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Rich Man/Poor Man: Dance Party

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Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

My friend Sam once slow-danced at a park with a boy -- the music blaring from his purple hatchback -- following a sweet first date. She was instantly smitten. Who knew such a simple gesture could be so romantic? Despite the guy's less-than-heartfelt description of the moment (“You just put your hands around the girl and stand around”), I still commended him for the well-played move.

After all, dancing is a kind of unspoken vertical foreplay, one that goes beyond the awkward embraces of middle school dances and (hopefully) the grinding bar-scene variety of later years. Even if you cringe at the thought, I hope you’ll still consider taking your next date to the dance floor with this week’s outing ideas:

RICH MAN: The Fred Astaire Dance Studio is offering a two-session special for $25 for new students, which includes one private lesson and one group class or “practice party.” The 30-minute private lesson covers the basics of the foxtrot, rumba, waltz and hustle.

There are a million options in the city for couples and singles dance lessons, but let’s give some credit to this particular studio, which is owned by Jesse DeSoto, who was on Season 3 of "Dancing With the Stars." And if you don’t know Fred Astaire, you really just don’t know suave. The iconic singing/acting/dancing machine sang the original version of most romantic of all slow-dance songs, “The Way You Look Tonight.”

POOR MAN: The super-popular outdoor Chicago SummerDance is back starting Thursday! The 11-week festival -- which runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 4 to 7 p.m. through August 29 -- starts with an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of open dancing on a 4,600-square-foot dance floor in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park.

Swing, waltz, salsa, cha-cha and more at the largest outdoor dance festival in the country for free! Those too “shy” can rest assured that the 100,000-plus people who participate each summer are probably not focused on you, but on the mixed-bag group of people who show up, the eccentric dance floor made from recycled plastic and planted around a pretty garden, and of course the awesome live music.

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Rubenstein published on June 14, 2010 3:45 PM.

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