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Registration opens for the 2023-2024 year at the Joffrey Academy of Dance

Photo source: The Joffrey Ballet

Registration opens for the 2023-2024 year at the Joffrey Academy of Dance

The Joffrey Academy of Dance, the Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, opened class registration for the 2023-24 year on Wednesday, August 16. Classes at the Joffrey Academy are available for adults and children alike, offering world-class training for students of all ages, levels, and abilities, reflecting Joffrey’s mission to create a Joffrey for All. The Academy’s Pre-Professional, Children’s, Dance Lab, Adult Open, and Adaptive Dance classes start Tuesday, September 5, at the Joffrey Tower (10 E. Randolph St.) and South Loop studios (1920 S. Wabash Ave); registration started August 16 at

This season marks the first year under the new leadership of Suzanne Lopez, a longtime former Joffrey Company artist and Joffrey Ballet rehearsal director who was appointed to the position of Abbott Academy Director earlier this year.

“As I look ahead to my first full season as Academy Director, I am thrilled to welcome students to experience everything the Academy has to offer,” said Lopez. “Our specialized curriculum, set in Robert Joffrey’s founding principles, lays a foundation for all aspiring dancers to experience a comprehensive dance education while concurrently acting as a bridge between student training and that of a professional career. From our robust Pre-Professional and Trainee Programs to our formative Children’s, Dance Lab, Adult Open, and Adaptive Dance Programs, the Joffrey Academy not only shapes the future generation of artists but embodies a ‘Joffrey for All.’”

The Joffrey Academy aims to serve as a global destination for students of all backgrounds and skill levels:

  • The Children’s Division (ages 2-10+) builds a strong dance foundation by focusing on correct posture, placement, discipline, coordination, strength, flexibility, and musicality, nurturing a love of dance for the Academy’s youngest participants. The Children’s Division offers classes including Toddler & Me, Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, Character, Conditioning, Pre-Pointe, Ballet, Jazz, and Boys’ Dance.
  • The Pre-Professional Division is designed to meet the highest artistic standards. Led by Karin Ellis-Wentz, Head of the Conservatory and Pre-Professional Program, the artistic staff trains dancers to develop a strong foundation in classical ballet. Pre-Professional classes include Ballet, Pointe, Men’s Technique, Jazz, Modern, Character, Conditioning, Repertoire, and Contemporary. Students must take a trial class for placement into the correct level.
  • Beginning this Fall, the Joffrey Academy of Dance transitions its Youth Division into what will now be called the Dance Lab Program. The Joffrey Academy’s Dance Lab Program emphasizes high-quality training and a variety of disciplines for students of all levels. Dancers are encouraged to explore techniques such as modern and jazz in addition to ballet, and experiment with different approaches to placement, conditioning, musicality, dynamics, and artistry that will result in greater clarity and joy in movement. Dance Lab classes this Fall include Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Men’s Technique, and a new Repertory Ensemble for advanced students. Students must take a trial class for placement into the correct level.
  • The Joffrey Academy of Dance’s Adaptive Dance programs offer the opportunity for students with diverse movement abilities to learn and enjoy the elements of dance. Joffrey Abilities in Motion (JAM) invites students with autism to use movement to improve upon their mind and body awareness, verbal and nonverbal communications, socialization, and self-confidence. Open Adaptive classes are for children with diverse movement abilities and use the foundation of ballet to enhance posture control, movement coordination, and executive function while engaging students in creative and expressive movement. The Joffrey Academy of Dance also offers group, private, and semi-private training for students, including but not limited to those with Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, or Down Syndrome.
  • The Adult Open Division is designed for adult dancers of all abilities, whether a student has years of dance experience or wants to learn dance for the first time. All classes are fun, educational, and challenging for working professionals and others interested in dance. Adult Open Division classes include basic, beginner, intermediate, and advanced/professional Ballet; BeMoved®, a class for people of all movement abilities that begins with an easy-to-follow warm-up and infuses breath and movement in artistically choreographed sequences, Jazz, Modern, and many new classes in a variety of dance styles.

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