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New, 'state of the art' dance center opens Sept. 2 in Westmont

Published: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 2:58 p.m. CDT
Caption
(By Alex Soulier - asoulier@shawmedia.com)
A sign outside 102 Chestnut Ave. welcomes patrons to the soon-to-be Pure Vibe Dance Center. The building remains under construction, but will be open to the public Sept. 2.

WESTMONT – Liz Haefele believes her new dance center will provide residents with a winning combination of state-of-the-art facilities and elite instruction.

The longtime Downers Grove resident is the sole proprietor of Pure Vibe Dance Center, an 8,000-square-foot dance space that features three large studios, men’s and women’s locker rooms, an open reception area, a study room and a waiting room.

Currently under renovation, Pure Vibe Dance Center, 102 Chestnut Ave., will open to the public Sept. 2.

Although Westmont is already home to several dance academies and studios, Haefele, a publisher by trade, believes her location, facilities and instruction will set her space apart from the competition.

“It is a great central location for various towns – right off of Ogden Avenue and next to Ty Warner Park,” she said. “Our center is state of the art, designed to enhance movement while keeping our dancers safe.”

Pure Vibe Dance Center’s size is structured to provide a well-rounded program of dance techniques, genres, choreography and performance, according to Haefele. Each studio features full length mirrors and is designed to prevent injury with a professionally sprung floor, consisting of floating wood surface covered with TimeStep, a vinyl composite, she said.

Pure Vibe will offer classes for beginners to highly skilled technical dancers wanting to continue their dance training at a more professional level.

“I’m investing in something that is very high end to provide state-of-the-art experience,” Haefele said, explaining her son and daughter have been involved in dance and gymnastics, and she wanted to give back to the community that has given them so much.

“Additionally, this is an investment in our artistic director, Julie Haller,” Haefele said. “She is a phenomenal teacher who has an uncanny ability to creates a warm and inviting environment that encourages people to dance.”

Haller, 29, of Cortland is a Point Park University graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in dance performance and a double concentration in ballet and jazz. She is currently adjunct dance faculty member at Palatine’s Harper College, where she teaches modern and hip-hop classes.

Haller previously taught dance in Chicago Public Schools and had performed in several national competitions and musicals. Most recently, she was the dance director for The Academy of Music and Art in Westmont.

“It’s an exciting proposition to grow as an instructor and a director alongside this wonderful community,” Haller said. “This will be a great opportunity to grow and mold something that is more my own.”

Leading up to the Sept. 2 opening, Haller has been interviewing and hiring instructors. Ultimately, she expects to have between five and six full-time instructors at Pure Vibe Dance Center.

“I’m looking for instructors who are as excited as I am about fostering a well-rounded environment,” Haller said. “We are really trying to bring the competitive dance found in Chicago to Westmont. But we also want people to branch out and try a variety of classes. We encourage dancers to have fun but also feel challenged.”

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