About Us | Urbanity Dance Chicago

About Us

Who Are We?

Urbanity Dance Chicago, founded in 2019, is a woman-owned dance studio for adults in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Urbanity strives to cultivate individuality, community, and passion for dance through the Afro-Latin partner dances & urban solo dance styles which include Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Zouk, Cumbia, Cha Cha, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Heels, and more!

What makes us different?

Urbanity works hard to create a safe, inclusive, judgement-free space for everyone to feel welcome in regardless of age, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Gender and masculine/feminine have been dissociated from the lead/follow roles in partner dance and solo styling in hopes of encouraging students to dance what they want, how they want!Our instructors come from a wide variety of training backgrounds, allowing us to take the best of all worlds and combine it into one! Our curriculum structure and teaching methods reflect that. They are unique and constantly evolving to ensure that quality & fun are equally valued at every level.Ask a student or staff member about Urbanity and you will hear...
  • “comfortable”
  • “connected”
  • “a friendly and supportive environment”
  • “a perfect balance of discipline and creativity”
Our staff is passionate, our students are family, and we are truly welcoming to ALL.

“Connect. Express. Vibe” is our checklist for success.

Connect with a diverse, inclusive, fun community of awesome human beings.Express yourself through movement with your own personal style.Vibe out & de-stress from the daily grind.

Meet Our Team

Our versatile teachers do more than what they offer on the schedule.

Sarah Zuccaro

Owner | Offering group dance classes in Zouk, Bachata, & Stretch + 6-Week Series in Body Movement & Technique. Private lessons in above genres + Salsa, beginner-level Kiz, Cha Cha, & Wedding dances also available.

Sierra Wells

Offering group dance classes in Salsa. Private lessons in Salsa, Bachata, & Afro Beats also available.

Horacio Zavala

Offering group dance classes in Cumbia. Private lessons in Cumbia, Salsa & Bachata also available.

Mahogany Beal

Offering group dance classes in Hip Hop & Dancehall. Private lessons in above genres + tik tok dances, House, & hip whining also available.

Nathalie Ocampo

Offering group dance classes in Heels. Private lessons in Heels & Hip Hop also available.

Shafeeha Monae

Offering group dance classes in Kizomba. Private lessons in Kizomba, Semba, Urban Kiz, Afro Beats, & Tarraxa/Tarraxinha also available.

Christie & Gennady

Offering group dance classes & private lessons in Zouk. Private lessons by Gennady in Kizomba also available.

Ken Berry

Offering group dance classes & private lessons in Kizomba + 6 week series in Popping.

Program Structure

Our structure keeps YOU in mind!

Having had a formal dance education through Eastern Michigan University, as well as several teaching certifications in Ballroom & Brazilian Zouk, our studio owner values pedagogy - the art of teaching - immensely! We also know our students have busy lives, and that can make it hard to be consistent or commit 100% to one's hobbies. Urbanity's program structure is very unique in that it offers quality progressive learning while still being flexible. Read up on our cycle format for partner dances and leveled learning for solo dances below!

PARTNER DANCE

Bachata | Salsa | Kizomba | Zouk

SOLO DANCE

Hip Hop | Heels

DROP-IN CLASSES

Stretch | Dancehall

Dance Styles

Each dance style has its own culture, vibe, & benefits. What are your motivations for coming to dance class?What goals do you want to achieve? Learn all about the variety of dance styles that Urbanity offers so you can figure out the best fit for you!

Bachata

Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic and has been influenced by dance forms such as merengue, bolero, and more recently, tango, hip hop, and Zouk.Bachata features a close partner connection with circular and on the spot movement complemented by hip sways, body isolations, and smooth turns. It's also characterized by signature footwork consisting of rhythmic taps, slides, and syncopations.Bachata is booming in Chicago currently, especially the trending sub-style, Bachata Sensual. There's many opportunities in the city to social dance and perform Bachata. You'll have a whole new social calendar! Not only are there many social opportunities, Bachata will help improve coordination, body awareness, and musicality.

Salsa

Salsa originated in the Caribbean, specifically in Cuba and Puerto Rico with influences of Son, Rumba, Pachanga, and more. It has since spread its influence worldwide and has become immensely popular. Our current sub-style of Salsa has been heavily impacted by renowned dancers in New York such as Eddie Torres & Adolfo Indacochea.Visually, Salsa is characterized by its dynamic movements that showcase intricate turns, rhythmic hip and ribcage movements, and quick footwork. Both partners require a strong connection and communicate through both physical and visual cues.The Salsa scene in Chicago is currently very "niche" but full of passionate, well-trained dancers with a deep appreciation for the dance and it's music. Dancing Salsa helps improve stamina, coordination, and musicality.

Kizomba

Kizomba is Angolan and has influences from Semba, Coladeira, Konpa, and Kassav.Kizomba is a "Feeling" dance, and also a walking dance. It is most similar to the more commonly known dance, Argentine Tango, regarding it's connection points and structure.Kizomba is very deconstructed therefore musicality interpretations are endless. It can range from simple, connection-focused movements to more flashy dynamic ones. It's considered grounded and earthy, sensual, unnoticeably technical, and angular with travel paths.

Zouk

Zouk is a progression of Lambada and is now one of Brazil's popular ballroom dances.Brazilian Zouk is a connection-based dance with 3 main components: body movement, head movement, and general pattern-work. It's easily personalized, sensual, and has a wave-like flow.To compare it with other styles you might be familiar with, Zouk is most similar to West Coast regarding it's "backwards intention" and also Bolero for its smoothness and "reaching", or projecting, slow steps.The Zouk community in Chicago is a very warm welcoming community; and the dance itself can be physically therapeutic if executed with the proper technique.

Hip Hop

Hip Hop has roots in Africa but has evolved overtime into an umbrella containing multiple rhythms, steps, sounds, vocabulary, and style from multiple cultures.There are many substyles of Hip Hop but generally speaking, the style is very grounded (movements are usually done in low stances), high energy, and usually uses full body movements with the exception of the pop & lock styles, which emphasize isolation.Hip Hop is great style for developing confidence & creativity with movement. It helps build confidence to freestyle, whether you're just dancing at the club with your friends or wanting to improvise for cyphers or choreography. It also improves rhythm & groove through focusing on connecting to the music.

Heels

Heels, or Stiletto, Dance can be traced back to the early 20th century when performers started incorporating this shoe style into their routines to add elegance, sensuality, and visual appeal.Heels dance is an evolving style of dance with influences from Latin, Burlesque, Vogue, Whacking, Hip Hop, and Ballet.This dance form helps dancers unleash their inner sensuality and femininity. It is sensual, elegant, dynamic in how it utilizes all of the different levels of movement, and most of all incredibly powerful in its ability to channel feminine energy.In learning Heels Dance, you'll boost your confidence and gain a sense of empowerment while improving posture, balance, strength, self esteem and mental health.

Dancehall

Dancehall music began in the late 60’s in Jamaica, whereas Dancehall moves and steps branched off of reggae music in the 70’sAfrican culture, Hip Hop music, and today's American culture are some of the biggest influences in Dancehall's most popular social steps.Dancehall movement is distinguished by it's low stances, energetic yet chill rhythmic movement, hip whines, body rolls, and full fluid movements of the spine (especially in the lower spine).Dancehall can inspire body empowerment through discovering and embracing your sensuality, not just sexuality, of the body. It can help grow confidence in one’s own body movement, it's great cardio, and Dancehall social steps are still seen at clubs current day so it's super versatile and usable!

Stretch

Our stretch classes feature a combination of strength and flexibility exercises to help increase mobility in the hip and shoulder joints, strength in the core, back, legs, and hips to help maintain certain positions or poses, and flexibility in every area of the body.Our stretch classes will provide desk relief, bettering your ability to maintain good posture and a wider range of movement in your daily life, as well as prepare you to achieve higher level, dance-based flexibility concepts such as splits and leg extensions.

Head Movement

Head Movement is the relaxation of the head in a circular trajectory which is lead by the orbital motion of the ribcage. This would include the common movements most popularly referred to as hair whips and head rolls.Individuals who dance Bachata Sensual, Brazilian Zouk, and solo dance styles such as Heels (or Stilettos), pole dancing, hip hop, burlesque, and reggaeton would benefit most from these classes.Learning proper technique for head movements will help protect your spine and neck from injury as well as improve your sensuality and fluidity while dancing these movements.

Sensual Body Movement

Our sensual body movement classes cover body rolls, hip movements, rib isolations, and everything in between!All dancers, no matter what style they dance, can benefit from body movement classes. Even individuals who want to move better and more confidently at the club, or just want to feel more comfortable in their body, can benefit as well!These classes are drill based and focused on increasing body articulation, mobility, and coordination to increase fluidity and sensuality in movements.