Chicago Lights Dance Academy supports learning and creative self-expression through dance instruction for students who attend under-resourced, and often under-performing, schools in Chicago.

With support from the Polk Bros. Foundation and Greer Foundation, professional artists teach dance classes to more than 1,000 students at Manierre Elementary School, Belmont-Cragin Elementary School, Ruben Salazar Bilingual School, William H. Brown Elementary School, R. Nathaniel Dett Elementary School, and Augustus Tolton Catholic School.

Dance ensembles comprised of advanced students are hosted at these schools. Many of the students in the ensembles participate in our highly successful dance intensive held at Fourth Presbyterian Church over the summer.

These in-school classes uncover talents, build self-esteem and confidence, and increase students’ desire to apply themselves in school. Courses are offered during the school day and are integral to students’ learning process. The curriculum is closely linked to Social Emotional Learning, Illinois State Standards, and Common Core Standards.



Photos and video of the 2017 Summer Dance Intensive
Showcases are on Facebook!

The Chicago Lights Dance Academy Summer Dance Intensive is a pre-professional program, offering outstanding training in a variety of dance styles. With world-class instructors and guest artists, the Summer Dance Intensive challenges students in an inspirational, nurturing, and energized environment.

Level I and Level II classes and choreography workshops are taught in a company setting and are designed to enhance technique, versatility, and artistry, while building strength and improving self-esteem.

For details about the 2017 Summer Dance Intensive, contact Cescily Washington at


10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 E. Chestnut St.

Saturday classes are on break for the summer and will resume in September.

Students are invited to further enhance their dance technique at the Dance Academy’s Saturday classes!

Please check back later this summer for registration information for the 2017-2018 school year.

For more information, contact Cescily at 312.981.3561 or



2016 Summer Dance Intensive Showcase

2015 Summer Dance Intensive Showcase

For more information about the Dance Academy, contact Cescily Washington at 312.981.3561 or