Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sacramento Dance Venues Part Two: Tango Practica at Step 1

On Wednesday nights, Greg and I really like to attend the Tango practica at Step 1, which is located at 1920 T Street in Sacramento. DJ Mike Bohan plays excellent traditional Tango music (and of course Milonga and Vals) from 9:00 to 10:45, and the cost is just $3.

This is generally a pretty intimate group--between 10 and 20 people each week. The quality of dancing is high, although the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. As is expected at a practica, it is completely acceptable to stop and work on something if you need to, although of course you want to be aware of the people around you so you don't obstruct traffic.

The floor is not large, but there is plenty of room for the size of group we usually have. We have occasionally gotten relatively crowded, but there was still room to dance. The floor is not wood--I think it's some kind of linoleum, so it's a bit hard, but we're only on it for 1:45, so it doesn't bother me. It's pretty smooth and usually clean.

Greg and I try to make this one every week, so I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sacramento Dance Venues Part One: The Station

I thought I'd post a series of quick reviews of the various dance venues in Sacramento. I can only review the places I've experienced, so if I miss your favorite, it's probably because I haven't been there--nothing personal.

Sacramento Dance Venues Part One: Swing Time Tuesday at The Station in Roseville

Start Time: Tuesday NIGHTS at 7:15pm WARM UPS.. CLASS STARTS 7:30, DANCE STARTS 8:15

Cost: $5 for the lesson, $5 for the dance
Location: THE STEEL STATION & DINNER CLUB, 1100 Orlando Ave, Roseville, CA

The West Coast Swing dances have been going on Tuesday nights at The Station for a couple of years now (and were at other locations before that), but Greg and I just started going to them last fall. They are a lot of fun, and they kind of take you back to the roots of the West Coast Swing scene: the bar. It is a nice, clean bar, but a bar nonetheless. There are two dance floors, and the surface is pretty good for dancing. The speed is about right, but the edges of the main floor slope a bit, so you want to stay more toward the middle if you can.

There is a $5 cover to pay the DJ, which is Martin Casillas. He plays a mix of blues and contemporary music, weighted a little more heavily toward the modern stuff. He'll throw in an occasional Night Club or Country Two Step. You are encouraged to purchase something to thank The Station for hosting us--a soda (or something stronger) at the bar, perhaps, or they also have a menu available if you want to eat. You won't get kicked out if you don't, but if the dancers patronize the bar/restaurant, The Station will be encouraged to keep us around.

There is a really nice mix of dance levels at Swing Time Tuesday. The lesson that preceeds the dance is usually a beginner one, but it changes and is sometimes intermediate, so you should check on the website. As a result, there are usually some beginners, some very advanced dancers, and everything in between. Sometimes swing dignitaries will visit from out of town, which is fun to see. Whatever your level, as long as you have a good grasp of all the basics, you should be able to fit in and find someone to dance with. The crowd is pretty friendly, as far as swing dances go.

We don't go every week, just because of scheduling and finances, but Greg and I really enjoy the Tuesday West Coast Swing dances at The Station. Check it out, and ifyou see me there, ask me to dance!

PS: The Station has some kind of music or dancing pretty much every night. Check out their website--I haven't gone any night but Tuesday, but I know a couple who enjoys Fridays, too.