The Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School – 38 Years Young | Chicago North Shore Moms

Fall Registration is now open for The Irina Makkai Classical Ballet Dance School. Your budding and experienced dancers who wish to take their passion a step up can find classes that range from Ballet and Pointe to Modern dance. Read on to learn why the Mother-Daughter team, Irina Makkai and Lilla Makkai Daniels, has kept this dance school a premier program on the North Shore for the last 38 years. And they’re just getting started!



The Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance studio has been the North Shore’s Premier Dance School for over 38 years. Founded in 1984 by Irina Makkai, the dance school offers classes in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Tap and Pre-Dance. The school is the recipient of the Mayor’s Award for the Arts for their instruction and contribution to the arts in Highland Park. Home of the Ballet Makkai Nutcracker and Ballet Makkai Youth Company, the dance school has something to offer every dancer. Specializing in the Russian based Vaganova Method; the school offers individualized attention to each of its dancers. Their award winning staff of professional dancers includes dancers and directors from the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Lyric Opera, River North Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and more.



The dance school is housed in a 12,000 square foot building with four studios, study room and kitchen, multiple dressing rooms and spacious lobby. One studio and dressing room is reserved for the school’s youngest dancers with shorter barres and mirrors and colorful and inviting atmosphere. Their Pre-Dance Department specializes in introducing the basics of ballet technique while preserving the magic of ballet class. Using classical ballet stories, props and choreography, tiny ballerinas learn, explore and get inspired to dance.



For the past 38 years, their students have attended Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Northwestern, Dartmouth, Barnard, Vanderbilt, and Washington University and more. Their alumni danced with the Joffrey Trainee Program, Harid Conservatory, University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Texas Ballet Theater, Madison Ballet, Civic Ballet, Vanderbilt Dance Theater, Dance Alive National Ballet, and Ballet Nacional Peru, Universal Ballet Company Seoul, Minnesota Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, Ballet Austin, Ballet Chicago and Lyric Opera.

The Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School offer several performance opportunities for its dancers. A chance to dance in their full length Nutcracker is available to all its students, including their youngest Pre-Dance Ballerinas. The Student Choreographic Project offers the opportunity for the students to choreograph and perform their own piece, and their Annual Spring Recital features excerpts from Classical Ballet such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and many more.



Run by the Mother-Daughter team of Irina Makkai and Lilla Makkai Daniels, the Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School is a special place to dance. Whether your dancers wants to pursue a career in dance or just become the best dancer they can be, Ballet Makkai provides a safe, positive and nurturing environment for them to pursue their dreams.

Fall Registration is now open. For more information go to

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