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On Stage

Move Your Feet

Dancing through the week

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Remember Mark Twain’s “dance like nobody’s watching” quote? That’s all well and good for those who have a modicum of coordination, but the rest of us—those who have to search long and hard to find the rhythm—are often well aware we’re not necessarily performance-grade movers and shakers.

A lack of inherent talent doesn’t need to hold you back. In fact, there’s a chance that if you keep moving, you’ll get better and, at the very least, not be self-conscious when you move your body. Following are a few day-by-day instructions on where, and how, to learn to dance in Bellingham.

Part of Dance Gallery’s mission is to bring modern dance to a wider audience. As performers, they share their talents in their hometown, and travel to ensure smaller communities get their fair share of culture. Every Monday, however, their focus is on bringing out the skills of those who are interested in dance, but may not want to make it their life’s work. All are welcome, and the class is taught on rotation with instructors Julia Milburn and Jessica Houston. When: 6pm Mondays Where: Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Info: http://www.dancegallery.org

Since 2006, various Bellingham residents have kept West Coast Swing alive and well, swinging. These days, various instructors fill in every Tuesday to share the love. In fact, on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, workshops for both beginners and those who are more experienced are followed by more than hour of fancy dancing. When: 7pm every other Tuesday Where: Presence Studio Info: http://www.bellinghamwcs.org

Do you know what a reel is? How about a jig or a progression? Find out what these terms mean—and how to combine them with fancy footwork—when the Bellingham Scottish Country Dancers host classes every Wednesday night. The combined class accepts both beginner and intermediate dancers, meaning that those just starting out will have plenty of help when it comes time to actually execute that aforementioned jig. Or reel. When: 7-9pm Wednesdays Where: Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Info: http://www.bellinghamscd.org

The world of dance is vast, and those who join the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers every Thursday in Fairhaven will soon learn that the “fourth corner” is just a wee bit of it. Focused on Balkan, Romani, Greek, Turkish, and Israeli folk dances, participants who want to learn these exotic moves can show up every week to do so. All ages are welcome, and no partner is necessary. Occasionally, there’ll even be live music to get you in the mood. When: 7pm Thursdays Where: Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Info: 380-0456

You won’t need experience, or a handsome cowboy by your side, to join the Lynden Line Dancers every Friday at the Ten Mile Grange. All you’ll have to bring along, in fact, is some energy, shoes with leather soles (or tennies), and $5 per class. When: A beginners class starts at 6pm and intermediates meet at 7pm Where: Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. Info: 354-4325

Old-time country dances are the focus of the Bellingham Country Dance Society’s ongoing gatherings, which typically happen the second, fourth and fifth Saturdays of the month. Each dance features live music from local, regional and national bands, and callers with experience. All dances are taught, and those who attend are free to watch until they feel comfortable stepping in. When: 7-10:30pm Saturdays Where: Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Info: http://www.bellinghamcountrydance.org 

SVCR Don McLean
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