‘Dance Moms’ entertain in Buffalo Grove
Reality TV star Chloe Lukasiak, from Lifetime's "Dance Moms" works with some of the local dancers Sunday at On Your Toes Dance Academy in Buffalo Grove. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:55PM
BUFFALO GROVE — Louise Taitz is not getting her business onto reality television, but she did get reality television to come to her business last weekend.
Taitz’s On Your Toes Academy of Dance, 1014 Weiland Road in Buffalo Grove, hosted two of the stars of a cable program about competitive pre-teen dancers Sunday morning for a pair of dance clinics and discussions.
Eleven-year-old dancer Chloe Lukasiak and her mother Christie, two of the featured personalities on Lifetime’s Dance Moms, visited the studio, and Taitz said she was thrilled to have the opportunity.
“It’s really exciting because she’s a TV celebrity,” Taitz said of Chloe. “She’s super-sweet, and her mommy’s a character. There’s quite a personality there.”
The show depicts life at the Abbie Lee Dance Co. in Pittsburgh, where Christie Lukasiak and a group of other mothers appear to fluctuate wildly from doting over their girls to screaming at their girls’ instructor and bickering with each other. The Lukasiaks and their personal choreographer have been touring dance studios on the East Coast, and Taitz attracted them to Buffalo Grove.
When asked what the Lukasiaks demand as an appearance fee, Taitz said, “A lot of money.”
“That was the hardest negotiation, because they started off really expensive.”
But a crowd of about 50 young dancers paid $50 each to meet Chloe, Taitz reported.
Taitz opened On Your Toes in 2002, two blocks away from its current location. She expanded into the 3,800-square-foot, two-studio facility in 2008. Open six days a week, On Your Toes teaches lyric, hip-hop, jazz and other dance styles.
“We believe in creating well-rounded, balanced dancers,” Taitz said. “Our mission here is really to instill a love of dance in our kids.”
And that formula is paying off, she said.
In 2011, On Your Toes won the small-group section of the World Series of Dance, a week long competition in St. Charles that attracts studios from Australia, Canada, England and across the US. In 2012, Taitz’s girls won the large-group section with a ballet, the first ballet routine to ever earn that honor.
“We’re very proud of that,” she said. “It’s a huge honor.”
On Your Toes also supports Dancers Against Cancer, a move that began when the group learned that one of their own moms had been struck by the disease.
“We wanted to just give back,” Taitz said. “It was really heartwarming.”