Ballroom Dance Chicago's Management Team

Matthew Sove

Ballroom Dance Chicago owner, Matthew Sove

When he was a kid, Matthew's mother told him that dance has a power to communicate, beyond that of spoken and written languages, and he believed her. With pots boiling on the stove and music streaming from the under-the-counter radio, she’d sweep him onto the kitchen floor and teach him about the playfulness of partner dancing and the joy of moving with another person. Since those formative years, Matthew never stopped dancing and has formally studied ballroom, Latin and modern dance.

In addition to dance, Matthew has studied aerospace engineering and English literature and he holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His teachers would tell him to focus on one subject, but his mother (like any good mother) always said: “you can do whatever you put your mind to,” and he believed her. In fact, what has defined Matthew’s academic path is his ability to connect seemingly disparate topics and fields of study.

Matthew is an FAA certified pilot, writer, visual artist, lighting designer and rock climber. He fills his weekends with dining out and he defines a good meal more by the quality of wine than the food.

Matthew is the founder of BDC and a Master Dance Instructor. For more information about his teaching, writing, visual art and lighting design, visit: www.matthewsove.com


Lydia Feuerhelm

Ballroom Dance Chicago manager, Lydia Feuerhelm

Ever since Lydia was young, dance has been a mainstay in her life. Starting ballet at age 4 and having her first ballet recital in her living room, she began her lifelong passion for movement and performance. All throughout high school, she studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. It wasn’t until she choreographed her first dance that she realized she wanted dance to remain a focus in her life. She decided to move to Chicago and study dance full time at Columbia College Chicago. During her time at Columbia, she focused primarily on modern dance, but she also enjoys exploring all kinds of movement, whether it be ballroom, contact improvisation or aerial silks.

When Lydia isn’t dancing, she might be crocheting scarves, working backstage for other productions, or searching Chicago for a great slice of pie.


Annamarie Penning

A woman sitting and smiling on stairs.

Annamarie is a natural-born performer. Her love of music was apparent from the time she could speak. She sang all day, everyday, spreading music wherever she went. In first grade she begged her mother for dance lessons as a way of taking her love of music to the next level. It didn't take much convincing, and from there she embarked on her life-long dance journey. Through dancing, she would meet new people and eventually travel from small town Iowa to the Windy City to further her dance education at Columbia College Chicago. 

When Annamarie isn't dancing, you can most likely find her cuddling with her cat Bess, going out to eat with her friends, or sipping a nice cup of tea. 


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