Exploring. Training. Performing. Creating! With classes for all skill levels.
Intuit Dance! is a proud member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the Illinois Dance Education Organization (ILDEO)
NDEO supports the highest standards in dance education aimed at developing the knowledge and skills required to create, perform and understand movement as a means of artistic communication. Dance teaches students to read symbol systems, use critical thinking skills, excel in nonverbal reasoning and communication, exchange ideas, work cooperatively and collaboratively and interact within a multicultural society.
Established in 2004 by Diane VanDerhei
NTUIT Dance! was created to teach the full spectrum of the creative process through the art of dance. We provide foundational training in technique, improvisation and choreography for students at all levels at two studio locations – Oak Park and Forest Park, Illinois.
Emphasizing the full spectrum of the dance experience.
Diane VanDerhei is an accomplished dancer, educator and choreographer whose credentials include developing and implementing comprehensive K-12 dance curriculum for the Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago school systems. She graduated from the National Academy of Dance in Champaign, Illinois, a high school exclusively devoted to dance education where she studied classical ballet with Lupe Serrano and Gwynne Ashton and jazz with Buzz Miller. After graduation, she performed and toured nationally with the National Ballet of Illinois, the Ballet Folk of Moscow and Wild Space Dance Company. She earned a B.F.A. in dance and dance education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has choreographed numerous acclaimed works and was the recipient of the first Milwaukee County Fellowship in Choreography. From 2003-2008, Diane served as a teaching artist and education consultant for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Education and Community Programs.
Reaching beyond repetitive drills, Diane’s vision offers students at all levels a balanced experience of dance movement that encompasses technique, expression, improvisation, performance and choreography. Exposure to dance history and cultures deepens the student experience and conveys the power of dance in communicating meaning about the human experience.
Arts research shows that students who study dance are more:
> Self-motivated, disciplined and focused in their everyday lives.
> Expressive in their communication of emotions, thoughts and feelings.
> Creative and imaginative.
> Able to critically analyze their own work and the work of others.
INTUIT Dance features world-class instructors with extensive teaching, performing and choreographic credits. The Pre-Professional curriculum is customized to develop each individual’s creativity, technical skills and personal expression through training, choreography and performance. Involvement with INTUIT’s professional company – ChoreoSpace – is available to students by invitation and audition.
Connor Cornelius grew up in Oak Park, IL and is a dancer and choreographer based in Chicago. Connor was recently commissioned to choreograph for Simantikos Dance Chicago and selected for the 2016 Delve showcase. She was also selected as one of four choreographers for Dance Chance Redux: 6.0 in April 2015. In February 2015, she was chosen as one of ten finalists for Met Dance’s Emerging Choreographer competition. Connor was selected as one of four Chicago-based choreographers for DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceMoves choreography competition, in September 2015. Connor’s work has also been commissioned for Intuit Dance, MOMENTA, BRAVO-the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, OPRF Orchesis, Trinity Choir and among others. In June 2014, Connor presented her work in DanceWorks Chicago and Lou Conte Dance Studio’s Dance Chance and did so again in February 2016. Connor is dancing her second season with Project Bound Dance and is the in-house choreographer this season. Besides Bound, Connor danced and choreographed with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre for two seasons this past year. Connor enjoys teaching at Intuit Dance and serving as DanceWorks Chicago’s Administrative Volunteer. Before relocating back to Chicago, Connor was honored as the Presidential Scholar of the Department of Dance at Western Michigan University, where she graduated in May 2014 cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. At WMU, Connor worked with renowned guest artists Peter Chu, DanceWorks Chicago with Nelly van Bommel, Arturo Fernandez, Monique Haley, Gabrielle Lamb, Josh Manculich, as well as Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner. She performed historical work by Loïe Fuller, participated in a cultural exchange trip to China and Taiwan, as well as Student Immersion Trip to Montreal. Connor’s choreography was chosen for American College Dance Festival Association’s East Central Conference gala, the WMU Winter Gala Dance Concert, Western Dance Project’s repertoire, and Orchesis Dance Concerts. At the 2013 American Dance Festival, she was chosen to perform in Martha Graham’s Helios as well as present her choreography in the student concert.
Sage Miller – Ballet and Contemporary
Sage is from Berwyn, IL, and received her early dance training at the Academy of Movement and Music where she studied the techniques and works of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Doris Humphrey. She holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, and is a certified pilates mat instructor. Sage has had the honor of performing works by Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, José Limón, Michele Miller, Pat Hon, Randy Duncan, and Terence Marling. She has performed and choreographed for MOMENTA Performing Arts Company, recently moved back from New York City where she was dancing with Jes Wittig for Bring BabaYaga Soup. She is excited to be back in the Chicagoland area and teaching at Intuit!
Emily Ramirez – Ballet
Emily Ramirez grew up in Katy, TX and trained at Adamson Ballet School, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Houston Ballet. As a professional ballerina, she performed with Houston Ballet II, BalletMet and Charlotte Ballet, and on tour at the Joyce Theatre in NYC, the Kennedy Center, and abroad in Germany, France, and Russia. Notable roles include “Sugarplum Fairy” in The Nutcracker, “Black Swan/Odille” in Swan Lake, “Kitri” in Don Quixote, “Alice” in Alice in Wonderland, “Marquis de Merteuil” in Dangerous Liaisons, and principal roles in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony and Tarantella. Having an equal passion for contemporary dance, she also enjoyed been featured in works by choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Ma Cong, Amy Seiwert, Peter Quanz, Brian Enos, Thaddeus Davis, and more. Upon retiring from ballet company life, she transitioned into musical theatre. She performed the role of “Meg Giry” on The Phantom Of The Opera Broadway Tour for 2 years. Regional theatre credits include An American in Paris (ballet/pointe feature), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Addams Family Musical (Morticia Addams), Rock of Ages (Constance Stack/Dance captain). Emily has choreographed for ballet companies, summer intensives, YAGP competitions, regional musicals, weddings, and won the city-wide Columbus Choreography Project in 2008. She has multiple published articles in Dance Magazine, and continues to deliver her lecture “The Self-Image Strategy” to pre-professional dancers all over the country. She currently lives in Chicago where she works as a comedian, writer, actor, and producer. Emily lives with her wonderful hubby Chase and their entitled lapdogs, Charlie and Sophie. Insta: @emilourami
Nikki Renfroe, a native of the Chicago area, began studying dance at the age of three. Since then, she has gone on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Minor in Psychology. She received her 200 hour yoga teacher training from Yoga Six and is also pre/postnatal yoga certified. She has had the privilege of training through workshops and intensives with Columbia College, Point Park University, Deeply Rooted Dance Company, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Inaside Dance Chicago, and Aerial Dance Chicago. She has had the opportunity to perform in many local Chicago projects such as Carnival, See Chicago Dance, Delve Arts Festival, Renassiance Black, and Activate! Chicago. She was a company member with Noumenon Dance Ensemble for four years and is currently dancing with Simantikos Dance Chicago for her fifth season. In addition to teaching at INTUIT Dance, Nikki is the director of the dance program at Trinity High School and teaches yoga around the Chicagoland area. Nikki teaches ballet, jazz, and yoga at INTUIT Dance!
Our Philosophy is…Best!
Cultivating direct experience of dance technique, creation and performance by emphasizing Body, Energy, Space and Time.
A dancer’s body is their artistic tool. At INTUIT, we embrace techniques that develop the body-mind connection including The Brain Dance and Bartenieff Fundamentals, and also employ the use of imagery that enhances and strengthens a student’s understanding of the body to successfully execute the major dance forms.
Dance is more than pink tights and pirouettes! INTUIT’s approach involves both the skill of technique and the expressive nature of dance. Improvisation, as an example, encourages students to explore nuance and to develop a personal voice that distinguishes them as powerful performers.
Pathways, facings, spatial patterns and geometric forms are a part of the intelligent choreographer’s toolbox. Students at INTUIT learn about the significant relationships that can be created between dancers and objects, and how these impact the experience that is communicated.
Musicality and rhythm are innate to all dance styles and are essential to INTUIT’S curriculum. Jazz forms and styles including hip hop, tap and African programming especially emphasize timing and tempo to elevate expressive movement.