Twirling toddlers and dancing babies will soon be a regular scene at a new dance studio in downtown Winnetka.
Baby Take a Bow, which offers a dance curriculum ranging from ballet to hip hop for students from infants to preteens, is expected to open on Monday, November 12.
The Winnetka studio will be Baby Take a Bow’s second location; the first opened in Chicago’s Roscoe Village in 2011.
“I was looking at Evanston, Wilmette, and Winnetka [for the second location], when I got to Winnetka, that’s when my search ended,” owner Kristen Ramirez said.
The 31-year-old says she fell in love with Winnetka’s neighborhood feel, “it’s like a small city within a cute, beautiful community.”
She chose the space at 805 Elm St. because it felt similar to the Chicago location.
“I felt at home and that’s how I want to feel where I’m working every day,” Ramirez said. “The other suburbs are beautiful, and the North Shore is gorgeous, but I knew that as soon as I walked up to the corner spot that it was ours.”
Pouring Her Vision into a Studio
Ramirez has been a dancer ever since she was three. As a toddler she danced at a neighborhood studio seven days a week and went on to competitive cheering and dancing through high school and college.
When her daughter turned three, Ramirez wanted to share her love of dancing and began a search of dance studios, but none met her expectations as a dancer and a mother.
“We started to look at places but it was unfulfilling. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, for all sorts of reasons,” she said. “There’s a lack of environment where moms, family and children could get everything out of one facility.”
In January 2011, Ramirez opened up the first Baby Take A Bow at 2223 W. Roscoe St., Chicago, to provide a dance studio that parents and children could enjoy together.
The dancer says she likes providing a comfortable, neighborhood-oriented environment where parents can make friends and children can learn the joys of dancing.
“It’s important for me for everyone to have fun,” she said.
Now the owner of two dance studios, Ramirez plans to spend most of her time in Winnetka during the winter session. Next year, she plans to split her time between the two studios.
Favorable Reviews of the Studio
On Yelp, most users gave favorable reviews of the dance studio’s Chicago location. Of 12 reviewers, eight gave it three or more stars. Two reviewers gave Baby Take a Bow only one star.
Megan L. wrote, “The class structure was rigid and did not embrace certain levels of toddler fun … The class could best be summarized as age-inappropriate in its expectations.”
Other reviewers disagreed with the low rating.
Terese G. wrote, “Kristen and all the instructors make sure that the class is a truly enjoyable experience for the girls and the parents. An added plus is that there is a camera set up so that parents can watch the class from the front, without disturbing the girls by peeking through a window.”
For more information about Baby Take a Bow, visit: www.BabyTakeaBowChicago.com/Winnetka
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