GLEN ELLYN – From breakdancing to the foxtrot, Luis Arturo Dance Academy will have something for everyone at its new location in downtown Glen Ellyn.
The academy opened Oct. 16 at 462 N. Park Blvd., Suite 122, in the Glen Ellyn Crossing shopping center, next door to Bistro Monet.
Owner Luis Santillan and general manager Veronika Roth previously operated a home studio in Lombard, but decided to make the move to Glen Ellyn to expand to include offerings for children.
"Really, I think the excitement on this new dance studio is that it's so focused on the professional dancer and on adults, as well as children," said Carol White, executive director of the Alliance of Downtown Glen Ellyn.
In the past, the duo largely focused on adult students looking to reach professional levels and participate in dance competitions through its "From Prime to Shine" program.
Now, the Luis Arturo Dance Academy will offer an "Ultimate Dancer" program for children that is designed to give them a strong foundation to pursue a potential performing arts education or career.
"We're really trying to get a very diverse education and dancing for the kids as possible so that if they pursue something more professional afterwards, they have a really, really good ground and foundation to go for instead of starting from scratch," Santillan said.
Students in the program will learn a variety of types of dance, including smooth ballroom, Latin ballroom, Latin club, American club and street dance.
Children also will have the opportunity to opt out of the program and instead choose a specific style of dance on which to focus.
The academy will prioritize professionalism and fun, offering competition opportunities for both children and adults, Santillan said.
Additionally, the studio has expanded a more casual, social dancing program for adults called "Everyone Should Dance" that the academy previously offered at the Lisle Park District.
The dance studio is looking to offer parent-infant and senior classes in January.
Also expected to begin in the new year are fitness programs, such as zumba.
Roth and Santillan had plenty of work cut out for them when they first moved into their new space, which had previously been a seafood market. But now, with wooden floors and floor-length mirrors, it's hard to imagine the academy space was ever anything but a dance studio.
Both Roth and Santillan said they hope to build a strong relationship with the village of Glen Ellyn to offer community events outside of the studio in the future.
"That's one of the reasons why we liked Glen Ellyn so much," Roth said. "Because there is just so many opportunities for people who live in this community to come out and do something socially,"