Mark Harvey

Mark Harvey
Ballroom Dance Professional

Mark Harvey began dancing at the age of four at the dance studio owned and operated by his mother, Marion Harvey's dance studio in Villa Park. You can read more about Marion Harvey further down on this page. Mark started learning ballroom dance in seventh grade and was already assisting his mother with a junior high ballroom dance class when he was a sophomore in high school. It was his first experience as a dance instructor. Starting at the age of fifteen he began teaching private lessons. Mark continued to assist in various locations, including Triton College and College of DuPage. Eventually, he took over both classes and taught them independently for several years. Mark has also taught ballroom dance for the Darien Park District, the Village of Aurora, the North Riverside Park District and private dance studios as well.

Beyond Ballroom

A gentleman named Lloyd Labee, who had been a principal dancer with the Ruth Page Ballet Company decided to start a regional ballet company in DuPage county. He approached Marion Harvey about using her studio as the main rehearsal space. They contacted all of the dance studios in DuPage county and held an open audition for dancers, judged by Ruth Page, Ann Barzell (Dance Critic for the Chicago Daily News) and Elisa Stigler (Chicago dance teacher). Mark didn't audition at the time, but ended up being added to the ballet company where he was a principal dancer in three of the four premier ballets and designed the costumes for two of them. Later, he travelled with the company as their photographer.

Through another audition, Mark had the experience of being onstage for rehearsals and performances for several days with Rudolf Nureyev. The experience became the inspiration for Mark to begin a two-year study at the Stone and Cameron School of Ballet.

The Ballroom Dance Class in Hinsdale

One of the students in Mark's mothers ballroom dance class was the program director for the Hinsdale Parks and Recreation Department. It was through that connection that Mark began teaching at the Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge in 1987.

Mark has taught four sessions, totaling 40 weeks per year, since that time.

He began with beginner and intermediate level classes. Over the years, many of Mark's beginning students have moved up to the intermediate class, which is more of an ongoing study. In the intermediate class, Mark teaches something different each time and caters to the skills of the participants. As a result, there are many couples who have been dancing with Mark and taking the intermediate course for a decade or more.

Once per session, Mark teaches an advanced class. It is based upon the requests of his advanced dancers - anything goes! 


A History of Dance

Mark Harvey and his family have a long, impressive history of ballroom dance instruction in the greater Chicagoland area. Mark is a third generation dance teacher. His mother, Marion Harvey (later known as Marion Garrett Welch), was a celebrated dancer and later a ballroom instructor and studio owner. Below is an article printed in the Suburban Life newspaper following his mother's passing in the Spring 2012. It describes a truly rare dance legacy that Mark brings to every lesson.

Mark Harvey and his mother, Marion Harvey (Marion Garrett Welch), formerly a professional dancer.


Click here to read the article about Marion Harvey from My Suburban Life (PDF version, opens in new window).


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