WICKER PARK — A ballet studio that bases its dance curriculum on fairy tales is the latest business geared toward young tykes to join the neighborhood.
Lakeview's A Fairytale Ballet plans to expand to Wicker Park at the end of August, in a large storefront space at 2243 W. North Ave. that was long home to Colori, an environmentally-friendly paint shop that closed in December.
Studio director and professional dance instructor Alaina Murray, 33, said the studio used a different fairy tale each week to capture the imagination of students while encouraging creativity through movement and music.
"It's really something special to slip into a fantasy world, their faces light up," Murray said of the students she's instructed.
Described as "popular creative movement with a base in ballet so they learn basic terminology," the classes — which include costumes and props — are designed to introduce movement through a story, which enables girls to get dressed up and act out parts of the tale.
Murray said "princess stories are really popular," such as Cinderella and Rapunzel, while traditional ballets such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Coppelia are often performed, too.
A Fairytale Ballet originated at 3244 N. Southport Ave. in Lakeview about 13 years ago and has since expanded to Evanston and Old Irving Park. The new space will be the studio's fourth location, Murray said.
The studio will join a new crop of daycare centers as well as two other North Avenue child-friendly businesses such as the Jewish Council for Youth Services' new family center, slated to move into a building at 2129 W. North Avenue, and The Kid's Table at 2337 W. North Ave.
As for which neighborhood to place the studio, Murray said, "We are calling it Bucktown/Wicker Park right now," because businesses on the east-west street located west of the Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection seem to lay claim to either or both neighborhoods.
Murray said all classes, which can accommodate up to 12 students, are 13 weeks long and cost $285, with a 10 percent sibling discount.
A Fairytale Ballet, 2243 W. North Ave. Fall classes begin Aug. 26. Ph: 773-606-0318. Hours are not set yet. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org