Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts
Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts is a school for the performing arts, specializing in the instruction of dance and music. Mayfair started as a family owned and operated business founded by the late great Mr. Tommy Sutton (renowned Tap Dancer & Choreographer) and is currently under the direction of his daughter, Peggy Sutton. Ms. Sutton understands that her purpose is to continue the legacy her Father left before her.
Mayfair Academy began in 1957 located at 7923 South King Drive with a student enrollment of ninety-seven and a faculty of five. Enrollment grew rapidly with a move to 76th & Cottage Groove and then to its historic location of over 45 years at 1025 E. 79th Street. In 2004 Mayfair Academy celebrated the opening of a second location, Mayfair Too!, in Flossmoor, IL. After several years of growth at the Flossmoor location, Mayfair Too! moved and expanded to Country Club Hills, IL. With the relocation to 87th Street, Mayfair Too! closed in 2013.
Mayfair, now in its fifty-ninth year of successful operation, is currently housed at 8701 S. Bennett in Chicago. Mayfair continues to thrive in the same community that gave it its origins.
The building includes a reception area, three fully furnished studios for dance instruction, a dressing room and two music studios.
Mayfair has a fine arts program that consists of over 60 classes per week and has exposed over 25,000 children throughout its 60 year history to the cultural arts. From the physical art of dance to the visual art of their surroundings to the performance art of their concerts.
Mayfair Students are mentally, physically & artistically motivated which also translates to home and school. A child that is mentally and physically involved (especially after school and weekends) is more likely to succeed . At Mayfair students are given the opportunity to discover themselves, become aware of music and are surrounded by art. They learn discipline while have fun, achieving grace and confidence and developing self-esteem as a member of the Mayfair Family.
Mayfair offers the best teaching techniques in the art of dance, the dedication to the cultural development of our children, through the proper exposure in the atmosphere of the arts not as just a commercial establishment but as a permanent contribution to our children and the community in which they live.
Founder of Mayfair Academy
Prior to entering a teaching career, Tommy Sutton experienced a full period of professional career as a performer and choreographer. He performed with such notables as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole and many others. He performed in numerous night clubs, cabaret and theater revues across the country, Canada and Europe.
As a choreographer, he choreographed many revues and was the dance director for the legendary Mike Todd in his “Theater Cafe” and his Broadway production of “Gay New Orleans” starring Gypsy Rose Lee. One of his greatest performing thrills was working with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in the Broadway Hit “The Hot Mikado”. At this point Tommy’s reputation soon began to grow and he found himself very much in demand for his unique teaching skills. He then opened a studio at 218 S. Wabash in downtown Chicago which was an immediate success. It was at this point that Tommy realized that his own children and the children of his community were being neglected as to their dance training and dance education. With this goal in mind, in 1957 he established Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts, Inc. on Chicago’s South Side which was the beginning of a new era in the career of Tommy Sutton and the development of one of the finest schools in the city dedicated to the best dance training possible for the children of his community. It is one of the largest private schools of its type which still flourishes today under the direction of his daughter, Peggy Sutton. Over the years Tommy taught thousands of students and Mayfair Academy still flourishes today as his legacy, his teaching methods and techniques are still influencing thousands of students across the country and abroad.
It was through Mayfair Academy that he had the opportunity to choreograph numerous Cotillion Balls for the Chicago Links and many other civic organizations which gained him the reputation of “Chicago’s Cotillion Master” and led to the production of his own Mayfair Cotillions. Tommy Sutton has received numerous awards and recognition throughout the years and has served with many dance organizations, such as Chicago National Association of Dance Master, National Association of Dance Artist (NADAA), Dance Educators, Dance Masters and “Take Five”.
In 1979 Tommy “retired” and moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he was on faculty at Spelman College, Atlanta University Dance Theater and taught various Teachers workshops all over the country and abroad. While in Atlanta he wrote and published “Tap Along with Tommy” a technical manual for the tap dance teacher, in addition he also produced a videotape, album and cassette tape. To all those that knew Tommy or even just crossed his path briefly, he was known for his charm, personality and charisma. He has inspired and influenced so many throughout the years with his persistence in bringing out the best in everyone. In his later years he became a much sought after Master teacher and lecturer on the subject of Tap Dance and he taught master workshops all over the United States as well as Jamaica and Europe. Tommy Sutton was one of the last of the “Red Hot Hoofers” of our time!
Mr. Tommy Sutton, 76, founder of Mayfair Academy passed away in his Atlanta home on Saturday, January 7, 1995. Tommy Sutton’s teaching career spanned over 50 years, gaining him an international reputation as a leading authority on the art of “Tap Dancing”.
Choreographer, Director, Teacher, Producer, Administrator
Ms. Peggy Sutton is the director of Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts and the executive director of the Mayfair Performing company. Mayfair was founded in 1957 by renowned Tap Master, Mr. Tommy Sutton with the goal of developing dance as a cultural and physical asset for the children of his community. He passed on his legacy to his daughter, Peggy Sutton who has successfully operated Mayfair since 1978.
In addition to her administrative and artistic duties at Mayfair she also does choreography for many local civic and charitable organizations and is executive director of the Mayfair Performing Company. Ms. Sutton has done special events at venues such as UIC Pavilion, Medinah Temple, the Chicago Theater, the Skyline Stage at Navy Pier, the Chicago Hilton & Towers, the Museum of Science & Industry, the DuSable Museum, the Harold Washington Cultural Center, the Harris Theater and the Arie Crown Theater, entertaining audiences up to 5000 while exposing her students to the finest venues that Chicago has to offer.
Peggy’s choreography reaches beyond Mayfair Recitals and Productions and includes the Chicago Links Cotillion, the Dance Ministries of TUCC, the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, Valparaiso University and numerous Dance Competitions. Ms. Sutton has also written, produced and directed numerous theatrical productions such as “These Daze”, “Young Gifted & Black”, “Mayfair’s Fame”, “Ease on Down the Road” and “The Seven Days of Kwanzaa”. A Tough Nut to Crack! along with over 35 annual student dance productions.
Ms. Sutton is the recipient of the Chocolate Chip Theater Co. “Smart Cookie” award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha “Pearls of Excellence” award, the ETA Gala “Demonstrating the Faith” award, the Chicago Defender’s “Women of Excellence” award, Zeta Phi Beta’s 2008 Women of the Year award and the 2008 Ruth Page Award. the Sigma Gamma Rho – Torch Award and most recently the CHRP’s JUBA! Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Tap Dance. The Delta Sigma theats awards for Delta Sigma theta.
Ms. Sutton understands that her purpose is to continue the legacy her Father left before her, which is to educate, expose, empower and employ our children in the Fine Arts. It is Ms. Sutton’s hope that her legacy will be to show by example the business of the arts as a thriving African American and female owned and operated business which has been a positive fixture and cultural institution in the same community for over almost 60 years.
Mayfair Academy offers a full schedule of classes from beginning to advanced starting at age 3 through adults. Our registration officially begins in September and our classes run from September through June. At this time our intermediate & advanced students are assigned classes depending on their level. Classes for beginning students are publicly listed.
The foundation of the dance development. It is the recommendation of Mayfair that all students interested in studying dance should be enrolled in a ballet class. Ballet will greatly enhance the students’ capability to excel in all areas of dance, along with developing grace, poise and physical discipline.
Mayfair is renown for its excellence in the field of tap dance. The Tommy Sutton method of tap developed through years of experience by Mr. Sutton and is taught at Mayfair. Tap dance promotes the students sense of rhythm and coordination.
Jazz dance utilizes the discipline and the techniques of ballet, producing a contemporary dance form. Jazz dance tends to promote creativity and minimize inhibitions in the development of the student.
This is the latest dance style inspired by the Hip Hop culture that combines the elements of street dance, jazz, funk and break dancing.
These classes are mandatory for every student between the ages of 3 and 7. The combination class was created at Mayfair and has proved extremely successful in the dance development of the young child. The basic fundamentals are offered in ballet, tap, and tumbling.
This class is a fusion of ballet and modern techniques. A solid ballet based technique is an essential component of this advanced style of dance, including proper placement and body alignment. For immediate and advanced dancers only.
Purchase official Mayfair Attire at www.MayfairWear.com .
Sunday and Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Friday: 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Parents, please be reminded to pick up your children ON TIME from class. Mayfair cannot and will not be held responsible for un-chaperoned children and siblings!!
Spring Break: Check back soon for the 2017 schedule.
Note: In the event of extremely harsh weather, please call Mayfair before coming to class.
Other Important Information
1. CLASSTIMES – All classes at MAYFAIR meet 1 hour, 1 day per week.
2. TARDINESS – All students should be properly attired (see Mayfair Dress Code) and ready to start class on time. It is very disruptive to the instructor and the rest of the class when a student enters class late. It is left to the teacher’s discretion to admit a student once class begins.
3. OBSERVATION – Parents and Friends will be allowed to observe class from outside viewing areas only!
4. MAKE-UP CLASSES – Missed lessons should be made up within the quarter that they are missed. Please check with your instructor for day & time.
5. DISCIPLINE – Any student who is a disciplinary problem may be asked to leave class. If the problem persists the student will be dropped from the class with no refund of tuition.
6. STUDENT DROP-OFF & PICK-UP – All students should be escorted into the building (for safety reasons) and not dropped off. ALL STUDENTS AGES 7 & UNDER MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT AT ALL TIMES. PARENTS MAY NOT LEAVE CHILDREN ALONE!!! Please be reminded that MAYFAIR IS NOT A BABY-SITTING SERVICE. Please arrange to have your child picked up as soon as their class is over. Mayfair cannot be held responsible for any child that is left at the studio after their class has been dismissed. ANY CHILD THAT HAS NOT BEEN PICKED UP WITHIN 10 MINUTES AFTER CLOSING TIME WILL BE CHARGED A $25.00 LATE FEE WHICH WILL BE ADDED TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
7. DRESSING ROOM AREAS – The dressing room is provided for your convenience and it is the responsibility of the students to maintain them. Dressing room areas may be monitored for the protection & safety of our students. MAYFAIR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEMS LEFT IN THE DRESSING ROOM AREAS. Shelf space is provided in the studios for your belongings while in class. All valuables should be left at home or at the Front Desk.
8. PARKING LOT – Mayfair has a free parking lot in the rear of the building. We ask that all parents please use this lot and do not drop off your child in the front on Bennett Avenue. This is a two-way street open to public traffic and we want to do everything possible to insure the safety of our students – your children. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON BENNETT AS THE BLOCK IS PERMIT PARKING ONLY AND YOU WILL BE TICKETED!
9. NO SMOKING & NO GUM – There is no smoking or gum chewing allowed in Mayfair at any time. Food is to be eaten in the kitchen only!
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