Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | November 9th, 2017 | Posted in News

THANK YOU all who came to the first ever Pink Hat Run!  Chicago Dance Supply is a proud community partner for this fun 5k event that helps to raise awareness and donations for champion women’s organizations in Illinois.  Though we had to call the race, over 200 of more than 300 participants who registered showed up in the downpour Saturday 11/4/2017.  Organizers, superstar volunteers, community leaders and sponsors, we thank you for your support of women and for your support of the Pink Hat Run!

MERCHANDISE is available at Chicago Dance Supply, 5301 N Clark St. 2nd Floor, Chicago 773-728-5344. Currently, in-store and phone orders will be accepted. Online shopping will be available soon at www.chicagodancesupply.com.

Pink Hat Run Knit Hat

Pink Hat Run Knit Hat

Pink Hat Run Mint Short Sleeve T She Persisted

Pink Hat Run Mint Short Sleeve T She Persisted


Pink Hat Run Long Sleeve Pink T

Pink Hat Run Long Sleeve Pink T


Pink Hat Run Merchandise available at Chicago Dance Supply 5301 N Clark St 2nd Floor

Phone orders 773-216-2067

Related links:

Chicago Dance Supply Partners with Pink Hat Run for Community Event

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Joan Oberndorf | October 19th, 2017 | Posted in How To, News, Wellness

We all love to get a massage when our bodies are sore and tired, but sometimes because of time or finances (or both) this isn’t possible. The solution? A variety of tools that you can use on your own to ease knotted muscles, overworked feet, and more. Some of them only require a little ingenuity and/or minimal cash, while others need to be purchased (but then they’re yours forever!). Read on for some ideas to refresh and revive that dancer’s body!

Free (or almost free)

H2O – Contrast Flush

We all know the benefits of hydration, but water is your friend in other ways-try doing a contrast flush for your feet and they’ll feel like new! You’ll need two receptacles for water (buckets are great, plastic wastebaskets can work too). Fill one with ice water (don’t skimp on the ice) and one with hot water. Immerse your feet, alternating between the cold and hot water several times, staying in the cold for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute (harder than it sounds) and hot for 1-2 minutes. This can also be helpful for easing shin splints if you can find deep enough containers to immerse your lower legs.

water bottle

H2O.2 – Ice Roller

This is a great one for plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the fascial band on the bottom of the foot) or simply for feet that are overworked and sore. Take a small disposable plastic water bottle, fill 3/4 full with water and freeze. Once frozen place on the floor and use it to roll out the bottoms of your feet. Freeze and re-use as needed.

tennis ballTennis/Golf Ball

This can be gotten for free if you’re in the vicinity of a tennis court or golf course and are will to scrounge for strays, but much easier (and not very expensive) to purchase at a store (sporting goods, Target etc) or online. These beauties are great for pressing into sore spots-put them underneath you as you lay on the floor, lean up against them on a wall, or roll them under your feet (golf balls are pretty hard so you may want to place a folded towel between you and the ball). Word of caution-avoid pressing into the spine or any other bony areas of the body.

Small investment needed

Commercial Self Massage Tools

Self massage tools come in many shapes and sizes, and can be found in dance wear and sporting goods stores, or online. You may have friends who already use them, and may let you try them out before you decide to buy!  A few of my favorites:

  •  Footrubz ball – a hard, knobbly ball that does wonders for sore feetfoot rubz ball
  • Rubz body massager – similar surface to the footrubz ball, but a different shape to allow you to hold it and press into sore muscles in legs, back, etc.
  • Stick rollers – There are a ton of these on the market and they come in a variety of sizes. They’re made of plastic and have a center rod surrounded by spindles  with handles on either end. Spindles can be smooth or knobby-again, lots of variations to choose from! They’re great for rolling over sore muscles and are especially good for working on the legs.
  • Foam Rollers – Foam rollers come in a variety of sizes and surfaces, and are foam rollermade of a dense foam material (though the hardness can vary). You can use them to roll out tight muscles and connective tissue in the legs, butt, or back. You can also lay on your back along the length of the longer rollers, which allows tight muscles in the chest to stretch and broaden-great for counteracting the forward hunch that computer use or texting can cause.

Tutorials galore for all the tools listed above can be found on YouTube. Use common sense when using them, and remember to avoid pressing directly onto bone. Give one or more of them a try, your body will thank you!



Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | October 12th, 2017 | Posted in News

Chicago Dance Supply is proud to support Pink Hat Run on 11/4/2017
Register at Pink Hat Run for a fun 5k Run! Beneficiaries include:
Access Living | Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) | Chicago Women Take Action (CWTA) | Fierce Over 40 | Mujeres Latinas en Acción | Chicago National Organization for Women (NOW) | Personal PAC | Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) | A Sister’s Hope | Women’s March on Chicago | YWCA Metropolitan Chicago | The Chicago Women’s AIDS Project | Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America | Pediatric Aids Chicago Prevention Initiative

Joan Oberndorf | September 21st, 2017 | Posted in Community, How To, News, Uncategorized

Finding the studio that fits you best is like finding the perfect pair of dance shoes-it can take a little time and patience, but once you’re successful it feels great! Us Chicagoans have the advantage of being in a large metro area, with lots of choices, but even those in smaller cities should be thoughtful about where they go. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

What Are Your Goals?
Are you a serious student, looking for a regimented training program that will improve your technique? Curious about a form dance auditionyou’ve never done and want to give it a try? Looking for a fun way to incorporate movement and a different kind of exercise in your life? Itching to work towards competition? These are all great (and valid) reasons to take a dance class! Checking a studio’s website is a great first step, but don’t hesitate to visit in person. It’s pretty easy to pick up the studio’s “vibe” when you walk in the door.

What is Your Style?
This covers several considerations! First, what kind of dance do you do (or want to do)? These days most studios offer a variety of levels and styles to choose from, so they can stay competitive (and solvent), but there’s often an emphasis associated with the studio. And the type of technique may vary – A modern oriented studio may focus on Graham or Horton technique, a ballet studio may teach strictly Cecchetti. Larger studios may have different teachers whose class will reflect their backgrounds-teacher bios on the studio’s website can give you insight into this.

Second, what kind of atmosphere are you looking for? Do you want a more traditional, stricter class with a more formal feel? Or are you intimidated by classes where your fellow dancers are competitive, and thrive in a more inclusive, easy going space? Again, a visit to the Joel Hall Dancers and Centerstudio will quickly give you a “feel” for the place. (Personal opinion #1: good manners and respectful behavior in class are always appropriate, no matter what the studio’s philosophy or mission statement .)

Finally, what’s your comfort level for your own personal style? Are you a “bun head” who is most at home in traditional tights and leotards? More comfortable wearing baggy sweats and socks to move across the floor? Somewhere in between? Many studios allow some leniency in dress code (particularly for adult classes), but this varies from place to place. Dress code is another good thing to check about online-you don’t want to be decked out in tie dye when everyone else is in black and pink! (Personal opinion#2: clean and tidy clothing, and hair that is tied back, is always appropriate, no matter what the studio’s dress code is.)

What is Your Age?
Some studios place an emphasis (or in some cases focus solely) on younger students, whose ages go from single digits up through the teens. Many of these schools focus on having their students do competition dance, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re a younger dancer (or the parent of one) when you’re considering your goals (see above). Almost all schools thatGus Giordano Dance School Chicago
have kid’s classes work towards some type of yearly recital, but some devote more class time to getting everyone performance ready, while others place more emphasis on using classroom time for technique, learning terminology, etc. I’m personally more a fan of the latter (full disclosure here) but you can easily find out the studio’s bent with a quick question about when they start working on their recital pieces in class, and how much time they spend per class on recital rehearsal.

As an adult I’m most comfortable in class with other adults and/or teens who want to be there (as opposed to those who are there because their parents are forcing them). I still remember blithely signing up for a weekend “intensive” as an inexperienced college student and working my way through a tap class surrounded by 10 year olds. Having said this, in smaller towns you may not have a choice-but in that case odds are you won’t be the only grown up there. These days most studios are clear about the age range in their classes but when it doubt, ask.

What is Your Budget?
Most studios charge a similar rate, but there can be differences in how you pay, i.e. some studios require you to pay per term (especially if you’re registering for non-pro classes). If you’re on a tight budget and need to pay as you go paying for an entire term may not be the best fit. Class cards, when offered, can get you a lower rate than paying per class, but they usually come with an expiration date too. It’s tempting to take advantage of what seems like a great deal but only indulge if you’re reasonably sure you can use up your card in the allotted time!

Many, but not all, studios offer scholarship positions where you can do tasks (cleaning, checking people in at the front desk) in exchange for a reduction in class fees or free classes. Some studios reserve these spots for the most talented or promising students, while others give scholarships based on need. Check the studio policy on this if you’re interested, and make sure you have the time to fit the responsibilities into your schedule.IMG_4724

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices it’s time for the final step-go try a few classes, to give yourself a chance to get comfortable with the studio and/or teacher. Just like those dance shoes there may be a bit of “breaking in” time, but if you’ve done your research you’ll quickly figure out which studio is the best fit for you. Happy dancing!



Joan Oberndorf | August 14th, 2017 | Posted in Community, News, Wellness


It’s time to get back to dance. The end of summer traditionally means “back to school”-but for many it also means a return to our regular dance routine too. Chances are you danced more (studio intensives, camps, summer programs away) less (studio hiatus, time at the beach), or even both during the summer months. Either way you want to take care of yourself and enter into September smart! Maybe it’s because of all those years arranging my life around the school calendar but I always feel as if the fall is the true start to the year. It’s a perfect time to build healthy habits. Here are some suggestions for making the transition as successfully as possible.

Give yourself a break

If you haven’t kept up your regular class routine, your brain and body may be a bit rusty, so go easy on yourself. Likewise if you’ve been dancing up a storm and your muscles and mind are overworked. Realize that transitions can be a little challenging, and use the first week or two back in the studio as an opportunity to come at class with a different perspective. This is a great time to work on that classic “negative” dancer mindset and start the “year” with a positive outlook.

Self care – now and always!

Pacha birch muscle soak

Pacha muscle soak

Sore muscles are a given no matter what you’ve been doing over the summer. Gentle stretching is always good, no need to go for those Chinese splits right now (unless you’ve been working towards them all season, then enjoy your accomplishment). An abrupt bump up in activity can aggravate old injuries, so keep tabs on how your body is reacting to your schedule. Salt baths are a great self care tool-Pacha is a favorite of mine that is socially conscious too! I like their Birch Muscle Soak (it’s sold online or in bulk at Whole Foods) but you can even use regular table salt in a pinch. Massage is also a great tool to ease soreness and reduce stress.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Sugar and Bruno Water Bottle at CDS

The hot, sweaty days of summer are behind us (probably) but staying hydrated is still important. Keep a water bottle with you from the start of your day, and replenish it as needed.  Water is always the best option, as energy drinks are high in sugar (ditto soda) and too much coffee can make you jittery.


Your body needs fuel to get you through class, and your brain needs nutrition so you can remember those combinations! Make sure you’re eating right- a mix of healthy food eaten in small amounts through the day will keep your energy and stamina up. Try the following recipe-these cookies are great as a snack during or after a long day. They’re easy to make, not too sweet and freeze great. The chocolate chips are optional but make them especially delicious!

Oatmeal Cookies
From Bon Appetit, adapted from recipe by Nancy Clark, from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Original recipe can be found here  

1.5 cups flour (preferably either half whole wheat flour and half white flour, or try using whole wheat pastry flour-this will make the cookies heavier but still delicious)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk
½ cup oil, preferably canola
⅓ cup turbinado (raw) sugar (white sugar is fine)
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups oats (l like old fashioned but quick are fine)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup raisins
½ cup coarsely chopped apricots
½ cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine the soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour and set aside. In a large bowl, combine milk, oil, sugar, oatmeal, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Gradually add flour mixture to large bowl and combine thoroughly. Gently stir in raisins, apricots, and optional chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cookies should be firm when tapped with a finger. Makes 2.5 dozen.

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Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | July 27th, 2017 | Posted in News

Beat the Heat Indoor Sidewalk Sale at CDS!
Shop our indoor sidewalk sale room July 28-30 for many great deals including buy 1 get 1 $5 sale apparel, 25% off regular priced latin, ballroom, classroom, character, and tap shoes, $10 child tutus and leotards, $12 booty shorts, $2 clearance bin, $1 cheer briefs, 25% off men’s apparel, and many more exciting deals!!
#chicagodances #sidewalksale #dancedeals

Visit CDS in the friendly Andersonville neighborhood!

Visit CDS in the friendly Andersonville neighborhood!

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Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | May 2nd, 2017 | Posted in Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Photography, News

Schedule your next action dance shots with Leni  773-728-5344 or 773-216-2067 (c)

How was @regionaldance today @forumdancetheatre ? ⭐️👍⭐️#RDANF2017

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Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | May 1st, 2017 | Posted in Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Photography, News

Schedule your next headshot with me!
Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth
773-728-5344 store
773-216-2067 cell

Dancer headshots by @lenihoppenworth ! Merde to @forumdancetheatre at @regionaldance this Tuesday! 👏👏👏

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Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | February 6th, 2017 | Posted in News

Don’t miss our BOGO 30% DANCE SHOES SALE all through February 2017!
5301 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640


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Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth | January 25th, 2017 | Posted in News

Don’t be left in the cold! Stop by for 30% off on sweaters, warm ups, leg warmers, and sweater tights!  In-store sale now through January 31st!


chicagodancesupply.com 773-728-5344

chicagodancesupply.com 773-728-5344

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