Forevermore spreads love of dance, acting
Alina Syed performs during a Forevermore Dance Studio show at the Elmwood Park Library, Saturday, June 2, 2012. | J.Geil ~ For Sun-Times Media
Name: Forevermore Dance and Theatre Arts
Where: 7466 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago 60634
Camp: Musical Theatre Day Camp begins July 9
Updated: July 22, 2012 6:06AM
Dance and acting for the Korzatkowskis comes from the heart and they’ve eaten plenty of macaroni and cheese to prove it.
Before they bought the Elmwood School of Dance in 2004 and renamed it Forevermore Dance and Theatre Arts, the two were struggling artists in New York. David Korzatkowski was looking for work as an actor and his roommate, Kerrie, who later became his wife, was trying to be a dancer.
Sometimes work was hard to come by, so macaroni and cheese out of the box was often the meal of the day.
Despite their trials, dance still remained their passion, hence their “Where art has heart” slogan for their business which is now not at 7466 W. Belmont Ave., where they teach various styles of dance and acting. They moved into the new location, not far from the old, in 2007, to accommodate their growth.
Currently, they have about 350 clients, mainly children varying from 5-years-old to teens and some adults.
“We have a lot of families that participate,” he said. “The little girl may come for dance or the brother may want to do acting, and the parents may come back to do Zumba or dance fitness.”
The Korzatkowskis, who are known to their students as “Mr. David” and “Ms. Kerrie,” started their business based on their love of the arts and providing a positive experience for young and old in the community. Their enthusiasm was infectious.
“Some of the staff started volunteering and now they are on the payroll,” he said.
Stefanie Colon of Chicago volunteers at Forevermore and has her two daughters who are taking dance and acting classes there.
“I help make costumes for the actors and I help do different things with the school,” she said. “I work backstage, helping them (actors and dancers) change backstage during a recital.”
Her daughters, 8 and 9 years of age, have been attending Forevermore for the past six years and have enjoyed every minute of it.
“David and Kerrie are great people to work with,” she said. “They are really great with the kids and great people to work with. They make it so fun and interesting for them the kids want to come back.”
Make own props
The Korzatkowskis and their volunteers make their own props, sets and costumes for their performances.
“I truly love dance and the way it can touch people and evoke feelings and make the world a better place,” Kerrie Korzatkowski said. “I’m truly an advocate for the arts.”
David Korzatkowski loves his craft as well and how it impacts his students.
“It develops critical thinking skills and confidence which is what the little ones need,” he said. “I’m here to make a difference and encourage every student I teach to make a difference.”
Mike Schmidt of Elmwood Park has been taking his daughter and son to the Forevermore for the past three years. His 8-year-old daughter enjoys dance while his 10-year-old son caught the acting bug.
“I brought my daughter there,” he said. “She was taking a dance class and we’ve been there three years now. My son peaked his head in for one of the acting classes and Mr. David said he could come in and he’s been hooked ever since.”
The Korzatkowski’s hope to expand the business to the point where it can run on its own and they can have a little more time to spend together as a family.
“We’re trying ways to build our staff,” he said. “Eventually we want our own theater with classrooms, stage and a coffee shop.”
“Right now we are in the beginning stages but this is our goal,” he said. “We think this community can use a community theatre.”
Both believe that eventually they will accomplish their future goals.
“We’re lucky we work well together, because we enjoy what we’re doing and it has helped us through the hard times,” Kerrie Korzatkowski said. “We love each other and have a shared vision of making a difference.”