Dance Chicago

Organization Type


Founded by John Schmitz and the late Fred Solari, Dance Chicago burst
onto the scene in 1995. Garnering vast support from the Chicago dance
community, audience and funders, Dance Chicago has invested time, energy
and creativity in building the Chicago Dance Community
experienced today. The festival has created over 600 shows and showcased
15,000 acts with 150,000 artists to audiences of 250,000.


John Schmitz is the co-founder of Dance Chicago and its Artistic
Producer.  He has been producing inventive dance events for 35 years,
promoting alliances and collaborations between artists and dance
organizations both nationally and internationally. Schmitz was one of
1995 Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoans of the Year,” a 1998 Ruth Page Award
recipient for “Outstanding Contribution to the Dance Community” and the
2006 winner of Columbia College Arts “Entrepreneurship of the Year

His programming focus is in the belief that dance can drive emotional
transformation. Being non-verbal, its dramatic power is well suited to
such a task. The goal is: feel better about life when you leave the
theatre than you did before you entered the theatre. He currently serves
as President of the Board of Athenaeum Theatre Productions.

Emergence Dance Theatre presents the 25thanniversary of Dance Chicago, an annual celebration of dance curated by Artistic Director John SchmitzNovember 11 -17 and the return of Dances from the Heart, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at the Athenaeum Theatre2936 N. Southport Ave.


Dance Chicago

5851 N. Kenmore, 3S
Chicago, IL 60660-3722
(773) 404-4423

Past Events