So, you think you can dance?

Growing up in Iowa, there was always this special time of the year when my elementary school’s music class and P.E. class teamed up and forced us all to go through a dance unit. Oh, we learned how to line dance and we learned how to square dance, but did they ever teach us anything useful? To this day, I can’t figure out why they didn’t teach us any ballroom dancing techniques!

Now I’m forced to enviously watch the folks in the movies who can glide around the floor doing the waltz or the foxtrot. And I find myself really green with envy over the people who can throw each other in the air and get down with their bad selves as they swing dance. Here I am doing the grapevine, and they’re having fun with the big bands.


If you’ve ever been jealous of people who can dance, now is your chance to learn. Believe me, I have searched through various dance studios in Los Angeles – let me rephrase that – cheap dance studios in Los Angeles – but I haven’t had a lot of luck. Either the LA dance lessons that I find are for things I’m not interested in (tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop) or they are too expensive. 

Plus, I already know that I’m a total putz and I will probably never have the grace and flair that I need to win any ballroom dancing contests. I just kept going back to this time when I was going to the University of Northern Iowa and my friends and I found a local coffee shop that had an evening where they gave an hour-long swing dance “crash course” and then had a dance for the rest of the night. Were we very good? Eh. We got the basic moves down. Did we have fun? Heck yes!

So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that a dance studio city of Pasadena actually hosts something similar! Every Saturday night, you can visit the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association and get free dance instruction (from 7:30pm to 8pm) followed by 3.5 hours of getting your dance on! Live music is featured every week (this Saturday the 9th features Mark Tortorici’s Hollywood Combo with guest, Rockin’ Raffi – an 11 year-old piano prodigy from France). The PBDA also provides refreshments and door prizes. Admission is $15.


If swing isn’t your thing, this Friday night (the 8th), the PBDA is hosting an “Evening of Ballroom Dancing” which will feature a freestyle-foxtrot lesson from 7:30pm to 8pm followed by 2 hours of dancing to an assortment of ballroom music. Cost is only $10.

But just remember…it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! Happy dancing!


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