woodlawn academy logo

About Woodlawn Dance

The Sauk Valley's Premiere Dance Academy

Woodlawn Dance Academy is an established dance studio that is proud to serve the Sauk Valley area. It is housed at Woodlawn Arts Academy, which is a state-of-the-art facility featuring three professionally equipped dance studios. Woodlawn Dance Academy offers many styles of dance for age 3 through adult. Our program is cumulative, running from September through May, with four, eight-week sessions culminating with the annual recital the weekend after Memorial Day.

Due to the progressive nature of this program, students must begin with Session 1 in order to participate in the recital. Class placement is based on age, technical level & experience. Most levels are two-year programs. Registration for school-year programs is scheduled for the end of July each year.

Classes are designed to introduce students to ballet & tap together at the lower levels, then progress into individual discipline classes at the intermediate & advanced levels. We invite you to participate in all of the dance forms, especially ballet as it is the foundation of all styles. It is important to us that our dancers learn technique & curriculum the entire year. All recital dances are taught after the winter break.

During the summer we offer a shortened session of technique classes. We encourage new students to try out our program during this time without the pressure of a recital. This allows students to continue working on technique and to try out various dance styles. Summer registration opens at the beginning of May each year.

Our goal is to offer quality programs while creating an environment for positive learning and, most of all, FUN! As a service to our participants, we have a large-screen monitor in our lounge that allows parents the opportunity to view each dance class without the worry of interrupting the dancers. Parents are not allowed in the classroom until Viewing Week, which is always the last class of each session. Session 4 Viewing Week is the actual recital.

Our instructors are highly trained and go through an extensive week of curriculum training for each style and level offered. The Woodlawn Dance Academy staff takes pride in their work and strives to enforce organizational standards and serve our customers with the highest level of professionalism possible.

Meet Our Staff

white icon

Christy Zepezauer

Christy has been with the Academy since February 2008. She attended Northern Illinois University. Christy graduated with honors with a bachelor of fine arts degree

Read Bio >
Miss Becky Preschool Director Photo

Becky Rich

Becky grew up in Dixon and currently lives in Sterling with her husband, David, and their three children, Victoria, Delia and Reese. Becky earned her

Read Bio >
white icon

Amy Hook

Amy graduated from Wayne State College in Nebraska with a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education and completed her master’s degree in teaching

Read Bio >

Dance FAQ

During the school year, all dance classes start after school, generally Monday-Thursday. Occasional make-up classes, or rehearsals for Competition Team or special events, may be scheduled on school holidays or Saturdays. Please check this page for a grid of the current school-year dance schedule.

At the beginning of the school year, you are paying for your first-session tuition plus the $35 registration fee. At the start of the second session, you pay your tuition plus a $40 costume deposit. At the start of the third session, you pay your tuition plus your costume balance. At the start of the fourth session and the summer session, you only pay your tuition.

Ticket sales details will be announced in early spring.

Dance recital pictures are taken at Woodlawn Arts Academy by a professional photographer. Order forms are given to students with their costumes and also available at Picture Days, which are typically in late April. Check the Calendar for the exact dates. Specific picture schedules are available in the spring and will be posted in the building and online.

Dance recitals and rehearsals take place at Centennial Auditorium, Sterling High School, 1608 Fourth Ave., Sterling. Enter through Door 18 on Miller Road. Check the Calendar for exact dates. Specific rehearsal and recital schedules are available in the spring and will be posted in the building and online.

During Session 2 Viewing Week, we will announce which color recital is on which day and time. Until that point, please save the date and time for all three recitals. Please let us know any conflicts, such as graduations, weddings or vacations, by January 1st so that information can be taken into consideration.

Before Session 3 Viewing Week, we will post the orders and announce them during class. Please let us know any conflicts, such as graduations, weddings or vacations, by January 1st so that information can be taken into consideration.

In order that we place your student in the correct level for her or his ability, age and education, online registration is not available for dance technique classes. Students are asked to stay in the same class for the entire school year. Registering in person or by calling guarantees proper registration and consistent classes from session to session.

In dance, the shape and line of the body are the integral elements of the art form. Proper attire and hair are strictly enforced. The proper shoes should also be chosen for the style of dance, and to ensure matching shoe colors at recital time. Dress codes are listed with each Dance Style below.

Dancewear and dance shoes are available at a reasonable cost through our dancewear sales, which will be announced in our program guide and online. Dance shoes are available locally at M & E Heavenly Yours in Freeport and Dancer’s Hut in Morrison. Dancewear is available at Wal-Mart in Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon; and Dancer’s Hut in Morrison. Dancewear and shoes are also available online at discountdance.com. Please call Becky at (815) 626-4278 for details regarding your student’s dancewear.

We encourage you to talk with the office staff about the reasons why you are not finding the class enjoyable. Refunds or credit vouchers may be given in extenuating circumstances, and are granted at the discretion of the administrative staff. If the activity is running on a minimum number of students, no refund will be given to a student withdrawing from the program. Refunds and credits for classes are pro-rated from the date on which you withdraw from the class, and do not include classes to be held on the same day you notify the office you wish to withdraw. In order to initiate a refund, the student must notify the office by calling or writing. No refunds can be given for costumes after orders are placed at the end of November.

Yes, for children age 6 and up, you may drop them off and come back to pick them up. If your dancer is age 6 and older and the instructor believes you should stay, you will be notified. For children age 5 and under, we request that a parent or guardian stay in the lobby during the child’s class or lesson. Please drop off & pick up your child at the appropriate time. Our instructors are only responsible for your child during their class time. We ask that all minors be escorted to & from class by an authorized adult.

Parents are not invited into the classroom each week due to the distraction it causes for all the children. Parents are welcome to attend Viewing Week, which is always the last class of each session. Check the Calendar for exact dates. Session 4 Viewing Week is the actual recital. As a service to our participants, we have a large-screen monitor in our lounge that allows parents the opportunity to view each dance class without the worry of interrupting the dancers.

While we do encourage all students to take part in the recital, we understand that there can be extenuating circumstances. Please be sure to inform the office staff and your instructor right away if you will not be in the recital so that your instructor can choreograph the recital dance accordingly.

All enrolled families have an account in our registration system. Check your dancer’s schedule online by logging into your account, then clicking on “My Account” and “Show Your Daily Schedules.” If you do not know your login information, please contact the office by calling (815) 626-4278.

Make-up classes are only offered if a class was canceled by the teacher or if Woodlawn Arts Academy was closed for a holiday or due to inclement weather during your normal class time. Your instructor will remind you during Viewing Week if a make-up class is needed. Make-up classes are typically offered during Make-Up Week at the same time as your regular class.

No make-up lessons will be given if a student misses a class. If you know in advance that you will miss classes, please notify the office and/or your instructor. You cannot make up in a different section, as all sections are typically full and will be learning at different speeds.

We do not offer refunds for missed classes.

No. If you prefer, our office staff would be happy to help you set up a monthly payment plan. Your payment is automatically withdrawn from your account monthly. You will be able to choose the date that the money is removed from their account monthly, beginning in August and ending in April. A checking or savings account, or debit/credit card, may be used for this option. When using a checking or savings account, please be prepared to provide your bank’s routing number as well as your account number. Please let us know right away if your account or card number changes, or if you need to change the date of your withdrawal, so we are able to make the necessary adjustments in our system. You can also pay by the session using cash, check or debit/credit card.

We do not follow all of the typical public school holidays. There is no class on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, the entire calendar week of Thanksgiving, or the entire two calendar weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day. Woodlawn Dance Academy does not take a spring break. Check the Calendar for exact dates.

Dance Styles, Class Levels & Dress Code

Play acting and creative movement as well as stretching and some basic dance steps.

Boogie Babies (pre-dance): All dancers must be 3 by the first day of class. (One recital dance.)

Required attire: Dance attire or gym clothing; pink leather ballet shoes. Hair must be worn off the face. Black shorts; white T-shirt; black canvas or leather ballet shoes for boys.

The basis of all dance forms, ballet is a classical dance form emphasizing grace, strength, flexibility and technique.

Kiddydance: A combination class. Dancers should be 5 by the first day of class. (Only tap routine performed at recital.)

Ballet/Tap 1: A combination class for beginners. Dancers should be 6 by the first day of class. (Both styles performed at recital.)

Ballet/Tap 2: A combination class requiring an informal audition for students new to Woodlawn Dance Academy. (Both styles performed at recital.)

Ballet 3, 4, 5 and 6: Students new to Woodlawn Dance Academy should meet with an instructor for placement.

Required attire: Black leotard (ballet skirts during center work only; black booty shorts optional for level 3 and up); pink ballet tights; pink canvas or leather ballet shoes. Hair must be in a bun. Black shorts; white T-shirt; black canvas or leather ballet shoes for boys.

An upbeat dance form using your feet to create and enhance rhythm, coordination and sound.

Kiddydance: A combination class. Dancers should be 5 by the first day of class. (Only tap routine performed at recital.)

Ballet/Tap 1: A combination class for beginners. Dancers should be 6 by the first day of class. (Both styles performed at recital.)

Ballet/Tap 2: A combination class requiring an informal audition for students new to Woodlawn Dance Academy. (Both styles performed at recital.)

Tap 3, 4, 5 and 6: Students new to Woodlawn Dance Academy should meet with an instructor for placement.

Adult Tap 1: A basic tap class.

Adult Tap 2: An intermediate/advanced class. Students encouraged to take Adult Tap 1 to warm up.

Required attire: Black jazz pants/capris/booty shorts (can be worn over leotard and tights). Hair must be worn off the face. For Kiddydance through Ballet/Tap 2, black student tap shoes. For levels 3-5, tan jazz tap shoes. For Adult Tap, black jazz tap shoes.

Fast-paced dance form isolating individual parts of the body, set to contemporary music. Increases coordination, flexibility and strength.

Jazz 1: For beginners. All dancers must be 6 by the first day of class.

Jazz 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6: Students new to Woodlawn Dance Academy should meet with an instructor for placement.

Required attire: Black leotard; black jazz pants/capris/booty shorts (black shorts and a white T-shirt for boys); tan slip-on jazz shoes. Hair must be worn off the face.

Theatrical dance style that includes dance technique and acting to songs from musicals.

Musical Theatre: For students ages 9 and up. Previous dance experience preferred.

Required attire: Black jazz pants/capris; clothing you can move in (NO JEANS); clean sneakers or jazz shoes. Hair must be worn off the face.

Uses low and big movement to efficiently use the most amount of space possible while learning to let go and move more freely. Students are required to be concurrently enrolled in a ballet program at the recommended level.

Modern: Must be enrolled in Ballet 3 or higher for the entire dance year.

Required attire: Black leotard (black booty shorts optional); footless tights; tan paws. Hair must be worn off the face.

A combination of ballet, jazz and contemporary dance techniques performed to music with lyrics that inspire movements and strong emotions. Students are required to have previous ballet experience as well as be concurrently enrolled in a jazz program at the recommended level.

Lyrical/Contemporary 1: Must be enrolled in Jazz 2 or higher for the entire dance year.

Lyrical/Contemporary 2 and 3: Must be enrolled in Jazz 4 or higher for the entire dance year.

Required attire: Black leotard (black booty shorts optional); footless tights; tan paws. Hair must be worn off the face.

Energetic form of street dance and jazz emphasizing rhythmic body articulation, attitude and individual style.

Hip Hop 1: For beginners. All dancers must be 7 by the first day of class.

Hip Hop 2, 3, 4 and 5: Students new to Woodlawn Dance Academy should meet with an instructor for placement.

Required attire: Black jazz pants/capris; clothing you can move in (NO JEANS); black jazz sneakers. Hair must be worn off the face. If needed, shoes to match recital costumes will be included in the costume fee.

Similar to ballet, but geared toward more advanced students.

Pointe: For advanced ballet students by recommendation only. Students must be enrolled in Ballet 5 or higher for the entire dance year to be considered for placement in pointe. Placement is based on technique and strength, not age.

Required attire: Black leotard (ballet skirts during center work only; black booty shorts optional); pink ballet tights; pink pointe shoes. Hair must be in a bun.

An extra technique and cardio experience including leaps, turns, progressions and strengthening exercises.

Beyond Choreography: For dancers in Levels 4-6 and/or Competition Team members.

Required attire: Black jazz pants/capris; clothing you can move in (NO JEANS); clean sneakers or jazz shoes. Hair must be worn off the face.

For details on dance clothing and purchasing dancewear, view the Woodlawn Dance Academy handbook. Not all of the above classes are offered at all times. View the current dance class schedule for details.

Skip to content