Looking for an evening of sheer fun and non-stop smiles? This will do the trick: Dancing at dusk in Chicago with the beautiful Chicago skyline above. Good music. Good people. And great fun. Plus…it’s free. Summer Dance is an annual Chicago program that takes place all summer, 4 days a week in Grant Park providing free dance lessons, live music, and good times.
[Cue big band music] Whether you’re into swing, ballroom, salsa, house, gypsy, step, whatever… Summer Dance has something for everyone. Got two left feet? Don’t fret because before each night’s performance and open dancing, there’s a fun hour-long dance lesson. It’s a great place for beginners who want to learn, and also for experienced dancers to slide across the dance floor.
My friend Robin and I checked it out last week and I couldn’t get rid of the smile plastered across my face. We sweated our way through a “jive” lesson while the Polish instructor made us laugh with his “stop…and jive” rhythms and funny jokes. Then it was time to ‘pair up.’ Just like an old-school dance, the ‘boys’ were instructed to come over to the ‘girls’ side and take a girl by the hand and twirl her around for the rest of the lesson. It was also my partner’s ‘first time’, but I have to admit his dancing skills were worse than mine. This made me feel pretty confident until some ‘real’ dancers pulled me out on the dance floor later on and made me feel klunky and lost.
The greatest thing about Summer Dance, besides the actual dancing is the people watching. The event draws together people from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, classes, ethnicities. You’ll find yourself watching (or dancing with ) a variety of people of all kinds – giggling toddlers and their proud parents, enthusiastic elders, groups of friends, couples hand-in-hand, and a few loners scattered throughout the dance floor. Yes, there even were some people kind of ‘out there’ that we really believed were on a field trip from their ‘ward.’ But they were some of the ones who looked like they were having the most fun. On a beautiful evening out, it’s a wonderful way of appreciating Chicago and those who reside here.
Go dance. You will make friends and forget your troubles for a few hours. There’s just a few weeks left.
Check out these fun pictures from the event: