Executive Director

Amy Paul Giordano

Amy is honored to continue the legacy her mother, Peg, and father, Gus, created in 1953 of directing a dance school with the perfect combination of professionalism and warmth that Peg and Gus gave to all their students. Gus opened the School to spread his love of jazz dance to the world. He is known as the “Godfather of Jazz Dance.” Peg handled all the scheduling of classes, faculty, accounting, marketing & more. Gus’ belief was a jazz dancer must have a strong base in all forms of dance: ballet, tap, jazz and modern, and this philosophy is continued today at the original Gus Giordano Dance School under Amy.  

Amy grew up dancing & trained in all styles (jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, tap) while assisting her parents with every aspect of running the School. Amy trained until she shattered her knee cap as a passenger in a car accident. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University, Amy worked as an Accountant Representative for Grey Advertising, Marketing Supervisor at DMB&B & Director of Marketing at Budget Rent a Car. During this time, Amy also worked for her father as Executive Coordinator and Executive Treasurer for Jazz Dance World Congress created in 1990 by Gus. 

Amy’s professional performances began at age 6 with multiple dance commercials for Sears & Co, 100th Anniversary Celebration of Hiram & Walker, PBS special "Ritual D" dancing alongside her father, along with numerous dance performances throughout Chicagoland.

Amy's extensive dance knowledge from her own personal dance training to everything her parents taught her enables her to continue providing the highest quality of dance training from children to professional dancers. Amy has an eye for developing programs for dancers of any age.

In 1993, Peg passed away and Amy assumed all of her mother’s responsibilities of running the School.  She also became her father’s personal assistant at this time until his death in 2008. Amy credits both of her parents for her love and dedication to offering the highest quality of dance instruction to all ages at all levels, as she loves building confidence and guiding dancers from age 2 to professionals. She is the proud mother of Lauren, Edward, and Sarah. Her maternal qualities contribute to the family oriented nature of the School.

Culture Shock Chicago honored Amy in 2017 for her outstanding commitment to preserving her father’s legacy. Gus spent his career educating & training dancers all over the world about Jazz dance. Jazz dance, as Gus explained is the only dance form that is always changing and evolving. Amy's mission is to continue Gus' vision, as Gus explained "Jazz dance is a living art form, changing with the fashion of the times, but its roots remain in the original classic Jazz method, which never goes out of style.”

In 2018, Amy was awarded The Kurt Mathiasson Award for Community Service. The award is given to an individual who most exemplifies Kurt's devotion and commitment to the ongoing vitality of the Andersonville community. Amy embodies the spirit of this award through her non-stop efforts to not only expertly run Gus Giordano Dance School, but to bring the school out to the community. She brilliantly continues the legacy of her father.

Amy is the Founder & Executive Director of The Gus Giordano Jazz Legacy Foundation. Amy established Gus Legacy Foundation on July 10, 2017, Gus’ birthday. It was a long time goal of hers to create a non-profit organization that would preserve Gus’ legacy and truly pay tribute to her father. Gus believed that dance and music is a living art form that should be used as an instrument to impact the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of people around the world. The Gus Legacy Foundation provides equitable access to education, empowerment and exploration for the arts.

 

Awards

Kurt Mathiasson Award
2018 

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Culture Shock Legacy Award
2017

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Chatré de Godi Award
Centro de danza
1991

 

Press

Amy P. Giordano, Gus Giordano Dance School

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast

Andersonville Podcast with Amy P. Giordano

Click to See Show Photos & Listen to the Podcast


Gus Giordano

Chicago View

The Beat Goes On - Gus Giordano Dance School 5230 N Clark

"Gus Giordano opened his now famous dance studio in Evanston back in 1953. Most known for teaching the jazz technique, Gus always wanted to have a studio in the city of Chicago. Although he was not able to in his lifetime, his teachings live on through his daughter Amy..."


Amy P. Giordano

Crain’s Chicago

How One Entrepreneur Overcame Adversity - with Some Fancy Footwork

"Amy Paul Giordano might have wavered beneath the weight of her legendary father's jazz dance reputation, running a school that bears his name. But, then again, had she been a different person, she also might have allowed herself to be sidelined by adversity..."


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Dance Spirit Magazine

The Summer Study Style Challenge - Why a summer program is the perfect place to try out an unfamiliar technique

"There are zillions of things to think about when choosing a summer program, but here's one you might not have considered: using an intensive as an opportunity to focus on a new style. Maybe you're a tap dancer who's ready to see where else your rhythm and quick feet can serve you, or a contemporary dancer curious about the more traditional roots of your genre. A summer program can be the perfect place to broaden your horizons..."


Amy P. Giordano & Gus Giordano

Dance Studio Life

Infinite Possibilites - Gus Giordano's revolutionary jazz dance technique lives on in his 60-year-old school

"In 2011, the dream that eluded dance pioneer Gus Giordano, creator of Gus Giordano Jazz Technique, during his lifetime finally became reality. 'It was my father's dream,' says daughter Amy Giordano, director of Gus Giordano Dance School, 'to have a school in Chicago.' Gus Giordano, who founded his school in Evanston, just north of Chicago, died in 2008..."


Dance Talk Radio

Host Tracie Marciniak Interviews Travis Wall & Amy Giordano

Click to Listen to the Interview


Nicole Belanger Giordano Jazz

Dance Teacher Magazine

Theory & Practice: 4 Ways to Manage Mixed-Level Classes

"Teen jazz class at Chicago's Gus Giordano Dance School, under the direction of Amy Giordano, has a wide range of students, "Some just started dancing a month ago, and others have been dancing for three years,' says Nicole Belanger, dance education director. To maintain a positive environment..."


Lauren Giordano Whittington, Gus Giordano Dance School

Dance Teacher Magazine

Theory & Practice: Helping Students Develop Their Creative Voices

"Ask a 5-year old to make up a dance, and she'll probably skip around the room, impulsively moving to the music. But give the same assignment to a teenage dancer, and the student might clam up, unsure what to do. Even mature dancers can feel reluctant to create something new..."


Susan Williams, Gus Giordano Dance School

Dance Teacher Magazine

Bravura vs. Basics

"Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Anna Liceica has been judging the Youth America Grand Prix since 2007. 'Once in a while, we see someone who tries to do too many turns without good form or musicality,' she says. 'We don't encourage it, and that dancer does not place high.' Judges (and artistic directors in attendance) might appreciate the spectacle, but they take technique and artistry into account when assessing the overall dancer..."


Lauren

Dance Teacher Magazine

A Teacher's Warm-Up - The pre-class ritual that could make or break you

"While teaching jazz at Gus Giordano Dance, sometimes Lauren Giordano Curran forgets she's not a student. 'You have to listen your body. I have to know I can't do a full-out battement because I'm going to tear my hamstring,' she says. 'Teachers forget that and go right into in..."


Dance Teacher Magazine

Ladies and Gentleman

"Thirteen-year-old Asher Noel stands at the barre, the only boy in his class at Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago. Ballet teacher Fury Gold gives the girls an echappe combination and has Noel practice degages instead. 'He sometimes gets the very same time signature but a very different excercise,' says Gold. 'There's a difference between what the two genders need.'


Dance Studio Life

Giordano Foundation Holds Benefit

"Gus Giordano’s dedication to jazz dance is common knowledge. Perhaps less known is how Giordano supported the genre at the ground level—by giving scholarships to young students hungry to travel to Chicago to learn jazz under his direct tutelage.

“I grew up seeing him help thousands of dancers,” Amy P. Giordano, his daughter and director of the Gus Giordano Dance School, told Dance Studio Life..."


Dance Teacher Magazine

A Joint Decision

"The pain in Amy Giordano's knees had become constant and, almost without even knowing it, she had acclimated herself to the daily pain. 'My body had self-adjusted, so you couldn't tell that I had no knees anymore,' says the director of Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago. After years of using her arms to pull herself up out of chairs, leaning heavily..."


Lauren Whittington, Judi Missett, Amy Giordano, Nicole Belanger

Digital Journal

Innovative Global Fitness Pioneer Judi Sheppard Missett Receives Inaugural Gus Giordano Legacy Award for Her Contribution to the World of Dance

"Friday, Oct. 13, global dance fitness pioneer Judi Sheppard Missett was presented with the inaugural Gus Giordano Legacy Award by Amy Giordano at the Mayne Stage in Chicago, Illinois. Hosted by the Gus Giordano Foundation, the event not only honored the contribution Sheppard Missett has made to the dance community but also raised funds to support young dancers.

Also known as “Godfather of American Jazz Dance,” Gus Giordano was an American jazz dancer and choreographer who was one of the pioneers of the style known as Jazz Dance. Following a Broadway career, Mr. Giordano moved to the Chicago area and opened a dance school in 1953. He was the first and only Jazz Master to codify his own technique..."


Showbiz Nation Live

Podcast with Amy Giordano

Click to Listen to the Podcast


Gus Legacy Foundation Scholarship Recipient

THE ADVERTISER-GLEAM

KAPA Dancer Receives Opportunity of a Lifetime

"A young dancer with the Kohl Academy of Performing Arts recently got the opportunity of a lifetime. Lila Jane Bonds is 11 years old and entering Douglas Middle School this fall. She has a passion for dance, and that was recognized at an invitational showcase and class in Marietta, Georgia, called 'Jazz on Tap'..."