Remembering Brenna

Please add your thoughts and memories of Brenna in the comment section below.

On Thursday, November 5, 2020, beloved Glenwood Dance Studio teacher Brenna Pierson-Tucker passed away. She died peacefully at home with her dog Sophie at her side. She is survived by her husband, Chris Tucker, who is also a dancer and co-founder with Brenna of Esoteric Dance Company, her parents and siblings. We are all saddened by this loss.

Brenna devoted her life to the art of dance and shared her love of dance with all her students, the dance community, and anybody lucky enough to watch her perform. She brought laughter and her joyful energy to our studio and made us all feel like dancers and artists.

She first became part of our GDS family when she rented rehearsal space from us shortly after our founding in 2013, and she started teaching with us in January 2014. During her nearly seven years as a GDS teacher, she taught modern dance, all levels of ballet, as well as classical and modern partnering. She also choreographed several performance workshops for us that were presented at our annual Spring Dance Festival. During the pandemic, she started attending classes, becoming a regular in Social Dance and Sassy Heels.

This short video includes clips of Brenna in her role as GDS teacher:

You can read more about Brenna and her artistic history in this interview from 2018. You can learn more about her company, Esoteric Dance Project, here. We have also created a playlist of some of Brenna’s classes as well as works that she choreographed during her time with us.

In February 2021 we premiered a dance that was created by four of our students and choreographer Ginger Jensen to remember and celebrate the life of GDS teacher Brenna Pierson-Tucker, The dance starts with the dancers arriving one by one, like they would arrive for class, then the music starts and the move as though wanting to connect, but then being pulled back. Throughout the dance the choreography incorporates movements that Brenna used in her classes, and as each dancer does her solo section the others watched the way we often watch each other in classes, and the way Brenna would watch us to give notes and corrections. The video ends with photos of Brenna. You can watch the piece here:

Please use the comments below to share your memories and thoughts about Brenna.

Fall Fundraiser 2020

Online Performance

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Fall Fundraiser Online Performance on Saturday, October 17. If you would still like to watch the show you can watch the video below at any time — no need to wait for the countdown clock! Also, the video mentions a dessert auction which is now closed. Thank you to everyone who bid on desserts!

Normally we would charge a ticket price for our fall fundraiser. We can’t do that this year, but we hope you will still consider making a donation to support our mission of creating a welcoming community of dance! Glenwood Dance Studio is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization.

Ways to donate:

  1. Venmo to @Erin-DeWitt-GDS
  2. PayPal to
  3. Zelle QuickPay to
  4. Credit card via MindBody at
  5. MindBody app — go to “Favorites” and choose “View Pricing” — one of the options is “Donations”.
  6. Mail donations to Glenwood Dance Studio, 7017 N. Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626.

BYOB Halloween Sassy Heels 2020

Join us for an online “BYOB” Halloween Sassy Heels special event Saturday, October 31 at 7:30 -9:00 p.m. on Zoom. In this class you will learn a fun, sassy dance — heels optional — with a Halloween theme. We will all have time to show off our costumes, and Josh will be providing a recipe for a signature cocktail that you can make at home to drink during the class if you wish.

Sign up today with the MindBody app!

Outdoor Musical Theater Class September 13

While we still have some nice weather we will be offering a special one-time outdoor Musical Theater class on Sunday, September 13, 3:30-4:30 p.m. taught by Brennen Renteria.

The class will be in Loyola park — you will be given the exact meeting point after you register for the class. Masks will be required, and we will be dancing on the grass so wear appropriate footwear.

Advance sign-ups are required, and the fee will be $15. Class cards can’t be used for this special event. If the class gets rained out we will re-schedule for September 20th.

Class size will be limited so register today!

In-Studio Tap Classes: New Day, New Names, New Sessions

Lots of news for our in-studio tap classes!

New Session of Tap Basics (Level 1) Starts September 12

Never had a tap class before but always wanted to try it out? A new session of our Tap Basics (Level 1) class starts Saturday, September 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m. No shoes? We have some loaner tap shoes, or you can wear any hard-soled shoe for your first class. This is a drop in class so if  you can’t be there on the 12th you can start later, but it helps to start at the beginning.

Sunday Classes Moving to Thursday

Our Sunday classes are moving to Thursday nights AND they are getting new names to better reflect the actual level of the students in those classes. Advanced Beginner Tap will now be called “Intermediate Tap” and will be Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Intermediate Tap will now be called “Advanced/Intermediate Tap” and will now be Thursdays 7:45-8:45 p.m. 

Tap Schedule Starting September 10:

  – Thursday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Intermediate Tap (Level 3) (was Advanced Beginner)
  – Thursday 7:45-8:45 p.m. Advanced/Intermediate Tap (Level 4) (was Intermediate)
  – Saturday 3:15-4:15 Beginning Tap (Level 2)
  – Saturday 4:30-5:30 Tap Basics (Level 1)

Try Ballet Move & Stretch Free This August 2, 2020

Our online Sunday Move & Stretch class is getting a new ballet focus — so we are doing the class for free this Sunday, August 2, 1:30-2:30 p.m., so people can try it out.

In this class teacher Natalie Moreira will guide you through a gentle warm-up to wake up the muscles and joints including some floor-barre type strengthening movements, and then will lead you through whole-body stretches (standing and on the floor) to improve flexibility and turnout. The class typically ends with a brief meditation that leaves you relaxed and ready for whatever is next!

Sign up with the MindBody app or at When it is time for class go to our website for the Zoom meeting link.

Some Classes Back In the Studio

To prepare for Re-Opening Phase 4 we did a student survey about switching to in-studio classes and found that the majority of students still preferred online classes. Many were not yet comfortable with in-studio classes, others worried that limited class sizes would leave some students out, and some were worried about our teachers having to take public transportation to get to the studio. 

Because of this we will be keeping all of our online classes and adding the following in-studio classes (which had the most requests from the survey):

Beginning Tap (Level 2) with Judy Burke – 3:15-4:15 (starts July 11)
Tap Basics (Level 1) with Judy Burke – 4:30-5:30 (starts July 11)

Ballet Basics (Level 1) with Adina Stuhlman – 10:30-11:45 (starts July 19)
Intermediate Ballet (Level 4) with Natalie Nespoli Moreira – Noon – 1:30 (starts July 19)
Intermediate Tap (Level 4) with Jeremy Burke – 1:45-2:45 (starts July 12)
Advanced Beginner Tap (Level 3) with Jeremy Burke – 3:00-4:00 (starts July 12)

In-Studio Class Policies

  • Maximum of 6 students per class. We strongly suggest signing up in advance to make sure you have a spot.
  • Students and teachers are required to wear masks.
  • Temperature checks will be done at the door with a contactless thermometer.
  • Students experiencing any Covid-type symptoms are not allowed to come to class.
  • There will be hand sanitizer at the door and we will ask everyone to use it on entering. 
  • 6-foot spacing will be marked on the floor for students to use as a guide.
  • Common touch points will be wiped down before and between classes.
  • The drinking fountain at the studio has been turned off; students must bring their own water.
  • Class fees will be the same as the online classes; online class passes will now be good for both online and in-studio classes..

Thank you for everyone who participated in the survey. We are excited to be able to offer this mix of classes for our students.

New Classes and Times Starting in June 2020

Tuesdays: Starting this Tuesday, June 2, Josh Fletcher will be teaching two Zoom classes every Tuesday:

  • 5:45-6:45 will be Intermediate Contemporary Jazz Technique. This class will focus on technique with a short combo at the end.
  • 7:00-8:00 is Sassy Heels. In this all-levels class the main part of class is spent learning a fun, sassy dance routine.

Thursdays: Beginning Ballet with Natalie Nespoli Moreira is moving to 5:30-6:45 p.m. The time change means we get an extra 15 minutes of ballet with Natalie!

New Ballet Basics Session Starts Saturday: A new session of Ballet Basics with Adina Stuhlman will be starting on Saturday, June 6. This class meets 10:00-11:15 on Zoom, and it is for adults who have never taken a ballet class before. It is a drop-in class so you only pay for the classes you take, but it does build session by session so you do want to try to attend all classes.

Saturday Beginning Social Dance: Learn a different social dance style every week with Katie DeSalvo in this super fun class for singles or couples or whoever you are quarentined with, Saturdays, 6-7 p.m CST. The schedule for June is:

  • June 6 – Beginning Cha Cha
  • June 13 – Beginning Salsa
  • June 20 – Beginning West Coast Swing
  • June 27 – no class

FREE Special Event: Contemporary Dance for Absolute Beginners, Sunday, June 21 3:00-4:00 p.m. If you have wanted to try Contemporary Dance but wasn’t sure what the class would be like — this is for you! Teacher Kim Baker will go over all the basics of what you can expect in a Contemporary Dance class and introduce you to some of the techniques and terminology of this expressive style of dance. Sign up with MindBody and the Zoom class link will be emailed to you.