All posts by michaelaschirra2020

Dance fitness studios across Chicago aim to empower with rhythm and exercise

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

Dance means different things to different people.

For some, it’s pure expression and, for others, it’s simply a way to stay active. Now that dance has become a popular mode of exercise, studios across the Chicago area encourage participants to leave class feeling proud of themselves.

“I want them to feel accomplished,” Ashley Rockwood, owner of Free Mvmt Shop, said. “I want them to feel like they can do anything.”

While all studios want their patrons to leave feeling happy and energized, each instructor hopes to make an impact on their students’ lives. Here is a sampling of the studios that  inspire students daily.

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Preservation Chicago reveals 2020 list of the city’s most endangered buildings

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

The recent release of the seven most endangered buildings in Chicago added to looming preservationist fears about the city’s architectural heritage.

Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, presented the “Chicago 7 Most Endangered” structures to a sold-out audience at the recent Chicago Architecture Center program.

Despite Chicago’s rich architectural history, many legacy buildings across the city go unnoticed.  Preservation Chicago hopes to encourage the public to recognize these buildings that should be preserved or repurposed, such as the James R. Thompson Center downtown and Chicago Town and Tennis Club on Chicago’s North Side.

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Former Chicago Luvabull dances her way through an ever-evolving career

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

Every day is different for Amelia Carpenter. From teaching fitness and dance classes to coaching a high school dance team, Carpenter has chosen to pursue her passion through varied paths.

Carpenter, 30, currently works as a professional dancer, coach and teacher in Chicago and will continue to host private dance intensive programs to inspire dancers.

After balancing multiple jobs in order to live her dream, Carpenter jumped into dance full time in September. While her dance journey continues to evolve, it began when she wanted to join her high school’s dance team. Continue reading

Tiger Woods: The man with hundreds of shadows

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

Among the silence and birds chirping at Riviera Country Club, spectators waited with baited breath to see Tiger Woods swing.

From hole to hole, massive crowds of fans trailed and cheered for Woods as he attempted to conquer the course at the Genesis Invitational.

Spectators follow Woods as he plays the 2nd hole on Thursday. (Michaela Schirra/MEDILL)

Coming off his Masters win in 2019, Woods served as tournament host at the Invitational, an event the California-native has never won. 

During a press conference on Tuesday, Woods talked about the event’s impact on the TGR Foundation in addition to his expectations for the tournament. 

“It’s been tremendous for us to be able to come back to this area where it all started and to have this type of event,” Woods said. 

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Despite hectic schedules, here’s how professional athletes score with their sweethearts on Valentine’s Day

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

Valentine’s Day has a history of being complicated. Some people try too hard, while others try too little, leaving behind a mix of unrealistic expectations and disappointing memories. According to professional athletes, those complications do not dissipate with fame and money.

Despite the larger paychecks and slews of adoring fans, the holiday can still raise stressful questions such as which gift to buy or which restaurant has the best atmosphere. Athletes also have to worry about scheduling in holidays.

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Riverdance brings 25th anniversary show to Chicago stop on US tour

By Michaela Schirra and Sally Ehrmann
Medill Reports

Legendary Irish themes with brisk contemporary footwork and dreamscape staging grace theaters across the country this year as Riverdance celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The Riverdance show is in Chicago through Feb. 9 to present audiences with the new show highlighting traditional Irish dance, music and elaborate costumes.

From the dramatic lighting to the vivid and animated backdrops, the show creates an immersive experience showcasing the heritage of Irish song and dance around the world. Continue reading

Eternal Light exhibit features many of Tiffany’s stained glass windows and other masterpieces

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

The Eternal Light exhibition at the Driehaus Museum showcases works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Tiffany & Co. founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany. From stained glass to sketches, the exhibit highlights the creative process and the artisans involved in creating Tiffany’s reputation.

Catherine Shotick, curator of the Eternal Light exhibition, spoke about the exhibit and its importance in the city of Chicago.

You can experience the exhibit, extended through March 22, at the Driehaus. Before exiting, be sure to pick up the brochure and map so you can visit other sites of Louis Tiffany’s work throughout the Chicago area. Locations include the Chicago Cultural Center at Michigan Avenue and Washington Street, the Second Presbyterian Church at Michigan Avenue and Cullerton Street, and the Marquette Building at Clark and Adams streets.  Continue reading