From Eye On Urbana December 2002
By Peter Havranek
Within the borders of Urbana you will find many treasures, and Christine Rich Studio is one of the truly impressive ones. Christine Rich Studio is a premier dance training facility located in the heart of Urbana at Lincoln Square Mall, and is recognized throughout Chicago for its exceptional training of young students in ballet, jazz and tap.
Christine Rich, the founder of the Studio, danced and acted professionally in New York and Los Angeles before returning to Urbana-Champaign to continue her legacy. The Studio moved to Urbana in 1998, after outgrowing the Champaign Park District. It now has two oversized, state-of-the-art facilities with hundreds of students throughout Central Illinois. “I found downtown Urbana charming, and the convenience that the mall provided for dance parents and students was perfect for my dance classes,” says Rich.
Professional dancers often stop to take class at Christine Rich Studio when they are visiting from New York or touring with productions. Locally, the Studio begins training with two year olds and up through adults. Subjects include ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, baton twirling, strength, hip hop, modern, acting and Irish dance (taught by a former Trinity Irish company member).
Different than recreational training, Christine Rich Studio offers complete training that gives students the opportunity to join professional companies. Even students that seek dance “for fun” appreciate the unique and nurturing training. The Studio’s Classical Division is headed by Luciana Rezende from Brazil. Daniela Smirne from Brazil and Reida Dobi from Albania teach beginners and advanced students.