Watch tonight in Chicago Berkowitz w/Foster Dance Studios' Artistic Director Jana Schneider: On cable and Web

Tonight's City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs features Jana Schneider, Foster Dance Studios' ("FDS") Interim Artistic Director.  The program airs at 8:30 pm and midnight on Cable Ch. 21 [CAN TV] throughout the City (including Rogers Park, a primary FDS geographic market).

You can also watch the Schneider show 24/7 at the Public Affairs' youtube channel.  

Additional primary FDS geographic markets include Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park and other North Suburban and Chicago neighborhoods).

In awe of Foster Dance Studios instruction:

As parents, we oversee our children's pursuit of many activities, for some of which we are in total shock and awe of our kids' instructors and mentors.

That shock and awe is the subject of tonight's episode of Public Affairs, where we introduce our gentle viewers to the world of dance, through our guest, Foster's Jana Schneider. [Foster Dance Studios  is located at 915 Foster St., about 100 yards west of the Foster stop on the purple line in Evanston, and just west of Northwestern University]

At Public Affairs, we have focused most of our 900 weekly TV shows over the last 18 years on politics and public policy, but every once in a while we get a more elegant and graceful perspective from our guests.

Our strongest role model for this deviation from our norm is the late, great Tim Russert, who liked to break from politics on Meet the Press and venture into sports, and in particular into baseball-- where he no doubt loved to hit hardballs with the fat end of the bat and interview the likes of New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra.

So, we start tonight's show by asking Miss Jana, as many of her young students call her, if dancers have to deal, from time to time, with the equivalent of  missed blocks and broken plays, as do football players.

Ms. Schneider, a playmaker in her own right, grasped the analogy instantly, picked up the ball and scored quickly.

Bill Bradley, 74, the former U. S. Senator (NJ), Rhodes Scholar, Presidential candidate wanna be in 2000 and New York Knicks' basketball player wrote that when you have played basketball long enough, you don't even have to look at the basket when you shoot-- you just know where the basket is, throw the ball up and in it goes.

No doubt, the late, great choreographer, dancer and inspired leader of the improvisational approach to dance [as opposed to Dictate-Follow], Ronn Stewart, who passed away at 42 on September 30, 2017 would say something quite similar to Bradley.

Stewart would tell us, I am sure, that when you dance and do choreography with love-- you feel the dance, music and what the dancers are communicating.  And, you know the entirety of the stage and all of what is being done-- almost in the same way Bradley knew where the basket was-- without even looking.

Dance, when properly understood and felt, is inside of you.

Indeed, this is what Schneider tells us, in essence, during tonight's show. The muscles, tone, style, mastered techniques and visuals may be on the outside. But, the power, feeling and emotion come from within. [Watch dances performed by junior, intermediate and advanced crew choreographed by Marchello Lee and Jana Schneider for the Foster Dance Studios' Company Spring, 2016 show]

Schneider was a student and then a colleague of Stewart's at the Foster Dance Studios for much of his tenure there during the last six years as artistic director, with his wife, Sarah Goldstone, as associate director  at Foster and the Cocodaco Dance Project.

So, now it is up to Schneider and many of her colleagues on the Foster faculty, including Graca Sales- Joffrey classical ballet master and principal coach; Sarah Goldstone- Foster Dance Studios' co-founder, majority owner and Associate Artistic Director, David Maurice-Interim Artistic Director at the Cocodaco Dance Project and Kathryn Ebert- Foster Executive Director, co-founder and minority owner to carry on the Stewart tradition.

That tradition will continue to radiate out to the several hundred Foster students, mostly aged from  2 to 25, but many adult students are quite a bit older, as Stewart brought MoPeD- more people dancing,  to life at Foster.

And the Foster faculty continues to grow and deepen, with the love, affection and disciplined efforts of Ebert, Schneider, Goldstone, Sales, Maurice and others at the Foster Dance Studios.

Below is a partial transcript of tonight's show.

You can also watch the show at the Public Affairs youtube channel.  

Jana Schneider, 26, dancer, choregrapher, TCU Roach Honors' Laureate who produced three dance films in her senior year and now Foster Dance Studios' interim Artistic Director and dancer at the Cocodaco Dance project (She dances seven days a week)

Jana Schneider, 26, dancer, choregrapher and  Foster Dance Studios' interim Artistic Director and dancer at the Cocodaco Dance Project.

Watching FDS Interim Artistic Director Jana Schneider on Cable in Evanston, Highland Park, Wilmette, Skokie, Northbrook and various other nearby suburbs

The Public Affairs show featuring Schneider will also-

  • air twice daily in Evanston, for 12 days, starting this Wednesday, Jan. 3 (8:30 am and 8:30 pm, on Comcast Cable Ch. 6) and continuing thru Monday, Jan. 15
  • air in Highland Park, next week, Monday and  Wednesday, January 8 and 10 at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19
  • air in Wilmette, Niles, Lincolnwood, Northfield, Morton Grove and in other NW suburbs (see next week's blog post) on Tuesday night, January 9 at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19
  • air in Skokie, Northbrook, Glenview, Golf and in other NW suburbs (see next week's blog post) on Tuesday night, January 9 at 8:30 pm onComcast Cable Ch. 35


Partial transcript of tonight's Public Affairs TV show featuring FDS’ Interim Artistic Director Miss Jana:

Berkowitz: So, in a sense, this show is about an entrepreneurial spirit, we have dance entrepreneurs…what do entrepreneurs do? In one word?

Jana Schneider: Entrepreneurs create!

Berkowitz: And what do you do as a dancer?

Schneider: I create.

Berkowitz: As a choreographer.

Schneider: And, as a dancer.

Berkowitz: But, before you could do that, somebody had to create the Foster Dance Studios, and the building that houses the studio- they had to create the idea that there would be classes in the studio, that there would be teaching and performing in those studios… so it was [now Executive Director] Kathryn Ebert, working with the artistic directors—Sarah Goldstone [You will love watching this video, Done with LOVE by choreographers Sarah, Ron and the dancers]  and Ronn Stewart—and Ronn brought so much to Foster...

The late Ronn Stewart, Co-Founder, Dancer, Choreographer and Faculty member of Foster Dance Studios and Co-founder, Dancer and Choreographer of Cocodaco with Kathryn Ebert, Co-founder, minority owner and Executive Director of Foster Dance Studios

The late Ronn Stewart, 42, Co-Founder, Dancer, Choreographer and Faculty member of Foster Dance Studios;  Co-founder, Dancer and Choreographer of Cocodaco and creator  of FDS' signature MoPeD, "More People Dancing,"  pictured, above, with Kathryn Ebert, 53, Executive Director of Foster Dance Studios.

Schneider: Yes, Ronn Stewart definitely was one of my mentors.

Berkowitz: Ronn ... influenced you —first as a student ... then as a teacher —and you were learning all of this time—from Sarah, Ronn and ...Kathrynshe created this—those three created this building- Foster Dance Studios—and then it sort of grew from there—

Executive Director Kathryn Ebert as she greets parents, students and others at the Foster Dance Studios front desk

FDS Executive Director and long time Evanston resident Kathryn Ebert, in her element when working the Foster front desk and talking with FDS parents, students and faculty.

Schneider: Yes, it really took off!

Berkowitz: to become several hundred students now…and Foster has a few “Dance companies,” what are those companies?

Schneider: So, we have five main—we call them our studio companies, that are divided up by age, a little bit by level- so we have five company colors: pinks, oranges, blues, purples and red. The students are required to take a certain number of classes to acquire various technical skills, to develop their voice-- and we... do a big show at the end of each semester.

Berkowitz: So, you have a show coming up.  We are taping this on December 21, you will have a show in the second week of January [January 13, Together Unique] … sadly, Ronn Stewart passed away on Sep. 30, at the young age of 42 [Read about the October 29, 2017 Tribute to the life of Ronn Stewart] … and in that [January 13 show] you bring together performances by those five colors, five companies and [blend in the choreography of Ronn, who worked on the January 13 FDS Company show for two weeks before he passed away].

FDS Executive Director Kathryn Ebert and Sam Watson, Artist in residence at University of Arizona and long time collaborator with Ron Stewart, both of whom gave key speeches at the Oct. 29, 2017 Ronn Stewart Memorial Service, chat after the service.

FDS Executive Director Kathryn Ebert and Sam Watson (both in the center), Artist in residence at University of Arizona and long time collaborator with Ronn Stewart, both of whom gave key speeches at the Oct. 29, 2017 Ronn Stewart Memorial Service, chat after the service.

Schneider: as well as another two companies- intermediate pre-professional and advanced pre-professional... and then we have a phenomenal classical ballet program run by Graca Sales and some hip hop crews

Berkowitz: So, sometime after Ronn passed away on September 30, 2017 you became the interim artistic director at Foster and David Maurice pitched in

Schneider: We had a few different new faculty members—so one of the things we wanted to do after Ronn’s passing was to surround our studio with love and a diversity of light from different teachers and backgrounds...

Berkowitz: So, this is all growth … and Ronn saw this coming ... because he had these five principles that had become the principles of Foster and they had spread further… so when you dance, do you “Do it with love.”

Schneider: Oh, a 100 %.

Berkowitz: What does it mean to Do it with Love?

Schneider: “Do it with love,” reflects each dancer’s interpretation, but it is like “Going out, teaching, doing choreography, performing and just giving it your all... to be powerful within your own self…” There are a few rules...No. 1 is to keep going...and then there is to remember and Do it with Love.

Berkowitz: ... Everybody watching this will want to keep in mind the enrollment for Foster Dance Studios' classes, which start up again on January 8, including two FREE (for the entire session) classes: BOYS Ballet and MoPeD (for boys and girls) [You can register here]  and keep in mind the summer program...

FDS students mingling with each other in their dance attire, as Ronn Stewart would have wanted, prior to his October 29, 2017 Memorial Service at Regina High School in Wilmette, IL

FDS students mingling with each other in their informal and comfortable dance attire, as Ronn Stewart would have wanted, prior to his October 29, 2017 Memorial Service at Regina High School in Wilmette, IL

Schneider: Super exciting summer program!

Berkowitz: Just keep that in mind and ...all of you, you come back next week and every week to Public Affairs and Do it, Do it, Do it-- Do it with Love.


A post- Christmas present?  Foster  Dance Company Together Unique tickets

Get the perfect  post - Christmas present for your children and you: an intro to “Do it with Love,” when you buy tickets to the Foster Dance Studios’ (847) 864-1877  winter show on Saturday, January 13, 2017 (Together Unique, 2 pm and 7 pm, Music Institute at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave, Evanston, Illinois 60201).

Buy tickets at the Foster Dance Studios, 915 Foster St., Evanston, IL or 24/7 by clicking ( 2 pm performance)    

or (7 pm performance)

or starting with the  FDS Facebook page.

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