Dance is the art of movement of the body, usually using rhythm and music, through planned or improvised steps and gestures. Dance is also a form of nonverbal communication.

Create your own

Any movement can be a dance if you pay attention to it. Improvise by yourself and look for inspiration from other dancers. Mix styles and parts to make it your own.

Start with

Listen to music that makes you want to move, and start moving! Notice how your movements interact with different parts of the songs. Try putting together some of the pieces below. For example, try moving one part of your body in a large shape, slowly. Challenge yourself to move in every way you can think of.

Space - one place or moving around
Time - slow or fast
Energy - tight or loose
Shape - large or small
Body - one part or many parts

Try a warm up exercise to get your mind connected to your body and rhythms.

Then try

Watch videos of other dancers and try to repeat their movements. Look for inspiration in many kinds of dance such as hip hop, modern, West African, ballet, break dancing, and jazz. Start collecting and practicing your favorite movements that you've seen or created.

Get a few friends together and put on a fun song with a steady tempo and a good beat. Take turns entering the circle and showing your best moves. Play off of each other's energy and movements to try new things. Make it harder by focusing on just one part of your body to move during each turn.

Keep going

Planning a dance is called choreographing. Try choreographing a short solo dance by putting together some of your favorite movements. Choose a variety of different movements, and pay attention to how you want the parts to fit together. Pick a song that matches the energy you want for your dance. Try practicing in front of a mirror to see how you'd look to an audience.

Make connections across different art forms. How could your dance be inspired by spoken word poetry, visual arts, or different kinds of music?


Workshops & Events


Drop In Hip Hop Arts Programs

Organized by Kuumba Lynx
Time: Summer: Monday-Friday 9am-3pm
Fall & Spring: Monday-Friday 4-8pm
Location: 4501 N. Clarendon
Contact us: call 773-569-2103 to confirm
Cost: FREE

Young Women on the Move

Organized by Global Girls, Inc.
Time: Saturdays 10am-3pm
Location: 8151 S. South Chicago Ave.
Contact us: call 773-902-2359 to confirm
Cost: FREE


Organized by BBF / Better Boys Foundation
Time: Thursdays 5-7:30pm
Location: 1512 S Pulaski Rd
Contact us: call 312-526-3187 or 773-542-7300 to confirm
Cost: FREE

World Music Wednesday

Showcase of music and dance
Organized by Old Town School of Folk Music
Reserve free tickets online
Time: Wednesdays 8:30-9:30pm
Location: 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue
Contact us: check website or call 773-728-6000 to confirm
Cost: FREE tickets (donations accepted)



Organized by Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre
Check Facebook for the upcoming dates
Time: 6pm-9pm
Cost: FREE


Chicago Dancing Festival

Check their website for this year's schedule
Time: August
Location: Various
Cost: some events FREE