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Performing companies will offer free classes leading up to Chicago Live! weekend

Navy Pier Releases Chicago Live! Outreach Week Schedule

Navy Pier and participating organizations will host ‘Outreach Week’ starting Sunday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 25 (some weekdays are excluded, full schedule found below). Outreach Week is an opportunity for the community to take part in free classes and learn more before watching performances at Chicago Live! on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Navy Pier’s Arts, Culture and Engagement (ACE) department started in 2016 shortly after the Pier became a nonprofit organization. Annually, the ACE team organizes more than 250 free programs for families to enjoy.

“It’s our goal as a nonprofit to provide access to the arts for everyone in the community. The ACE team is focused on creating engaging, diverse and exciting free programs each season at Navy Pier,” said Vice President of Arts, Culture and Engagement programs Erika Taylor. “I am so grateful to see the support for Chicago Live! grow since last year. It has become a flagship festival for Navy Pier.”

“I am so proud of all the hard work these 66 partner companies have done to connect within their surrounding communities. The creativity and uniqueness of their outreach classes are just a small glimpse into the performances you will see during Chicago Live! weekend,” said Artistic Director Steve Abrams. “I look forward to seeing these brilliant performers bring their art to life at Navy Pier during the two-day festival.” 

These classes will be operated by specific companies who will later perform at Chicago Live! Please contact each company directly for more details.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Company: Visceral Dance


Location: 3121 N. Rockwell Street, Chicago, Ill., 60618

10 - 11 a.m. -  BeMoved with Maggie Palmer (Genre Wild Cool and Swingin)

BeMoved is an established dance experience that invites people of all movement abilities to experience the joy of dance. Class begins with an easy-to-follow Warm-Up that infuses breath and movement in artistically choreographed sequences that activate core strength and balance while improving flexibility and coordination. The Genre section of class uses continuous and engaging dance combinations to inspire anyone from first-time dancers to professional. BeMoved inspires participants to embrace dance as a lifelong path to health, joy and fulfillment.

Recommended attire: comfortable clothing that allows for movement, bare feet or socks

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Beginning Tap with Molly Eder

Never tap danced before OR maybe you took a break and want to ease back into it with a refresher? This is a relaxed, super positive class with a focus on learning basic tap steps, developing an understanding of musicality and rhythm and gaining an appreciation for the history of this deep art form. Focus is on having fun while being led through technique and exercises that will have benefits far outside the dance studio, including coordination, balance, cultural awareness and music understanding.

Recommended attire: comfortable clothing that allows for movement, tap shoes not required

12 – 1:15 p.m. - Open Level Hip Hop with Tanji Harper

Open to all levels from beginner to intermediate. This class will teach the fundamental moves of hip hop through across the floor and center combinations.  

Recommended attire: comfortable clothing that allows for movement, clean sneakers

10 a.m. -  Creative Movement (ages 4 – 6 years) with TJ Tapp

Introduction for young dancers to the art of movement through imaginative games and stories. Self-discipline, self-confidence and socialization are encouraged through rhythm, coordination and musicality.  This class emphasizes the FUN of dance. Recommended attire: comfortable clothing that allows for movement, bare feet or socks

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Kids Hip Hop (ages 7 – 12 years) with TJ Tapp

This class will teach the fundamental moves of hip hop through across the floor and center combinations. This high energy class with emphasize musicality, coordination, basic footwork, improvisation, strength building and style.

Recommended attire: comfortable clothing that allows for movement, clean sneakers


Tuesday, Sept. 20

Company: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago


Instructor:  June Tanoue

Location: Water Tower Place, 4th floor, 835 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611

Class Details:

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. - Movement For Wellness-Ease into movement with this free zen-centric workshop. Participants will gain an awareness of the role of breath and gentle movement patterns to experience the wellness benefits of dance. This class is recommended for those 40 years or older, but open to anyone who would like to experience it. Class Themes include community, breath, alignment, mindfulness and coordination.


Wednesday, Sept. 21

Note* There are two separate locations for two separate classes.

Company (1 of 2): Momenta Dance Company


Location: Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington Street., Chicago, Ill., 60602

Class Details:

6:30-7:30 p.m. - The Inclusive Dance Workshop is a weekly Wednesday gathering of movers of all kinds. At each session, different facilitators and guest artists lead the group through an exploration of dance making tools, dance techniques and improvisational exercises, from ballet, to improvisation to voguing. All bodies, minds and experience levels are welcome.

This special session of the workshop will be held in person and will feature movement exploration led by Lauren Sheely, a showing of an excerpt of Community Suite: Ti(c)k To(c)k that will premiere at the 12th annual Counter Balance dance concert and a Q&A with the Community Suite performers. This workshop will have CART and ASL interpretation.

Please note the workshop will take place indoors in a carpeted room. We ask that all workshop participants wear masks. Link to registration found here.

Company (2 of 2): South Chicago Dance Theatre


Location: Kenwood School of Ballet, 1100 E. Hyde Park Boulevard., Chicago, Ill., 60615

Class Details:

7:15- 8:30 p.m. - Ballet Master Class with Executive Artistic Director Kia Smith. A Chicago native, Kia trained intensely on scholarship at The Hyde Park School of Dance, The Joel Hall Dance Center, ETA Creative Arts Foundation, StoryCatchers Theatre and received scholarships to attend the American Dance Festival in 2008 and 2009. She holds a BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she was an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow. During her tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kia authored The Embodiment of Memory in the Age of an Obtrusive Quiet: An Autoethnography and produced a corresponding seventy-five-minute evening length work in conjunction with the Rebuild Foundation and Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank.


Friday, Sept. 23

Company: Chicago Philharmonic


Location: Cultural Corner located at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611

Class Details:

4:30 -6 p.m. - Instrument Petting Zoo -The Chicago Philharmonic is excited to partner with the Navy Pier for a special instrument petting zoo in the Cultural Corner during Chicago Live! The instrument petting zoo is the perfect opportunity for music lovers of all ages to explore a wide variety of instruments including bells, hand percussion, drums and string instruments. Note: No animals will be involved.


Saturday, Sept. 24

Note* There are multiple classes offered at various locations at Navy Pier

Company: Giordano Dance Chicago


Location: East Stage on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611

Class Details:

10 -11 a.m. -  Intro to Jazz - Get your heart rate up and your body moving in Jazz Funk with Giordano Dance Chicago’s Rosario Guillen. This high energy class experience is for movers of all levels and is recommended for ages 10 and up.


Company: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago


Location: Lake Stage on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611

Instructor: HSDC’s Rehearsal Director Craig D. Black Jr.

Class Details:

10-11 a.m. - Music Video Class with Craig Black Jr. - Family-friendly dance class that incorporates cardio, a guided stretch and popular music video choreography. Craig D. Black Jr. began dancing at South Bay Dance Center at the age of ten. In 2011, Black received his BFA from The Juilliard School where he was awarded the 2010 Princess Grace Award in Dance. He has received additional training at summer programs such as Springboard Danse Montréal, Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive and The School at Jacob’s Pillow (2011 Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence). He joined HSDC in the fall of 2017 after finishing six seasons with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.


Sunday, Sept. 25

Note* There are multiple classes offered at various locations at Navy Pier

Instructor: Vanessa Valecillos joined by pianist Paul Sottnik

Location: East Stage on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611

Class Details:

10-11 a.m. - Ballet Barre Class for teens and adults. Vanessa will be leading participants through a ballet class that will start with a short pilates sequence to wake up the body and engage the core. An all-level ballet barre class with live music follows. Space is limited and students are suggested to wear comfortable work-out clothes. Ballet slippers are recommended but taking the class in socks is fine. This is a beginner/intermediate level class geared towards teens and adults. This class is not for children.


Company: Culture Shock Chicago


Location: Lake Stage on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611

Class Details:

10 -11 a.m. - Introduction to Hip Hop Dance and Grooves class -  This introductory dance lesson is for all ages and skill levels and will focus on the foundations of hip hop dance, with fun and easy follow along dance combinations, demonstrations and a dance party. Comfortable clothing or athleisure wear is encouraged.

For more information, visit

Note: All dates and artists are subject to change. Participating groups and companies have their own rules and regulations. For additional information on classes mentioned above, reach out to individual organizations.

Click here for the complete Chicago Live! schedule and a stage map.


Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial WheelPolk Bros ParkFifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit

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About Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier's 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2022, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

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