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Dining & Entertainment
April 2014

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Dance & Ballet - Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance?
Where to Learn, Then Show Off

As summer turns cool and Chicagoans seek diversion indoors, what better way to meet new people, explore a new culture or just get a good work out than through dance?

Chicago plays host to many dance studios that provide instruction for all skills levels. With studios offering flexible class schedules and diverse offerings, you are sure to find an option that suits your busy lifestyle and satisfies your need for artistic physical activity.

Pictured above: A couple at Latin Street Dance.

With the recent “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance?” television phenomena, both traditional and contemporary styles have captured audience’s attention. Below are opportunities to explore some different styles.

Jump, Jive and Wail: Big City Swing

With it’s motto of “Be fun. Be fit. Be social.”, Big City Swing offers private and group instruction to students in the West Loop. According to its website, “Our instructors have the talent, experience and sense of humor to make the dance accessible to everyone.” During classes, dancers rotate partners to develop good technique, but this also provides an excellent way to connect with new people.

Every Tuesday for $5, Big City Swing hosts a weekly dance from 9:30-midnight, where dancers of all experience levels can practice their new steps and socialize with other like-minded movers and shakers.

Click here to receive discounted lessons from Big City Swing.

All Things Latin: Latin Street Dance

Latin Street Dancing will have you ready for salsa night at your local night spot in no time. Run by Lisa “La Boriqua”, Latin Street Dance holds classes six days a week and has classes geared for every level from beginner to advanced. Salsa, Meringue, and Cha Cha Cha are some of the notable techniques featured at the studio. Latin dancing is also a great form of alternative exercise and a fun way to meet new people.

One class session is four weeks long, with one class weekly.

Click here for more information on Latin Street Dance.

Ballroom and Beyond: Stduio ULA LA

If you’ve watched “Dancing With the Stars,” and you’re wondering if you could hold your own with some of the celebrities on the show – stop in to Studio ULA LA, where owners Matt and Ula Rivers teach ballroom, Latin, and dance aerobics in their Greek Town studio.

Studio ULA LA’s beginning ballroom class offers instruction in the basic steps and techniques in Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba and Swing – a great option if you’re looking for diverse offerings.

Group and private classes are available, with varying packages starting at $11 per lesson.For more information on classes and scheduling, please call Studio ULA LA at 312.474.999.

What Next? Places to Dance, Be Seen

You’ve taken some lessons, or perhaps you’re already an accomplished dancer and you’re looking for a place to showcase your skills and have fun with friends. Here are a few places to try out in Chicago:

The Green Dolphin Restaurant and Jazz Club (2200 N. Ashland Ave.), although better known for its jazz, reserves Wednesdays for swing dancing. Typically, there’s a live band and a sophisticated crowd. The Green Dolphin also serves dinner and has a bar menu, so dinner and dancing can all be accomplished in one place. From 8-9pm a ballroom swing lesson is provided and then dancers hit the floor until 3am. A great date option, The Green Dolphin Restaurant and Jazz Club is sure to whet your appetite for interesting food and exciting dance. Visit for more information.

Click here to make a reservation at The Green Dolphin Restaurant and Jazz Club.

Chicago’s finest salseros go to the Buzz (308 W. Erie St.) for Latin dancing on Wednesdays and Sundays. You’ll find dancers of all backgrounds out on the dance floor grooving to the deejayed tunes of Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Cha-Cha. For more information on Salsa nights at Buzz, please visit its website.

For something a little different, try Alhambra Palace Restaurant (1240 W. Randolph St.). After dining on an upscale French-Moroccan meal, stay for the phenomenal Surayah. She performs a belly dance routine at 10pm on Saturdays and entices everyone to hit the dance floor to move their hips.

Click here to make a reservation at Alhambra Palace Restaurant.

September/October 2007

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