Natalie makes ballet enjoyable and fun without losing any focus on the art and form of the dance. Always challenging, it is very rewarding to feel myself improve and advance. I would highly recommend it!
Natalie Rast, Studio Owner
A distinguished member of the ballet community, Natalie Rast is considered one of the top teachers in Chicago. Natalie’s positive style and energy are well known. She prides herself on providing a great learning environment for her students, catering to all ages and skill levels, from teens to adults, and from absolute beginners to professionals.
Like many dancers, Natalie began her study of ballet during childhood, originally in Columbus, Ohio, and later moving to Illinois. She began her professional career with the Joel Hall Dancers of Chicago. She has toured the United States and Europe, and danced on premier stages in New York as well as London, Glasgow, Belfast, Rotterdam and Bergen. She has performed with the Chicago Dance Medium and the David Pusczh Dance Company, and has studied under such recognized names as Christine and Richard Ellis, Orrin Kayan, Birute Barodicate, Anna Czujan, Homer Bryant and Anna Paskevska.
Natalie has served as Ballet Mistress for Winifred Haun & Dancers, and Zephyr Dance Theater. She was Adjunct Faculty at Columbia College from 1988-2017. In 2007, she accepted a position at the nationally renowned Chicago Academy for the Arts (CAA), and serves as Assistant Director for the Chicago Academy for the Arts Repertory Dance Company.
While very disciplined in her instruction and her focus on proper technique, Natalie also believes that ballet class should be fun, and she encourages her students without pushing. Her warm personality and supportive approach has resulted in a loyal following of Rast Ballet students, many of whom didn’t take up ballet until adulthood. She encourages her students to push themselves to their best ability.
Praise for Natalie Rast and Rast Ballet
Natalie is the best adult ballet teacher in town! I have been taking classes with Natalie for over ten years now, I got started at 41 and I have no plans of stopping. Natalie uses creative visualization to helps dancers understand our anatomy and improve our technique. I have taken ballet in New York and Chicago and Natalie’s emphasis on technique sets her apart from other teachers. Her goal is to bring forth the best in every one of her students.
After ten years of not taking ballet my friend Simone brought me to Natalie Rast’s classes and it has been such a pleasure to study with a teacher who is so innovative, encouraging, compassionate and fun. Natalie has reignited my love for ballet.
Natalie’s lively classes push people to become the best dancers they can be. Whether the student is a beginner, a dancer who is returning to ballet after many years away, or a promising young ballerina, Natalie gears her comments to the specific needs of the individual student.