Dirty Dancing

From Your Magazine Volume 3 Issue 7: March 2014

Spice up your life and dance the night away at one of these local clubs. 

We live in an era where dancing simply means bumping and grinding, and movies like Kevin Bacon’s Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and dare I even say Hairspray bring longing for dancing decades that we did not experience. The ability to dance well with another person is a desire that many college students share 92 percent of Emersonians surveyed indicated that they do not consider themselves good dancers. However, they would like to be. The possibility of such happening seems to be slim to none if you didn’t grow up in ballet shoes. Luckily, Emerson is located in a hot spot for dancing! Here are some places around Boston that regularly offer affordable dance lessons.

Havana Club

288 Green St., Central Square, Cambridge The Havana Club offers a variety of Latin dance lessons throughout the week. Simply hop on the Orange line to Community College station to get there and enjoy some cheap dancing! For $10 you can learn salsa and bachata on Mondays or rueda on Tuesdays. If the beginning of the week isn’t exactly your night on the town time, salsa lessons are offered to the 21+ crowd Fridays and Saturdays. Remember though, romance isn’t exclusively a Friday-Saturday (or particularly parched Thursday) thing; sometimes it’s nice to take a break from studying and writing essays to have some fun and spice up the same old routine. The Club is infamous for attracting a wide variety of dancing abilities, from dance floor veteran to ultra beginner. The instructors are engaging, helpful, and guarantee a good time. While some people show up with a few friends, solo salsa-ers are paired with each other during the dance lesson, giving them the chance to connect with new people and have an awesome time. The atmosphere at Havana Club is very distinct; it’s high energy, welcoming, and overall just happy. If you’re looking for some funky Latin rhythms, cool new people, basic dance skills, and a solid workout, Havana Club is the place for you.

Swing City

680 Huron Ave., West Cambridge Youth Center This place is hopping! No, just kidding, it’s swinging. Okay enough with the bad jokes—this place is a lot of fun. Simply get on the Red line from Park St. and take it to Harvard Square. There you will find Swing City and all its enthusiastic swing dancers. Swing dancing is a style that emerged in the 1920s with the rise of jazz music in the U.S. Awarded Best of Boston by Boston magazine, Swing City is keeping that vibe alive with swing dance lessons every 2nd, 4th and 5th Saturdays of the month. With your student ID you can get in for $12 starting at 8 p.m. Julia Lebow ‘17, a film major, said that she enjoys Swing City because of the live music and open dance floor. The most unique aspect of Swing City is the exciting bands they feature during their dances. Their instructors are experienced, fun, and ready to help any new dancer interested in learning how to swing!

Ryles Jazz Club

212 Hampshire St., Cambridge Ryles caters to all kinds of different dancing interests. On Tuesdays they offer Noche Latina dance lessons to diverse experience levels at only $10 for college students. Thursdays are Latin Caribbean night with Bachata and Kizomba. Friday is a mix of everything as an opportunity to show off your skills. Before 11 p.m. you can get in for $5 to dance the Bachata, Merengue, Reddaeton, Salsa, Cumbia, Vallenato, Punta, and Latin rock. If that sounds a little too intense Ryles offers simple Salsa lessons on Sunday morning and evening. Ryles Jazz Club has one of the coolest dance venues in Boston, with two floors for plenty of room to move. It features a variety of dance styles, including tons of Latin dances and jazz which attracts a wide range of people, and a popular DJ.

K&S Music

1337 Centre St., Newton Take the Green D line to Newton Center to get to this classy ballroom dancing spot. Lessons are offered every 1st Saturday of the month for $15. What separates this place from the rest is the complimentary pizza and drinks after all your hard work. Learn how to sway and gracefully float around the room for an hour, have a quick bite, and then show off your new moves from 8-11:30 p.m.

Bluesy Tuesy

45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge  Located in Cambridge’s Democracy Center, Bluesy Tuesy offers bluesy dancing lessons for only $5. Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday night of the month learn how to “feel the music” from 7:30-8:30 p.m. After dancing there are opportunities to DJ as well!

According to everydayhealth.com, dancing can help reduce stress, lessen depression, keep your heart healthy, and increase energy. All of these benefits can be very helpful in relationships, making these places perfect date destinations. If you’re planning a first date, dancing is a much better alternative to the typical dinner and a movie. You’ll get over that uncomfortable embarrassment pretty quickly by laughing at each other’s stumbling moves and have fun holding each other all night. If you’ve been dating for awhile, you might need some stress relief or energy increase—serious relationships can be draining or dull after the “newness” factor disappears. Bring back that spark by doing something new with each other.

The staff of Your Mag encourages you to take advantage of the opportunities right outside your door! One day the memories of high school dancing, if you can call it that, will become a dark, dark memory. It’s hard to understand why rubbing butts against groins was considered a dance form. Take advantage of these great dance spots to make up for those dark days! Although they don’t offer the rave or rock concert style Emerson students may be more accustomed to, they do offer some old school style charm. Remember, you don’t need a partner to go have fun and learn something new. Who knows? You might even find some romance along the way.