it. Rachael also has amazing choreography skills - she helped us pick a first-dance song and then customized choreography for us - we wound up doing a combination of Fox Trot and Swing, with a lot of fun spins and even a few lifts. She built the dance to suit the song, our personalities, and our skill level - and she refined and tweaked it for us as we progressed. For the record, our skill level is somewhere near zero, but she made us feel like 10's! At the wedding, our photographer made a point of telling me that she thought it was one of the best wedding dances she had seen. While that was extremely gratifying for us to hear, I think it really speaks to Rachael's creative choreography skills, which gave us a fun and elegant first dance and tailored to us in a way that didn't make fools out of us in the process. We highly recommend BDC for your wedding dance lessons! They make the process of learning fun - it's low-key and low-pressure while still being very effective. They offer a convenient variety of packages and pricing options. They have multiple locations - we worked with Rachael at the Ravenswood location. It's a lovely studio - a big open space with hardwood floors and funky art. There were never more than two other couples present during our lesson (each working with a different instructor), so we never felt crowded. The staff are all very welcoming and friendly - they spend time chatting with students and seem genuinely interested in getting to know a little something about you beyond the steps you want to learn. They are also very liberal with the complimentary wine, beer, water, and - most importantly - the jelly beans. Another perk is that they host occasional parties for their students that include free group lessons and the chance to try out your new-found moves in front of other people before the wedding (we weren't able to take advantage of this ourselves, but I think it's a brilliant idea - especially if you're at all nervous about dancing in front of others). You know you've got a great dance instructor when you immediately sign up for more lessons right after your wedding. We're now dancing with Rachael again - learning the Salsa and Samba for some upcoming trips we'll be taking. We're having just as much fun as before! Although we haven't seen that cat costume yet ...
There is a reason Ballroom Dance Chicago has such high reviews from so many couples. As many previous reviews mentioned, the space is very inviting and the instructors are awesome. We were fortunate enough to work with Cathy to learn steps for our 1st dance at our wedding. We hardly knew anything about dancing but Cathy made each session so much fun for us and her patience is incredible. We would leave each session with huge smiles on our faces and with new moves to practice. We looked forward to each and every lesson (about 10 total). Our 1st dance was amazing and such a crowd-pleaser, thanks to Cathy. It was such a great experience at Ballroom Dance Chicago and we are already discussing when we should take our next lesson!
My husband and I had THE. BEST. TIME. taking dance lessons at Ballroom Dance Chicago. Our main goal was to learn a first dance for our wedding, but we ended up scheduling several more sessions - we always found our time in the studio to be special and different from our normal routine of life. The staff is fantastic! We worked with Lydia, but every other instructor made a point to get to know us and make us feel special. Lydia was a total blast; our lessons felt easy and light- we laughed a ton with her! The night of our wedding, we were so nervous for the dance, but we nailed it. Both my husband and I agreed that having friends and family cheering us on around the dance floor while we danced something that we had been practicing for so long was a true highlight of the night and a moment we'll always treasure.
We had an absolutely great experience at Ballroom Dance Chicago. Lydia made us very comfortable and helped us work out our first dance. We knew we wanted a special first dance that would impress our guests and she definitely delivered. The dance was beautiful and she made it so simple to learn...even for my rhythmically challenged husband! We would definitely recommend using them for any special dance you have coming up.
"Over and Over Again" was the song we danced to for the first time as husband and wife, and thanks to Cathy at Ballroom Dance Chicago, it was one of our favorite memories from our wedding day. Cathy was amazing with the choreography; it was elegant and romantic. She made learning to dance so much fun and we looked forward to our weekly dance date night. Cathy was incredibly patient and helped break down each step so my husband with two left feet (self admitted) could learn the sequence. Cathy always made us feel special and at home - greeting us each time with a hug. Dancing started for us because of our wedding, but we could dance "over and over again" thanks to such a great experience. We plan to start back up again this fall - salsa may be next for us. Thank you Cathy and Ballroom Dance Chicago.
My favorite part of wedding planning was dance lessons. My now husband and I were lucky enough to work with Lydia on our first dance and she is amazing. Not only does she know what she is doing on the dance floor, she is a phenomenal teacher and a great person. Our time at the dance studio always involves laughter, some hard work, and a lot of fun. We got more compliments on our first dance than we could have dreamed, and are currently continuing dance lessons with Lydia every two weeks just because it is so much fun!
My husband and I knew we wanted to impress our guests with our first dance, simply by not falling on our faces which lead us to pursue dance lessons at Ballroom Dance Chicago. Slowly, we went from just wanting to learn the basics, to a full out choreographed dance! Rachael was our instructor and she was amazing! The hour lesson went by incredibly fast each week because we were having so much fun. She had the perfect balance of listening to us about what we envisioned our dance being, and pushing us to try more advanced moves to make the dance even more special. Everyone is so nice at BDC; you're greeted with a smile and a friendly hello- as well as an offer for some beer, wine and snacks! The atmosphere is light and fun which is encouraging when you've never danced before! Our guests were so impressed with the dance and for both my husband and I, it was one of the highlights of our wedding day. I would recommend BDC to anyone looking to spice up their wedding reception! Also, dance lessons were a really fun way for my husband and I to take a break from the day to day wedding craziness leading up to the big day and we were able to relax, laugh and enjoy ourselves!
We cannot say enough great things about Ballroom Dance Chicago. My wife and I were hesitant about creating a first dance for our wedding, but are so glad that we stopped in at BDC. Matthew and the team won us over from day one and our dance nights were by far the most enjoyable activity leading into the wedding. We worked with Matthew who partnered with us to create a dance unique to us that we both loved and which also stylistically matched our song choice. We went 2x per week for about 2-3 months and we're ready and prepared for wedding day. The atmosphere is really friendly, welcoming to all dance abilities (I have two left feet), and they even offer snacks (pretzels/jelly beans) and/or adult beverage to put the cherry on top. They offer wedding showcases to practice dancing in front of others (was really helpful) and always are planning/doing fun social events for their clients. Matthew even went above and beyond by suggesting a local wedding boutique to my wife when she was struggling to find her shoes and jewelry – which she then went to and found everything she needed! We loved it so much we have continued classes after the wedding! Highly recommended for any couples nervous about their first dance and are looking for amazing teachers in a low stress/fun place!
Our favorite part of the pre-wedding experience was by far our dance lessons at BDC. The owner, Matthew was a constant, encouraging and mind presence and our instructor, Racahel somehow made us feel constantly at ease and laughing. My husband never thought he'd actually like to dance (and be pretty good at it too!).
Ballroom Dance Chicago was such a great experience. We worked with Lydia on the first dance for our wedding, and over the course of five sessions she made us (mostly me) feel much more comfortable about everything. I loved that we were able to learn a lot of basic steps that we could even apply outside of the song we had practiced. We've even now been back for the Friday Night socials - each time we've come it's been a lot of fun.
With only about a month to go until our wedding, our husband and I realized we were going to need some serious help with our first dance. After reading some online reviews, we called up Ballroom Dance Chicago and our dance crash course ended up being one of our favorite parts of the whole wedding process. Rachael made us feel comfortable and confident with some basic steps and an easy to learn routine. We looked forward to each lesson and felt nostalgic when the process was over. I'd recommend Ballroom Dance Chicago to any couple looking for a stress-free activity in the craze of wedding planning, whether you need an introduction to the basics or a full choreographed routine. I'm so glad we made this decision!
This place is great! Rachael was a lot of fun and full of energy. She choreographed a dance that met our style and abilities (we could still make a splash without making a fool). Plus this place gives you JellyBellies and beers when you walk in the door. If your partner also responds well to Pavlovian rewards, well this is the place for you, my friend.
BDC was professional, effective, and fun-- basically everything a dopey, inexperienced couple could want in a private dance company. Our instructor, Lydia, was phenomenal. She emailed us every week to remind us of upcoming lessons, and always included some personal details we'd discussed-- I never felt like we were just another couple running through the dance mill, but that each of the instructors really cared about getting to know us. Lydia helped us pick a song for our wedding and tailor it to our wedding's vibe and our physical ability-- at one point, a difficult lift move was hurting my leg, and she helped us rework the move into a more doable one. Despite my and my now-husband's infrequent practicing, Lydia still helped us learn and perform a dance that we were proud of and that impressed everyone at our wedding. Also, they have free beer and Jelly Bellies! Go there and be thrilled.
While I humbly say all of our wedding was awesome, Ballroom Dance Chicago really created an *extra* awesome experience for my husband and I. We signed up for a package of lessons so that we could go twice a week for a few months to figure out how to do a choreographed number to our, ahem, unique first dance song. And it rocked! First, it was great fun and a good stress reliever to have the lessons, providing incredible bonding for my husband and I, and proving that we were indeed a good pair, even while stepping on each other's toes. Second, our dance at the reception was awesome. Full stop. Maybe that second point is the main one to some, and god knows everyone at Ballroom Dance Chicago can absolutely make that happen, but for us, the process was so much more important and Lydia and Rachael (and everyone else!) really made us feel welcome, confident, and excited to dance. We are so excited to continue taking lessons with them (yes, *after* our wedding- they are that great!) and taking advantage of their super fun dance events! Highly recommend!
Ballroom Dance Chicago is amazing! From the first trial lesson through the final practice, the Ballroom Dance Chicago team kept things fun and met us at our level. My husband understands dance direction through words, and I’m much more visual. Our incredible teacher Rachael adjusted to each of our styles. Importantly, she kept us focused on enjoying the experience together, instead of obsessing over getting every detail exactly right. Our dance lessons were by far the best (and most fun) part of the planning process, and the actual dance at our wedding was a blast. Of all of the investments we made in the wedding, this is one where we actually had a new skill at the end of the process! Dancing at other people’s weddings since we started lessons has become exponentially more fun! It’s important to mention that BDC holds wedding showcases once a month where you get to practice your dance in a supportive environment, in front of other couples who are also learning their first dances. This is an incredible opportunity to work out some of the nerves. I highly recommend taking advantage of this! They also have really fun seasonal dance parties and group outings. If you want, BDC can be an incredible community to be a part of! We have decided to continue on with lessons now that the wedding is over to keep learning more sweet moves. Incredibly professional, always fun, and never intimidating, the BDC team is the absolute best!
My wife and I went with ballroom dance Chicago because of the reviews. We had 2 months left before the big day and a very complex dance that we wanted. Cathy helped us out big time! And Lydia helps us out some days as well. They prepared us completely before the big day and their schedules were very flexible. I would go with ballroom dance Chicago again and I tell all of my friends to go to them for a great first wedding dance. Thanks again guys! You all rock!!
Wow! Ballroom Dance Chicago (BDC) was one of the most enjoyable aspects of our wedding planning journey. My husband and I were married this past May (2015) here in Chicago. Being transplants we planned our entire wedding on our own. Wedding planning can be stressful and without a doubt going to our weekly dance lesson at BDC offered us such a special time to unwind, to laugh, to learn something new together, and to reconnect. Neither of us had taken a ballroom dance lesson before and we were honestly nervous about how embarrassing it may feel. Our worries were completely unwarranted. The staff at BDC creates such a warm, welcoming, and exciting environment. Our instructor, Rachael, was funny, receptive to our feedback, and SUCH a good teacher. We went from never having danced together before to having a fully choreographed dance (with a lift) in just 15 lessons!! If you have any interest in learning a dance for your wedding – with experience or without it – Ballroom Dance Chicago is the place to go!!
My wife and I have had a fantastic experience with Ballroom Dance Chicago. We began taking lessons with Rachael in the fall of 2014 for our wedding which just happened in June. I was not super excited to take dance lessons when my then-fiancé proposed the idea, however, Ballroom Dance Chicago made the environment and experience as enjoyable as possible. The entire team at BDC is incredibly friendly, funny, and outgoing. Rachael is an excellent teacher who knows how to demonstrate and teach the most novice of dancers (i.e. me) in a way that really enables learning. She is also a good judge of how to push her students to become better, whether that means executing moves that have already been learned more crisply or moving on to more advanced and difficult moves. She is able to do this while cracking jokes and making you laugh the whole time. Matthew and his team have also made the facility a warm, and welcoming environment. The studio is very nicely renovated and appointed, there is an entire wall of cards and photos from others who have come before you in learning to dance for their weddings from BDC (and they're all glowing in their praise), and the rotating draft selection on the kegerator is always new and impressive and sometimes just the pick me up you need when headed right to dance class after a long workday (there's wine too!). Most of all, BDC provided an environment that allowed my wife and I to spend a full hour on a weeknight every week just focusing on each other, which can be difficult when you're both working all week.
Our lessons dancing with Cathy were so much fun. She helped us choreograph an amazing first dance for our wedding. We looked forward to our weekly lessons, and in the end, they paid off! Our first dance went off perfectly, and we totally wowed all of our guests. I HIGHLY recommend using BDC to prepare for your first dance!
Our dance lessons with Cathy were one of the very best things about planning our wedding. I never thought my husband would enjoy dance lessons, but he looked forward to them just as much as I did! Cathy was so upbeat and friendly, and really met us where we were (which was completely unskilled). We left feeling confident about dancing in front of a group and having learned how to swing and do the fox trot! I will never forget how much FUN we had dancing at our wedding. So many people came up to us afterward and in the weeks after the wedding to compliment us on the dance and to give us the biggest compliment of all - to tell us how happy we looked dancing together. We really were just over the moon excited to dance together on our wedding night - and was one of the moments I was most dreading! A testament to how much we loved Ballroom Dance Chicago is that we still move the furniture out of the way to dance together and "practice" our dance on the occasional Sunday night :). We're definitely going to be returning to Cathy sometime soon and want her to know that we've still got the moves! I really can't say enough wonderful things about Ballroom Dance Chicago. Everyone on staff was welcoming, friendly, and put us at ease. And of course, I can't forget to mention that every dance lesson, we were offered water, wine or craft beer and limitless jelly beans! Perfect end to those the occasional stress of days spent wedding planning. Don't hesitate! One of the best wedding decisions we made!
fun, but we're still terribleReviewed on 9/24/2015 Jenn R
These guys were great. Our instructor Lydia was so fun, super nice, they have alcohol. So good times. We're still terrible. We took 3 classes. We really had a good time, they were fun date nights. But to be honest, we're both double-left-footed, and it didn't fix us. We did learn a cool spin that made our dance way more interesting though! Classes are a little pricey, as are all ballroom classes, so I'm glad we didn't go more times, but what we did do was fun.
Four My Left FeetReviewed on 9/02/2015 Melissa R
We are not good dancers and very self conscious on the dance floor. We wanted lessons to make us more comfortable and have some moves to work with. We worked with Lydia! We learned a dance with some repetitive moves, but it was not choreographed. I think we danced great at our wedding and had fun doing it!
Such a great place to learn how to danceReviewed on 2/11/2015 Sarah H
Can't say enough good things about BDC. In about six weeks, Lydia was able to help my husband and I create a first dance that was both memorable and fun despite the fact I have absolutely no sense of rhythm. She is a wonderful teacher, patient and funny, making us laugh all the time and making sure we were comfortable with each part before moving on to the next thing. We've decided to continue our lessons because we enjoy them so much and they are a guaranteed date night each week. Everyone at BDC is warm and welcoming, making it a great place to spend at least an hour a week.
Best dance studio in ChicagoReviewed on 11/11/2014 Nicole G
My husband and I did around 6 dance lessons for our wedding. I was so happy with what we learned in very little time. Our dance instructor, Cathy, is so sweet and taught us a lot. Not only did we learn a dance but would have so much fun in the process. We now want to learn salsa and swing!
Great Lessons!Reviewed on 11/10/2014
My fiance and I had a wonderful experience at BDC! We worked with Lydia and loved her! She is super sweet and we had a blast working with her. We were always laughing and having a great time throughout our lesson. Taking breaks in between turns to sip on complimentary wine :) BDC has incredible customer service and they personalize your entire experience. They send reminder emails about each dance lesson that are personal not just a computer generated email. The week of our wedding we got two emails wishing us good luck on our dance. After our wedding, we also received a few congratulatory email as well as a hand written note from Lydia. BDC also offers free showcases for you to go and practice with your partner pre-wedding or just for fun. The space is also a beautiful loft space that was very cozy. We couldn't have asked for a better dancing experience. We plan to keep coming back now that our wedding is over to see Lydia because we had so much fun!
Meet The Owner
When he was a kid, Matthew's mother told him that dance has a power to communicate, beyond that of spoken and written languages, and he believed her. With pots boiling on the stove and music streaming from the under-the-counter radio, she’d sweep him onto the kitchen floor and teach him about the playfulness of partner dancing and the joy of moving with another person. Since those formative years, Matthew never stopped dancing and has formally studied ballroom, Latin and modern dance. Matthew is the founder of BDC and a Master Dance Instructor.