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Gotta Be Bold

Inspired by the new musical 'Gotta Dance,' check out some ways to try out the spotlight yourself

Photograph: Max Herman
Black Box Acting

If the adventuresome seniors in the new musical Gotta Dance get your own creative juices flowing, you're in luck. We've rounded up an array of Chicago classes, workshops, open mics and dance parties for when you've just gotta put yourself out there.

Act out

Piven Theatre Workshop

With courses for all skill levels, the Piven Theatre Workshop pushes students to get in touch with their creative impulses over six weeks. “Improvisation, Games and Risk Taking” sounds like the perfect way to try something new. 927 Noyes St, Evanston, IL (847-866-8049, piventheatre.org/classes). $225.

Black Box Acting

Black Box offers multiple levels of training for those really committing to their craft. It provides year-round, five-week courses plus a more intensive training program: a 100-day conservatory with admission based on audition. 2625 W North Ave (323-487-2691, blackboxacting.com). $395 and up.

Moth StorySLAM

Put your skills to the test and head to the Moth StorySLAM, a bimonthly storytelling competition held across the U.S. Hopeful performers put their names in a hat, and the lucky chosen few compete with five-minute tales on the night's theme. Various locations (themoth.org). $8–$25.


Make ’em laugh

Cole's Comedy open mic

Since 2009, funny folks have tried out new material or stand-up for the first time at Cole’s. Sometimes big names like Tim Meadows drop by—but amateurs can try it too. Sign-up starts at 5:30pm every Wednesday. 2338 N Milwaukee Ave (773-276-5802, coleschicago.blogspot.com). Wed 9:30pm–2am; 21 and older, free. 

Second City Writing 1 class

Master the basics and determine your destiny at Chicago’s most famous laugh factory. Maybe you’ll develop a TV pilot, a late-night sketch or a book. Or maybe you’ll just, you know, build up some confidence. 1608 N Wells St (312-664-3959, secondcity.com /chicago). Jan 3–Feb 27; $329. 

iO Level 1 Improv class

Are you a team-playing funny guy? Learn to improvise with this entry-level course from iO (the former ImprovOlympic), which has produced greats like Tina Fey and Jason Sudeikis. Remember, potential improv kings: no blocking. 1501 N Kingsbury St (312 929-2401, ioimprov.com/chicago). $280.


Move your feet

Dance Dance Party Party

There are just three simple rules when you step through the door of Dance Dance Party Party: no boys, no booze and no judgment. Leave your inhibitions at home as you bust a move at this biweekly, ladies-only dance party. 4057 N Damen Ave (ddppchicago.wordpress.com). Wed 7–8pm, Sun 4–5pm; $5.

Burlesque class at Vaudezilla Studios

Perfect your shimmy and shake at Vaudezilla Studios, where some of the brightest Chicago burlesque stars will school you in everything from fan dancing to hooping and even twerking. Put a little bump in your boom-boom as you enjoy one of the many sensual classes at the Avondale studio. 3614 W Belmont Ave (vaudezilla.com). $3–$85.

Joffrey Ballet class

Live out your childhood ballet fantasy (no leotard required) at the Joffrey Ballet's Academy of Dance. The prestigious academy offers a variety of fantastic adult classes that let you channel your inner Baryshnikov or Copeland. 10 E Randolph St (312-784-4600, joffrey.org/joffreyacademy). $10–$140.