If you were wondering what the commotion was one block south of Ogden Avenue on Main Street Saturday and Wednesday, the Contempo Dance Academy opened their doors to the public.
Dance camps actually began last month. After Wednesday’s ribbon cutting event, Contempo Dance Academy artistic director Kim Kovacevich held the open house for the community to get acquainted with her programs.
With a ‘standing room only’ crowd in attendance, Kovacevich, with the help of teachers Kim Bigler and Mallory Peterson, presented a workshop for dancers of all ages. Dancers came as far west as Dekalb and as far east as Matteson.
“I’ve wanted a dance studio for a very long time,” Kovacevich said. “When the property came open, I seized the opportunity. We saw a lot of people Wednesday (at the ribbon opening) to wish us congratulations, and (Saturday) we had a really good turnout for the workshops.”
Saturday’s affair started off with techniques from the ballet, Nutcracker led by Bigler. After a swing dance demo, Bigler demonstrated her Princess Aurora performance from Sleeping Beauty. Mallory Peterson & Andy Strong finished the open house with a mini workshop in swing dance where she taught pointers on the shim sham.
Kovacevich has taught dance for 15 years. As a figure skater in her youth, Kovacevich was advised to work on her ballet. Moved by the essence of ballet, Kovacevich changed her sights from figure skating to a career in dance.
Kovacevich received training at Chicago City Ballet which enabled her to star as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker," as well as roles in "Stars and Stripes," and "Paquita." Along with Kovacevich’s extensive ballet experience, she obtains strong studies in urban jazz, hip-hop, tap, flamenco and ballroom dance.
“We teach all ages,” Kovacevich said. “There is nothing for teenagers who start at that age. We teach people who are rediscovering, being introduced and encouraging the little ones as well. The oldest student we’ll have is 66. I hope the adults will come as well.”
Some attendees gathered to sign up for registration, however there are still available spots for the fall term. Kovacevich offers ballet, jazz/hip hop, pre-pointe, creative dance, family dance and yoga for all levels. Kovacevich also offers studio rentals and birthday parties.
“This is awesome that it is in downtown Lisle,” said 15-year old Lisle High School student Caitlin Murray. "I’m taking private dance lessons with (Kovacevich). It helps me prep for dance in high school (for the Lisle Lionettes.)”
The fall 2011 term begins August 22- November 21.
“I can’t explain how excited I am,” said Pat Murray, mother of Caitlin. “We have a qualified dancer that can teach both of my kids.”
Along with Kovacevich’s dance experience, she is working on her Master’s in education to perfect the teaching craft. Kovacevich plans on presenting a recital twice as a year; however the dates and locations are unknown as of now.
“Joining our classes could help athletes, social dancing and musical theater students as well,” Kovacevich said. “I’ve been trying to apply principles from my master’s. I hope to work with the Lisle dance coach to help with the kid’s technique.”
“I’ll be glad to set up appointments for people to come in for class registration or private lessons. The dance community has been very supportive."