In the Spring 2023 edition of Village Views, Mayor Johnson heard from Shelley Houselton, Owner and Director of Talent Forum Dance Arts.
450 Peterson Road | www.TalentForum.biz | 847-816-1711
What led you to open your business?
"I grew up in Mundelein and was a top model and actress from age 5. I also was a dancer and grew to be a student teacher with my mentor Betty Daly Rahmel at the Daly Studio. When she decided to take a sabbatical in1984, I asked if I could offer classes to keep her students dancing. I started by renting at the YMCA in Mundelein for a couple of years and grew rapidly. I needed my own studio and chose Libertyville as its home. Proudly my mentor joined the staff and taught classes on Saturdays until she was 84! Being a dance teacher and studio owner offers a blessing not found in many businesses, as we get many students at the age of 3 and we have the honor of sharing their respectful, hardworking, and dedicated journey through their growing years until they graduate high school. It is a constant joy and honor to be a part of so many lives."
When did your business first open in Libertyville?
"I opened the dance studio in1986 at 450 Peterson Rd. in Country Court Mall. I incorporated as Shelley’s School of Dance and Modeling, LTD, and North Shore Talent, Inc. in 1987. As I was also developing the only SAG/AFTRA-franchised model and talent agency in Lake County, I had to become a licensed employment agency requiring a separate address, so I expanded by adding 454 Peterson to the facility. In 1988, I registered a DBA of Talent Forum which housed both Shelley’s School of Dance and Modeling, LTD and North Shore Talent, Inc. which stayed in operation for 18 years. Then I started two not-for-profit youth dance companies. I watched Footprints Tap Ensemble take their first steps in 1994 and Forum Dance Theatre in 2002. It has been a joyous ride of exceptional talent and training. In 2019, I expanded again by adding 438 & 436 Peterson to develop an in-studio black box theater ready to feature our dancers whenever needed."
Who currently owns/operates the business?
"For over 38 years, I,Shelley Page Hoselton, have had the joy of being the Owner/Director and promoting all the developments established at Talent Forum Dance Arts. I have always professed I’m only as good as those I surround myself with, so providing a superb staff has been first and foremost. "
What attracted you to and has kept you in Libertyville?
"My landlord, Martin Realty/Wynkoop Holdings, has been very supportive over the years and helped make it possible for me to accomplish my goals for the studio. Libertyville has a wonderful business community. Additionally, the residents of Libertyville make it a welcoming and desirable place for families throughout Lake County to come for various programs."
What unique product or service do you offer?
"We provide excellence in many dance forms including Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and Tap. We offer recreational and preprofessional levels, as well as birthday parties. We hold 4 major productions with full tech annually: Footprints’ Tap Jam in November, Forum Dance Theatre’s Dance Forum in February, DanceScapes in March, and our June Recital."
What should potential customers know about your business?
"Our teachers and staff care about the growth and development of each dancer. Our Talent Forum family is not just about achievement, it is about having fun together. Just give me, Shelley, a call, and I will do my best to find what fits your individual need."
In what ways does your business connect with and support the community (sponsorships, volunteerism, special event, etc.)?
"Libertyville is a remarkable place to find opportunities for our dancers! Talent Forum Dance Arts is a member of MainStreet Libertyville. During Libertyville Days, our dancers participate in the parade and have a performance in the park. Also, I help the contestants prepare for the Miss Libertyville Pageant and our dancers occasionally have the honor of opening the ceremony. We proudly present at Art in the Park in the fall and Lunch in the Park in the summer. Besides holding assemblies at schools, we also enjoy bringing smiles to the residents at Green Oaks Senior Living and Lambs Farm. Many of our dancers are on the Poms and Dance team and in the Orchesis programs at Libertyville High School and at other schools throughout the county."
The Mayor's Business Brief as featured in the Spring 2023 Village Views