Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago Alums Open VOLTA Performing Arts in Logan Square Jan. 15


With the new year, Chicago is getting a new dance studio! Columbia College Chicago alum Deborah Byczkowski ’12, a graduate of the Dance Center of Columbia College’s BFA Program in Dance, is opening VOLTA Performing Arts at 2142 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago’s northwest side Logan Square neighborhood. Opening January 15, VOLTA Performing Arts is Logan Square’s newest haven for dance technique education, creative self-expression, creative movement, and social connections through dance. The studio will welcome visitors with open house sessions Saturday, January 14, from 2 to 6 PM; Sunday, January 15, from 10 AM to 3 PM; and Monday, January 16, 3 to 8 PM.

The studio offers classes in creative movement, ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and modern dance, teaching all skill levels for students aged 2 to 18. VOLTA plans to open adult and pre-professional/professional classes starting in the Spring/Summer 2017 session, and also aims to provide critical services to Chicago dance professionals with an innovative artist-in-residence program. Tailored to suit the needs of working professionals, the program will offer residencies of varied lengths and levels of commitment.


Deborah Byczkowski

“VOLTA enables students to capture their full potential as dancers and people in a safe, caring, and respectful environment,” says Byczkowski. “VOLTA believes in the integration of anatomy, kinesiology, and physics principles into the dance curriculum. One of the ways VOLTA achieves science integration is by having adopted the Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM) philosophy. According to RPM, ‘Every student receives individual attention to address the unique needs their own body and personal drive. Progress is measured by their individual improvement–not by comparison to the rest of the class.’ ”

“VOLTA provides dancers a dance education that reaches far beyond execution of steps,” Byczkowski adds. “We engage students’ critical thinking in order to develop a deeper sense of self-awareness. We aim to have our students discover a deeper understanding of their own structure and how to move efficiently within that frame instead of just trying to imitate a shape. By applying physics concepts of force and energy, dancers can begin to develop kinesthetic awareness and discover energy patterns in their own movement allowing them to master dance steps they might have had difficulty executing prior.”

Ava Wolff

Ava Wolff

VOLTA’s teaching artist staff for the Winter/Spring session of 2017 are Byczkowski and Columbia College Dance Center former student Ava Wolff.

“As a dance educator, I believe dance education is about more than proper technique training,” says Byczkowski, a Chicago native, who holds a teaching certificate from the American Academy of Ballet and is the recipient of three prestigious RPM Scholarships. “It’s vital that young dancers have the ability to engage with the dance community, to attend dance concerts, participate in master classes, and attend talkbacks and lectures with professional dance companies, independent artists, dance historians, and other dance professionals.”

Toward this end, VOLTA is also establishing an 
artist-in-residence program that will be directed by Byczkowski and Columbia College Dance Center alum MaryAnn 
McGovern ’08, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BA Program in Dance.

“The residency program will offer rental space at a low cost,” explains Byczkowski, “and in an effort to foster a symbiotic relationship between our youth program and professional dance artists in 
Chicago, our long-term residencies offer teaching opportunities. These teaching opportunities are a chance for VOLTA students to take a diverse number of classes in different styles from Chicago artists, as well as serve as fundraising opportunities for the artists hosting class.”

From January 15 through April 9, VOLTA will offer two micro-residencies — a 12-week residency and a 6-week residency. Rates range from $5 to $7 per hour with a 12-week commitment, or from $7 to $9 per hour with a 6-week commitment. Pop-in rentals range from $10-12 per hour. These micro-residencies are a condensed version of the full program that will debut in fall of 2017. For more information about the residency programs, and to book space at VOLTA, email Byczkowski at

VOLTA is open Tuesday-Sunday. Tuition price ranges from $200 to $450 a semester depending on the length of the class. Class times range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.