A guide to dance performance venues in the Milwaukee area

From historic theaters to modern arts centers, the Milwaukee area has a number of venues for watching a dance performance, whether that be traditional ballet or striking avant-garde moves.

Danceworks Performance Company

1661 N. Water St. | (414)277-8480

Since 1992, the Danceworks studio has held a variety of adult and youth dance performances. The organization also offers more than 80 dance and fitness classes for adults and youth, as well as dance and arts programs at schools and for senior adults. The company’s DanceLAB offers choreography and other dance workshops for aspiring dancers.

Jane Lewis, Danceworks Performance Company subscriber, said she enjoys attending performances with her husband and neighbors, in part due to the welcoming nature of the venue. “I like the Danceworks performance space because the intimacy of it makes me feel close to the action,” she added.

Uihlein Hall, The Marcus Performing Arts Center

929 N. Water St. | (414)273-7121

In addition to being the home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Marcus Center hosts spectacular performances by the Milwaukee Ballet, the city’s professional ballet company.

exterior of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (SMPAC)

901 15th Ave., South Milwaukee | (414)766-5049

The SMPAC presents and hosts diverse dance performances from many area schools and arts organizations, among them the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy, St. Francis Dance, Academy of Performing Arts, and Showcase Dance. The SMPAC also holds an annual Performing Arts Series, which has included performances by Step Afrika! and Flamenco Vivo Carlotta Santana.

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“South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center is a great place to see a dance performance because we host many different types of dance events year-round that are affordable and accessible for everyone,” said SMPAC director Rachel Sorce.

The cast of “Uboxed”; photo by Jennifer Johnson Photography

Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

19805 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield | (262)781-9520

This larger theater complex, which opened in 2002, hosts a plethora of theater, dance and musical performances each year, along with theater, dance, music and visual arts classes for all ages.

Schauer Arts Center

147 N. Rural St., Hartford | (262)670-0560

Besides presenting performances by Milwaukee Ballet II (the Milwaukee Ballet’s training company) Hartford’s Schauer Arts Center, a former canning factory built in 1919, also features youth symphony concerts, musical theater and performances by country and rock groups. The Schauer’s School of the Arts offers dance classes for adults and music and theater classes for children.

Jan Serr Studio

2155 N. Prospect Ave. | (414)256-8765

Located at the top of UW-Milwaukee’s Kenilworth Square building and owned by the university’s Peck School of the Arts, the industrial-chic events space is the site of many UWM dance performances.

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