Lou Conte Dance Studio closes due to economic fallout from coronavirus

For 46 years, Chicago dance enthusiasts have been able to hone their footwork skills at Lou Conte Dance Studio, first in its original location on Hubbard Street, then in a massive, state-of-the-art dance center on West Jackson Boulevard. , home to the world-renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (which takes its name from this original studio center).

The studio has grown into one of the most well-known centers for dance education for people of all skill levels and backgrounds. But all of its walk-in adult dance classes – from ballet, jazz, modern, tap, African, hip-hop and more – came to an end as the studio announced on Friday it had closed for good. , a cultural victim of the economic difficulties arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

It was Lou Conte – dancer, choreographer and teacher – who was approached by three dancers in 1974 to teach tap dancing in his eponymous studio. The four were going to launch Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Conte would continue to serve as the troop director for 23 years.

In a statement announcing the closure on Friday, Hubbard Street Dance Executive Director David McDermott said in part: “With a heavy heart and with gratitude… we are announcing today that the Lou Conte Dance Studio will be closed indefinitely. The shutdown is a direct result of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

“… Tens of thousands of dancers attend LCDS classes every year. Here, dancers of all ages have found instruction and inspiration, and together they’ve built a warm and welcoming community.

The studio’s closure follows the announcement in January that Hubbard Street Dance has sold its headquarters at 1147 W. Jackson to a condominium developer.

Earlier this month, Hubbard Street Dance announced it was canceling all performances until April 12 due to the pandemic and the closure of all theaters. Tickets for his “Boundless” the spring series, May 14-17, are currently on sale.

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