General Information     Class Descriptions     Class Schedules     Enrollment Procedure     Program Details  

The Barefoot Hawaiian Dance Studio and School conducts classes of dance, music, and other training in various performing arts of the South Pacific, which includes Hawaiian, Polynesian, Tahitian, and Samoan styles.

We are proud to own and operate one of the rare minority of schools in the Chicago area and the entire Midwestern United States that specializes entirely in these arts. We have remained devoted to this tradition for over 40 years and continue it today through the training of over 125 students a year in the Polynesian arts.

(Page Last Revised September 16, 2015 Updated Class Schedule)

General Information

The Barefoot Hawaiian Dance Studio runs two different programs of dance classes.  Program one is our Dance Company Training Program.  This is a formal training program for the serious student with the focus on learning the South Pacific dances as a true art form with attention to precision, technique, execution, and showmanship.  Program two is our Summer Hula Dance Class.  This is an informal dance class with the focus on having fun and learning basic hula in a relaxed and casual setting.  For complete details of each program and more information that will help you select the track that will suit you best, go to the Program Details section further on this page.  Regardless of your selection, you will be taking your lessons from a Hawaiian and Polynesian dance master.


Class Descriptions

  Keiki     Wahine     Ori Tahiti     Professional     Specialty     Summer Program  

Following lists our various dance training divisions and the primary class categories in the divisions.  All the divisions listed below, except for Summer Hula, are within the Dance Company Training Program.  Summer Hula is the informal program having a stand-alone dance class.

KEIKI (children 3-15)

The Barefoot Hawaiian is proud to teach children Hula and the art of Hawaiian dance, and teaching young students is one of our specialties.  Our head instructor started at age 3 herself and knows firsthand how much fun this can be for children to learn a dance art.  For our Keiki classes, children are placed according to age.  The classes are designed for students of any skill level within their age group.

The performances of our Keiki at public shows is one of our biggest draws, appealing to and providing great entertainment for the entire family.  The photos shown in this section is of our Keiki performing on stage at various local public shows.


Our Keiki One  program is designed specifically to introduce dance to children at the very early pre-school age.

Open to both, boys and girls, ages 3 through 5, beginning Hula taught in a fun and interactive class.


Our next levels of Keiki dance instruction is a continuing program for school-aged children, boys and girls, up to the teenage years.

Classes are divided by age as follows:

Keiki 2 - Ages 6-7
Keiki 3 - Ages 8-9
Keiki 4 - Ages 10-11 

Our students in these classes take part in full Polynesian dance which includes Tahitian rhythms and the full range of Hawaiian dance arts.

Although the classes are structured by ages, Keiki Two through Four often perform on stage at public shows together as a large group.  The photos shown here collectively depict this.

These classes are designed for both, new students to enter the program at any age and for existing students to progress from one age group through the next.  So, if you're a parent with a 10 or 11 year old child, our program can accept your son or daughter as a brand new student.


These Keiki classes are for teenagers, boys and girls, ages 12 through 15.

As is true for all our Keiki classes, new students are always welcome to enter the program.

So, if you're a 15 year old boy or girl with a brand new interest in Polynesian dance, our program can accept you as a brand new student and learn for the first time.

For our students that have progressed from previous classes, they will learn advanced techniques covering the full range of Polynesian dance arts.  In addition, for those students wishing to continue on, these classes prepare students for entry into one of the adult classes where they will be later placed according to their skill level.


Wahine For Fun (female adults 16 and up)


These Barefoot Hawaiian dance lessons are for women ages 16 and up.

The Wahine for Fun class offers a range of the Hawaiian dances in a fun and hang-loose setting, yet with the discipline that provides confidence to perform on stage.  Many of our Wahine dancers perform at our public shows and with great appeal.

Wahine for Fun is the perfect division for ladies who wish to learn and perform but not commit to the rigors of advanced and professional dance training. 




The Barefoot Hawaiian offers a Wahine class focusing strictly on Tahitian dance technique.

This is an advanced and challenging class designed for ladies with previous Tahitian dance experience. 



The professional dance division of the Barefoot Hawaiian Studio and School is the graduate-level program in the world of Polynesian dance. These classes are highly advanced in nature and designed for the field of professional entertainment. Training is both challenging and demanding, and classes should be attended by serious students only.  Focus is on perfection of technique and timing, precision and execution of the dance, and on exhibition and showmanship, all of which our clients expect from our professional entertainers.


This class is for women who wish to become professional entertainers and for current performers wishing to advance their skills.

Females interested in becoming performers for the Barefoot Hawaiian should be attending these classes.

All current female professional performers of the Barefoot Hawaiian dance company are required to attend the Wahine class in order to retain their professional status and regularly recertify their professional qualifications.


This class is for men who wish to become professional entertainers and for current performers wishing to advance their skills.

Gentlemen interested in becoming performers for the Barefoot Hawaiian should be attending these classes.

All current male professional performers of the Barefoot Hawaiian dance company are required to attend the Kane class in order to retain their professional status and regularly recertify their professional qualifications.




In addition to the standard and regularly scheduled dance classes listed above, the Barefoot Hawaiian also provides training in a number of select and specialty areas.  These include the following:

Dance & Related Performing Arts:

  • Maori Poi Balls for adults
    Maori Poi Balls is the specialty dance from New Zealand involving control of bound cloth balls swung from the end of cords operated from both hands.  This dance teaches incredible hand and eye coordination and control. 
  • Maori Poi Balls for Keiki 
    This is the same Maori Poi Balls class described above but is designed specially for children.
    (Keiki is "children" in Hawaiian.)
  • Ori Tahiti for Tamari'i
    Similar to our regular adult Ori Tahiti class described earlier, this special class is designed for Tamari'i ages 8-15.  (Tamari'i is "children" in Tahitian)
  • Samoan Fire Knife, a/k/a Siva Afi - "Dance of Fire."
    Learn the specialized art of the spectacular Fire Knife Dance, an art form originating from Samoa designed to simulate tribal warriors in battle.  Students in this class will learn technique and precision in twirling and movement.  Available to adults ages 16 and up. 
  • Mother/Daughter Hula
    By popular demand, being carried over from our Summer Program and into our regular school year, this class offers a special and unique opportunity for a mom and her daughter to bond while learning the hula together. This class is for mothers and their daughters age 5-15. 


  • Drumming
    Learn Tahitian drumming.  Available to adults and children from ages 13 and up.
    Drumming is a 45 minute class.
  • Ukulele
    The Ukulele is the Hawaiian musician's primary musical instrument, and the word translates literally "jumping flea."  This class is for adults and children ages 15 and up and welcomes students from all skill levels, including the beginner and first timer.  Ukulele is a 1 hour class.
    Each student must have his (or her) own ukulele.

Health and Wellness:

  • HGSM   
    Discover the Harmony, Unity, and Gratitude of Aloha (HG) in this all new Barefoot Hawaiian exclusive class that combines the techniques of both Hula and Yoga. Experience the piece and joy that awaits you and connect with your inner self. This class is available to men and women, ages 16 and up. Participants should dress comfortably and bring a towel and a mat (or other suitable floor covering or padding on which to sit and lie on).  This is a gentle exercise class. 

    When in operation, HG classes operate and are in session during our regular quarterly class schedule, but attendance and registration are different. Unlike our regular performing art classes which operate under a formal registration and committed attendance, HG operates informally and without the need for registration or even regular attendance. You come to HG sessions when you can. Simply purchase an "8 Session Punch Card" for only $88 (cash or check). The punch card is good for the entire school year and may be used for any classes held throughout. 

Other Specialty:

  • Emcee Training
    For adults only, ages 18 and up, learn how to run a Polynesian show, make announcements regarding the details of the show, engage the audience and keep them interested.

Some of these classes may not run by a regular schedule and are offered only at certain times based on the number and progression of advanced students for which these classes are available.  Admission to some of the advanced dance classes may be by invitation only to advanced students of the dance company who have demonstrated a proven proficiency in the Hawaiian and Tahitian techniques.  

Note: Unless specified otherwise all dance and dance-related performing art classes run about 45 minutes in length.



When our dance company training program is on summer vacation, we continue with a variety of informal classes during the summer.  The summer program is all about fun and are the only classes we offer that is not a part of the Barefoot Hawaiian dance company training program.

Anyone can learn hula, and you will do so in a relaxed and informal environment without need for previous training or experience in any dance form.  No high expectations from students.  No costumes or special equipment or apparel needed.  This class offers an excellent way to introduce you to this beautiful form of dance.

The classes are comprised of 4 to 8 lessons: one lesson a week over a  4 to 8 week period.  It runs when our formal dance company training program is on Summer Vacation.  Enrollment is informal and simple.  You simply download a flier with registration form from this web site, fill it in, and return it with your class fee. That is all there is to it.  Look below under the Class Schedule section for the class dates and the downloadable form.

This classes may be offered to a variety of age groups.  See the summer schedule for the age requirements of any specific class. 


Class Schedule

Quick Links to 2015-2016 Schedule: 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 2015 Summer Program

The Barefoot Hawaiian Dance Studio and School runs its dance company classes similarly in schedule to that of any formal school of education.  The training year runs from Fall through Spring and is divided into 4 quarters of 8 weeks each (except for certain specialty classes denoted below).

Each quarter offers a different curriculum of classes and levels from which the student will be placed.  Classes run evenings during the week from Monday through Thursday and during the day on Saturday.  The exact day and time depends on the class for which you will be enrolling.  The detailed schedule along with tuition for each class is provided in the curriculum and registration packet.

In addition to our regular dance company training year we also offer a summer program.  The summer classes are basic hula for adult women (age 16 and older) and are intended for fun with the classes being more laid back and relaxed.  Enrollment for the summer programs is also much simpler.

Following is our current schedule for the 2015 - 2016 School Year:

Special free bonus week for our first quarter...
Get 9 weeks of dance classes (1 week free) for the normal price of the 8 week quarter.

  1. 1st Quarter
    Monday, September 21, 2015 — Thursday, November 19, 2015
    (9 classes out of the 9 week calendar period)

    All Classes according to the following day and time assignments:
    Monday evening programs offered:
    Keiki II (6:30-7:15), Beginner Wahine (7:45-8:30)
    Tuesday evening programs offered:
    Keiki I (6:15-7:00), Intermediate Wahine for Fun (7:00-7:45), Adult Ori Tahiti.(8:00-8:45), Candlelight Hula (8:45-9:30)
    Thursday evening programs offered: Keiki Junior (6:30-7:15), Siva Afi (Fire Dancing) (7:00-7:45), Company/Professional Level I (7:15-8:00) ,  Advanced Adult Ori Tahiti.(8:00-8:45), and Company/Professional Level II (8:45-9:30) .

    Status:  Advanced Enrollment has ended (deadline was September 11).   Late registration is available for the Monday classes only, through September 17 or until the classes are filled.  All other classes are filled and registrations for them are now closed - catch us again for the 2nd quarter.  

      These classes require prerequisite training and experience and are restricted to invited students only

  2. 2nd Quarter
    Monday, December 14, 2015 — Thursday, February 18, 2016
    (8 classes out of the 10 week calendar period)
    The Dance Studio is closed and no classes will be held for the 2 week period from December 21 to January 3 for the Christmas through New Year's Holidays.
    All Classes according to the following day and time assignments:

    Schedule is forthcoming

    :  Registration for this quarter is not yet available

      These classes require prerequisite training and experience and are restricted to invited students only

  3. 3rd Quarter
    Monday, February 22, 2016 — Thursday, April 14, 2015
    (8 classes out of the 8 week calendar period)
    All Classes according to the following day and time assignments:

    Schedule is forthcoming

    Status:  Registration for this quarter is not yet available

      These classes require prerequisite training and experience and are restricted to invited students only

  4. 4th Quarter
    Monday, April 18, 2016 — Thursday, June 9, 2016
    (8 classes out of the 8 week calendar period)
    All Classes according to the following day and time assignments:

    Schedule is forthcoming

    Status:  Registration for this quarter is not yet available

      These classes require prerequisite training and experience and are restricted to invited students only

  5. 2015 Summer Program
    • Ladies Hula for Fun
      Ladies ages 16 & up learn the hula for the first time or continue your training in this fun yet educational setting. 
      A total of 4 classes on 4 consecutive Tuesday Evenings, 
      August 11, 18, & 25, and September 1  ~  7:00 - 7:45 PM

    • Ladies Candlelight Hula 
      Ladies ages 16 & up get connected with your inner peace and tranquility in this island-flavored, yoga-styled exercise.  All work is done upright (none on the floor).
      Come in stressed, leave feeling relaxed and at peace.
      One class on Tuesday Evening, July 28  ~  8:00 - 9:00 PM.

    Status:  The Summer program has ended.

    Download the summer class program and registration form below. 
    (Provided for reference only the 2015 Summer Program has ended)

    Barefoot Hawaiian Summer 2015 Class Flier and Registration Form


Enrollment Procedure

Note: If you are not yet completely familiar with our dance studio and training programs, please first read the Program Details section on this web page, before reading about the particulars of actual enrollment.

Dance Company Students:

General Procedure for all Students

The enrollment procedure varies only slightly depending on whether you are an existing student or a new student.  In either case, pre-registration for all classes and students is required.  Once the class begins or becomes full, enrollment closes.

For both existing students and new students, enrollment for the new training year commencing in Fall opens in late Summer. During this time there is an open enrollment period whereby students must be admitted in person.  The dates for this open enrollment period are shown in the above Class Schedule and scheduled during the summer.

Although, general enrollment for the training year occurs in late summer, specific class assignments are made at the beginning of each quarter.  Class assignment and choices is determined between student and instructor and is usually based upon the student's progress and current skill level.  Tuition for each quarter is due before the start of each quarter according to the tuition deadline date in the schedule.

Please note that there are limits on the class size, and all classes offered through the Barefoot Hawaiian Dance Studio always fill to capacity.  Early registration is recommended and encouraged.

Existing Students

A class curriculum and enrollment packet is mailed (1st class postal) each summer to all current students of the Barefoot Hawaiian Dance School. If you do not receive this packet by the first week of August, let us know.  We will get one to you promptly.  Also watch your email.  Email notifications as to when the enrollment packets will be mailed are sent to all students with email addresses.

Student will complete the information section of the registration form and the consent form and come to the studio with the completed forms during the open enrollment period.  The purpose for the in-person registration to get each student properly placed in his or her appropriate class based on skill and advancement level. Students under 18, must arrive with a parent or guardian.  Tuition for the 1st quarter is due at the time of registration.  Tuition for subsequent quarters are due before each quarter starts by the date indicated in the class schedule.

New Students

The Barefoot Hawaiian openly welcomes new students to our dance company.  If you are a new prospective student interested in admission to the dance company and entering its training program, please call us at 847-699-7336, and we will mail out a full curriculum and enrollment packet when they are available for release each summer.

Upon receipt, complete the student information section of the registration form and the consent form and visit the studio during our open enrollment period in the same way that existing students do.  Students under 18, must arrive with a parent or guardian. The free, in-person consultation is to ensure you are properly placed in a class appropriate for your gender, age group, style, and skill level and exists to ensure success and satisfaction with our students.

Please note that we open admission for new students for the 1st and 2nd quarters only of each training year.  Only existing students may continue on with the training for the 3rd and 4th quarters.  This is to maintain the best and highest quality dance training program for our regular student body and so we can focus on more advanced training during the 2nd half of each school year.  If you are wishing to join us as a new student, you must do so by the 2nd quarter.

Summertime Hula Students:

Enrollment for the Summer Hula class is extremely informal and easy.  When the schedule for this class is announced, a flier and registration form will be available for download from this web site.   Look for the link to this downloadable form under the class schedule.  Simply complete the form and mail in with the appropriate class fee to the Barefoot Hawaiian, or stop by the studio or store and drop it off in person.  When received and processed, we will notify you with a confirmation of your enrollment.


Program Details

Dance Company Training

The Barefoot Hawaiian is foremost a Performing Arts Dance Company.  As such, the majority of our training is to students who our members of that company.  Our dance students range in age from 3 years all the way up to upper-aged seniors.  The skill level of our students range from beginners all the way up to our world-class professionals that perform at our top-flight shows.  In fact, everyone of our professional dancers must maintain a regular and rigid training program as a student in order to maintain their status as one of the professional dancers in the company.

Many of our non-professional students are seen demonstrating their skills by performing on stage with us at our many public shows.  These performances are extended to our students by invite only.  Performing on stage is not a requirement to become a dance company student, but most accept the invite when offered.  Setting a personal goal to perform on stage is usually the reason individuals choose to join the dance company training program, and getting the opportunity to do so is viewed as a major accomplishment.  Some continue on to become proficient enough to join our cast as one of our professional entertainers.  Our professional dancers are paid performers.  Only our professional division dancers perform at private parties for clients or clients hosting a public show, but wanting only professional performers.

The dance company training program is run just like any school of education with classes divided into four quarters of 8 weeks each that run from Fall through Spring.  Enrollment into the training program opens in late summer and students are expected to attend for a complete school year of all 4 quarters.  Tuition is paid on a quarterly basis and is due before the quarter starts.  Like any real school, there is an enrollment and admission procedure, which is described in the Enrollment Procedure section of this web page.

The training provided in the dance company program is more advanced than you will find available through the dance classes at junior colleges and most 4-year colleges. The Barefoot Hawaiian runs the only hula and Polynesian arts dance studio in the Chicago area that provide a high level of training and that instructs at the professional entertainer level.  We are one of the few schools in the entire Midwest that specializes in the Hawaiian and South Pacific dance arts.

The descriptions provided in the Class Description section on this page, except for the last, are for the dance company training program.  The portraits shown are of a small segment of class photos of our students in one of their performance costumes.

Summertime Hula Class

Want to learn hula in a fun, relaxed, informal environment?  Then this is the class for you.

No previous training or experience is required.  No high expectations from our students.  No costumes or shows.  Just quite simply a fun way to learn beginning hula and receive an introduction to this beautiful form of dance.

This class ranges from 4 to 6 lessons, over a 4 to 6 week period and runs when our formal dance school is on Summer Vacation.  Unlike our dance company classes, enrollment is informal and extremely simple.  You simply download a flier with simple registration form from this web site, fill it in, and return it with your class fee. That's all there is to it.

Many discover the fun of hula in this class, so much so, that they continue onto enrollment into the dance company classes.  Currently this class is available to adult women, age 16 and up.

Choosing the Right Track for You

Your decision to become a dance company student depends on your personal goals and previous dance background.  If you have little to no previous dance experience but are strongly motivated to learn hula and can make a commitment to regular class attendance, then this program is for you.  Once you learn hula you can progress to Tahitian and other dance forms.

If you are an individual with experience and training in other forms of dance, and now wish to commit to learning the South Pacific styles, then joining our dance company program will provide you the greatest reward.

For parents looking for dance lessons for their children, we also recommend this program.  Our dance company program provides the structure that young dancers need by which to learn; moreover, it provides a discipline that serves the young minds well in many other areas of their lives.  At present, only our dance company program has classes for children.

If you are not certain if the dance company program is for you, consider first joining the Summer Hula Dance Class.  Then if you fall in love with dancing hula, you may be able to enroll into the dance company program the following Fall.

The summer Hula Class is also the best choice if you do not wish to commit to the longer dance company training schedule, or if you have only a one-time interest in hula, such as for an upcoming luau, a Hawaiian-themed wedding, or other similar occasion or special event.




The Barefoot Hawaiian Dance Studio and School  is conveniently located in the Northwestern suburbs of Chicago in Des Plaines, Illinois

10 minutes from O'Hare International Airport, and 5 minutes from both the I-90 and the I-294 Highways
Plenty of free parking.  A map is available on our Contact Us page - Quick Link to it Here

The Barefoot Hawaiian Dance Studio
1401 East Oakton Street
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
(847) 699-7336
All regular dance classes are held Monday through Thursday evenings


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For more information, call The Barefoot Hawaiian at (847) 699-7336
Bringing Hawaii to the Mainland for More Than 40 Years