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Shall We Dance?

Social Dance Studio’s Anniversary

By Libby Ryan

Smiling dancers in formation
Paper lanterns hung from the ceiling, casting a dramatic light on the dancers filling Social Dance Studio on the last weekend of March. Along the sides of the dance floor, people chatted and watched the couples dancing. It was warm in the studio, from the light and the dancing and the enthusiasm of all the dancers there to celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of Social Dance Studio, commonly known as SDS to its students and social dancers. The studio was beautifully decorated by a group of dedicated volunteers, the Friends of SDS, who also kept a table of delicious desserts stocked all night.

Shall We Dance, with its 1930s Parisian theme, was the second of five special events the studio is hosting this year for its enthusiastic dancers.

SDS is a staple of the Twin Cities social dancing scene, with events tailored to fit every social dancer’s tastes. On a rotating schedule, the studio fills with social dancers. Saturdays vary between west coast swing, country, and Argentine tango; two Fridays each month are dedicated to salsa and bachata; Thursdays host east coast swing; and on special occasions, variety dances combine all the styles into one night. You can always stay apprised of what events are offered at SDS by checking “Twin Cities Dance Events” on page two of Sheer Dance.

The anniversary dance was one of those occasions when the music switched seamlessly from salsa to waltz, from foxtrot to west coast swing. It became a melting pot of dance. Dancers who don’t dance bachata danced nightclub two-step. Dancers who don’t waltz danced Argentine tango. No matter what the song, dancers found a way to improvise. The name of the style wasn’t important; the dancers all found a way to dance.

Throughout the night, there were three performances to showcase the work students do at the studio. A couple performed an impressively fast salsa as the rest of the room cheered them on. Later in the evening, two couples performed a seductive kizomba routine, and one of SDS’s performance teams strutted their stuff with a fun group salsa, complete with partner switches, dips, and lifts.

Dancers quickly and enthusiastically took back the dance floor after the performances, eager to fit in as many dances as they could throughout the night. Hardly anyone stood on the sidelines for long. The music was too enticing and the atmosphere too excited to keep anyone off the floor. After fourteen years on the scene, SDS knows how to celebrate its anniversary right.