Virtual Dance Lab

University of Chicago Dance in Theater and Performance Studies partner with Lucky Plush Productions a company-in-residence to provide daily online dance and movement classes to University students, faculty, staff and beyond. There are classes for all levels of experience! Check out the schedule here, sign up and keep moving while you shelter in place. Classes are still being added so be sure to check in frequently for an new additions. 

University Students, Faculty and Staff: FREE
Non-University of Chicago guest: Suggested contribution of $5-$15

*All funds collected will go to paying our Virtual Lab teachers and administration staff.

Weekly Virtual Class List

30-min Fitness Dance Jam with LUCKY PLUSH ENSEMBLE
(Mon) 10:00-10:30am CDT, (Fri) 5:00-5:30pm CDT
A 30 min movement practice centered around the art of in-the-moment decision making. Participants are guided to follow physical impulses with intention and care, building into nonstop movement. Open to all ages and abilities.
Register for class here.

Mondays, 11:00-12:00pm CDT
Explore modern dance basics through floor and standing exercises followed by simple dance combinations that can be adapted for any room in your house! Beginning levels recommended.
Register for class here.

Open Level Adult Jazz with Ethan Kirschbaum
Mondays 6:00-7:00pm CDT
I spell the word “dance”, f-u-n, and it is my duty to reteach my students how to spell! We begin with a classic jazz warm-up, include a sprinkle of technique, and end with a combo that can range from heart-wrenching lyrical, or show stopping musical theater, to powerful sissy-ography!
Register for class here.

Tues | Wed | Thurs, 11:00-12:00pm CDT
Raheim’s class is an opportunity to learn some yoga basics, pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation, focusing on an active holistic practice. This class is suited for all levels.
Register for class here.

Intermediate Yoga with A. RAHEIM WHITE
Tuesdays, 5:00-6:00pm CDT
This intermediate+ yoga class guides practitioners into a deeper level of practice through mudras, pranayamas (breathing techniques), and more challenging balances. Poses will be held for longer periods of time to strengthen the body, focus the mind, and energize the spirit.
Register for class here

Gentle BeMoved with HEIDI MOKRYCKI
Wednesdays 10:00-11:00am CDT
Gentle BeMoved is a dance program tailored to participants with limited physical mobility due to age, health, or injury. Every Gentle BeMoved class starts with a seated warm up, which progresses to upright dancing, but this method can be modified for groups that may need to remain seated.
Register for class here.

Contemporary with KARA BRODY
Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00pm CDT
Kara's class investigates a variety of movement sequences that explores efficiency in momentum and off-centeredness. We'll research ways of how to achieve and maintain a sense of ease to physically demanding material. Int/Adv level recommended.
Register for class here.

Thursdays 1-2pm CDT
Cuban Modern Dance, a mix of forms of traditional American modern dance with Afro-cuban dances and Flamenco dance from Spain developed by Ramiro Guerra, the Father of Modern Dance in Cuba, represents the cultural mosaic of Cuban culture. The technique focuses on the work of the torso with contractions and undulations while keeping fluidity in the arms.
Register for class here.

Thursdays, 7:00-8:00pm CDT
Learn the basic movement vocabulary of House Dance with a focus on how the physical style and music have evolved over time. Open to students with basic experience in Hip-hop and/or contemporary dance styles.
Register for class here.

Contemporary with Erin Kilmurray
Fridays 11:00-12:15pm CDT
GET YOUR ASS TO CLASS! This hour is designed for us to break a sweat, test our space + our aliveness, and practice with movement styles that straddle contemporary/modern forms with jazz + pop aesthetics. Class will be interactive - there is space for questions, demonstration requests + brief post-dance chats. To start, I will lead us in an abbreviated warm-up, building up to phrase work that moves in and out of the floor ---  highlighting effort, athleticism, and musicality always with a strong soundtrack.
Register for class here.

Fridays, 7:00-8:00pm CDT
Salsa is the evolution of Afro-Cuban dances and music and it is still continuously evolving. It has been danced socially for decades and it is still very much alive in Cuba. In the class, we will touch on different social dances that came before salsa.
Register for class here.

Foolery with ADRIAN DANZIG
Saturdays,11:00-12:00pm CDT
The adventure is not on the other side of the world, it’s right at your fingertips (maybe closer?!). In this class, we’ll invent ways to move and discover reasons to move. We won't be too serious about too much but we’ll pay attention, special attention, to Joy. Open to all levels!
Register for class here.

Saturdays, 12:00-1:00pm CDT
For this hour we will do a ballet barre and small bit of center work focusing on weight shifting, alignment, spiraling, elongating, expression and gratitude. This class will be catered to intermediate dancers but all are welcome!
Register for class here.

(Tues) 5:00-6:00pm CDT, (Sun) 11:00-12:00pm CDT
BeMoved is a dance experience that inspires people of all movement levels to fully express themselves through the beauty of dance. BeMoved is designed to inspire participants to embrace dance as a lifelong means to health, joy, and fulfillment.
Register for class here.




Contemporary with RUDY ABREU
May 21, 8:00-9:00pm CDT
Rudy Abreu is originally from Miami, FL, where he received his early dance training under the direction of Manny and Lory Castro. Rudy went on to perform on various reality TV shows including Paula Abdul’s “Live to Dance”, “America’s Got Talent”, and at the age of 18, after placing in the top 8 of the hit tv show, “So You Think You Can Dance”, performed on a 77 city tour around the US and Canada with the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour.
Register for class here.

Movement Exploration with MAYA KELL-ABRAMS
May 23, 8:00-9:00pm CDT
This class will guide us through exercises and conceptual tools to help us explore our own movement vocabularies. It will provide us space to follow our curiosities and find movement that energizes and excites us.
Register for class here.

Graham Technique with PEIJU CHIEN-POTT
May 24, 8:00-9:15pm CDT
Contraction and Release, two principal actions of Martha Graham technique will be explored throughout the whole class. The class will begin with a series of floor exercises to practice the control of your core muscles, pelvis, and back to prepare for more complex movements later. Next, we will move on to the standing work: focusing on using the gravity to sustain balance while strengthening the use of the torso, the extremities, and challenging weight changes that define the Graham vocabulary.
Register for class here.

Contemporary Fusion with DIANA SCHOENFIELD
May 26, 8:00-9:00pm CDT
Diana's class will explore the dynamic fusion of controlled musicality and raw human expression. The class will begin with a guided warm-up, followed by the exploration of a choreographed phrase. Throughout the class, the students will have the opportunity to develop their own artistic voices while honing in on specific musicality and details. This class will provide an opportunity to move with others within the community, near and far, sharing in passion, dance, and expression.
Register for class here.

Jazz Funk with NICO O’CONNOR
May 28, 8:00-9:00pm CDT
Nico's style is rich in old-school grooves and 90s-style jazz-funk lines, and also draws on contemporary hip hop and hip-hop technique fundamentals. In class, you may get anything from gritty swag to a fierce pop performance routine. In jazz-funk, he highlights his more technical side. But in all of Nico's classes, dancers get the chance to tap into a feeling or emotion. Class members appreciate Nico's physically challenging choreography and the diversity of his movement. He also encourages individuality and risk-taking in class, and students enjoy his warm, energetic personality. Nico is a patient teacher who really wants students to learn. He breaks the moves down thoroughly and reviews when needed. Classes offered are intermediate/advanced level. He strives to keep his moves intermediate, but complex musicality and dynamics raise the bar for more advanced students.
Register for class here.

INT/ADV Hip-Hop Choreography with TARYN CHENG
June 2, 8:00-9:00pm CDT
Exploring several basics of hip-hop and application through intermediate/advanced-level choreography.
Register for class here.




Dance in Theater and Performance Studies

The newly formed Dance Program in Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago is centered around the belief that dance and embodied research are critical to the performing arts, to broad cultural literacy, and to the advancement of cross-disciplinary scholarship. In seeking to advance dance as both a physical practice and critical form of research, the Dance Program offers a range of studio and studio-seminar courses as well as co-curricular technique classes. The offerings reach students of all abilities, from beginners to those seeking pre-professional opportunities within a liberal arts education. The Dance Program faculty is comprised of professional dance artists and scholars, and is led by Julia Rhoads, Director of Dance and Artistic Director of Lucky Plush Productions, a MacArthur Award-winning dance-theater company based in Chicago.

Curricular offerings can be found in the TAPS course listings. Co-curricular offerings are listed below. To get the most up-to-date information about TAPS dance offerings, join the dance listserv or email Julia Rhoads, Director of Dance, at For more information about student-led dance groups and events, go to the Dance Council page.