Edna McRae (1901-1990) grew up on Chicago’s North Side and began her dance training at Schurz High School. After studying with prominent Chicago dance teachers, McRae went east to train in New York and then abroad to study in London and Paris. She returned to Chicago where she opened her own dance studio in 1925. She was known as a perfectionist and a very demanding teacher. After lessons, she would write practice notes for her students in French. When traveling ballet companies came through Chicago, it wasn’t unusual to find company members taking lessons with McRae.
McRae taught dance at her studio for nearly four decades. After retiring she taught at the Joffrey Ballet and also was the associate director in charge of children for the annual production of The Nutcracker in Chicago. Nationally recognized, McRae helped make Chicago a major ballet center in the US.
Why this stop? Schurz High School is 5 blocks from the Blue Line Irving Park stop.
Women's L Project Connection—The Chicago annual holiday production of The Nutcracker was started by Ruth Page.
Photo—Edna L. McRae papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago