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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago records

Identifier: Dance-MS-Hubbard

Scope and Content of the Collection

Administrative, promotional, photographic, audio, and film/video materials documenting the history and growth of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Administrative records, along with marketing, development, and financial records, all document the early years of the dance company and its financial challenges, as well as its many successful tours and fundraising endeavors over the years. The company's training and early-career dancer program, Hubbard Street 2, is similarly documented to its parent company. Photographs and printed ephemera in the Publicity series make up a large portion of the collection, providing visual and contextual information about the company, its dancers, and its repertory. The Audiovisual series combines the video and audio output of both HSDC and HS2; the digital data files are 3.5 inch floppy discs of files that are likely represented elsewhere in the records in print. Finally there are several items in the artifact series, including some dance props, some design artwork, buttons, and other merchandising materials.


  • Creation: 1971-2014



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Hubbard Street Dance Chicago records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Hubbard Street Dance Chicago records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

History of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HDSC)

Chicago-based American dance company.

After a performing career that included Broadway musicals, Illinois native Lou Conte established the Lou Conte Dance Studio at Chicago’s La Salle and Hubbard Streets in 1974. In 1977, he founded the Hubbard Street Dance Company (renamed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 1993) with four dancers. The company started when Barbara Cohen of Urban Gateways, who later joined the company as its first executive director, asked Conte to develop a program for senior citizens. He devised a program that featured various styles of American jazz dance, including tap, which the original company performed throughout the city under the auspices of the Mayor’s Office. He expanded on the original program and created a popular and serious dance style that combined balletic strength, the energy of jazz, and the footwork of tap with American themes and music, which added elements of musical theatre. Conte established partnerships with emerging and internationally renowned choreographers such as Lynne Tyler-Corbett, Margo Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, Twyla Tharp, Jirí Kylián, and Nacho Duarte. The company after Conte’s retirement in 2000 has continued to widen HDSC’s international focus and develop partnerships with institutions in Chicago.

Today, HDSC is located at 1658 North Milwaukee Avenue, with studio space in Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan Avenue). Previous to its 2022 move from 1147 W. Jackson Boulevard, it was a dance organization with four components: the main company, Hubbard Street 2 (HS2), Lou Conte Dance Studio, and Youth, Education, and Community Programs. The main company continues to tour year round nationally and internationally. Established in 1997 by Conte and Julie Nakagawa, HS2 prepared young dancers for professional dancing careers; it ceased operations around 2016. The Lou Conte Dance Studio offered weekly classes most notably in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and hip hop dance styles. It closed in 2020 due to the coronovirus pandemic. HSDC’s Youth, Education, and Community programs, founded in 1997, provide movement-based arts experiences to students, families, and teachers throughout the greater Chicago area.


143.1 Linear Feet (203 boxes, 19 oversize boxes, and loose material)


Hubbard Street Dance Company (renamed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 1993) was founded by dancer and choreographer Lou Conte in 1977 and has become one of the most successful and most internationally known dance companies to hail from Chicago. Records include administrative files, publicity materials, and audiovisual records of performances of the company.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Administrative, 1971-2009
Boxes 1-49
Series 2: Marketing, 1983-2009
Boxes 50-61
Series 3: Development, 1978-2005
Boxes 62-75
Series 4: Financial, 1975-2007
Boxes 76-83
Series 5: Hubbard Street 2, 1996-2009
Boxes 84-100
Series 6: Photographs, 1978-2010
Boxes 101-119
Series 7: Publicity, 1971-2014
Boxes 120-193; oversize folders in flat file
Series 8: Audiovisual and Digital Data, 1981-2012
Boxes 194-210
Series 9: Artifacts, approximately 1978-2010
Boxes 211-221

Conditions Governing Audiovisual Access

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have not been digitized and are unavailable for use at this time.

Collection Stack Location

3a 52 1-8; 4a flat files


Gift, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, 1986, 2015.

Processed by

Catherine Grandgeorge, Alison Hinderliter, Samantha Leshin, and Samantha Smith, 2016.

Inventory of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago records, 1971-2014
Finding aid prepared by Alison Hinderliter, Samantha Smith, Catherine Grandgeorge, Samantha Leshin
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States