Conoce a Chicago: Chicago SummerDance
So far this summer, PACO has explored el cine, el arte…and now la música. For the final Conoce a Chicago of the summer, PACO decided that we should take advantage of the beautiful weather. So we strapped on our dancing shoes and went out for a night of big band music and dancing.
On August 12 we took part in the 16th annual Chicago SummerDance series. Every Thursday through Sunday from July 19 to September 15, there is live music in Grant Park at the Spirit of Music Garden (601 South Michigan Ave). Cada noche begins with an hour of free, themed dance lessons followed by live music. Thursday through Saturday, dance lessons go from 6-7, followed by music and dancing 7:30-9:30. Sunday lessons are from 4 to 5, then music from 5:30 to 7:30.
We arrived at the SummerDance series at 4 p.m. for some Samba lessons from the Kasper Dance Studio. The lessons were great; both instructors moved at a pace that was easy to follow, even on a dance floor llena de personas. People of all ages were there, families, groups of friends, and couples on dates (it is an awesome date night idea). There is about a half hour break between the lessons and live music, but there are plenty of chairs and tables set up around the park to sit and wait. The Series also has a grill set up where you can get some great food, soda, beer and wine.
Once the band started up, the dance floor was full for the rest of the night. The Teddy Lee Orchestra played big band classics, being sure to throw in some samba music so that people could practice what they had learned.
Overall, es una noche fantastica. Even if you’re not into dancing yourself, the people watching alone is superb.
Here’s the schedule for the upcoming weekend:
Thursday, August 23 – Mambo dance lessons with Mixed Motion Art, followed by music from El Caobo, a Latin DJ.
Friday, August 24 – Chicago SummerDance is celebrating the Polish history of the city by having a Polka night. Ethnic Dance Chicago will be teaching the crowd how to polka, then Joe Walega and the Happy Hearts Orchestra will be playing live music for the night.
Saturday, August 25 – May I Have This Dance will be teaching the Salsa and Cha Cha in preparation for Charanga Tropical’s Cuban salsa.
Sunday, August 26 – Prior to a night of ballroom music by the Steve Cooper Orchestra, the Tina Mangos Dance studio will be teaching the Rumba.
The final night of the 2012 Chicago SummerDance series, is September 16. For the closing ceremony, the series is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Metro/Smartbar. The ceremony starts at 4 p.m., at the Millennium Park Central Promenade.
For the full schedule and more information about the series, visit www.chicagosummerdance.org.