Ballet Makkai Foundation Raises Funds For Aspiring Dancers

Ballet Makkai Fundraiser The kickoff fundraiser “Raising the Barre” by the Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School on February 22 at The Art Center in Highland Park, unlocked the world of opportunities for aspiring dancers.  Ballet Makkai Foundation’s inaugural fundraiser secured over $5,500 to award students, at a financial disadvantage, scholarships to pursue their passion for dance.

Due to rising cost, extracurricular education increasingly takes a backseat to other more pressing expenses. The foundation aims to provide the opportunity for accomplished students by offering scholarships for students in need of financial help to further their dance education both at the school and summer intensive programs around the country. It will also offer programs, scholarships, and classes to the community through various dance classes, workshops and camps for those who might not otherwise be able to learn the art of dance.

The fundraiser was attended by over 100 esteemed guests. Those in attendance enjoyed bites and beverages generously donated by a number of vendors. The reception was followed by a wonderful showcase performance by the Ballet Makkai Youth Company, as audience that filled the entire standing room watched in amazement.

Lilla Makkai Daniels, co-owner of Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School when speaking on inspiration behind establishing The Ballet Makkai Foundation, stated that it “will offer opportunities to dancers in our community to expand their horizons.” She went on to say that “now we can expand our performances to full-length ballets and offer scholarships to those who need and deserve them.”

Irina Makkai, co-owner of the dance school added, "I don’t want to turn away really talented students just because they couldn’t afford it."

A great beginning to a foundation that will enable children to pursue their passion, and love of the art of dance regardless of their parent’s ability to pay.

For information on future events or event sponsorship, please contact

— Leonard Mogul Kontinent Media Group Arts4Kids Foundation Photos by Helena Rafeyan and Kasia Jarosz


Phoenicia, Moccio’s Pizza, Bella Via, Sunset Foods, Real Urban Barbeque, Garden Fresh, Greater Than Drinks and Terlato Wines International.


Silent auction items were generously donated by: Russian Pointe, Lesser, Lutrey, McGlynn LLP, The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery, E-Street Denim, Arabesque, Salon Vole, Mathew Klujian and Sons, Nicole Vacca Designs, KM Zumba, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Pong, River North Dance Company, Canine Care, Real Fit Gym, Three Love Birds, Bong Nails and Spa, BloOut Bar, North Shore Chamber Music Festival, Abigail’s, Gina’s Face and Body Spa, Highland Park Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Highland Pop.


Owned and operated by mother and daughter duo, Irina Makkai and Lilla Makkai Daniels, Irina Makkai Classical Ballet & Dance School was the 2012 recipient of the Mayor’s Award for the Arts. They offer an array of dance classes for students of all ages including Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop, as well as Pre-Ballet programs for children 2 ½ to 7 years old. The three-story, 12,000 square foot facility offers four state-of-the-art dance studios, a study room, lunchroom, and locker/dressing rooms. The Irina Makkai Classical Ballet & Dance School is located at 2126 First Street in Highland Park, IL 60035. For more information, please call  847.433.1449 , or visit