NIU’s Duke Ellington Ballroom (located in the Holmes Student Center) will once again be the setting for a three-day celebration of ballroom dancing when the “Let’s Dance” Big Band Weekend returns Friday to Sunday, July 19-21.
All levels of jazz and social ballroom dancers are welcome to participate. The event kicks off on Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m. with a welcome dance party with Cary Sheley and The Little Big Band, an eight-piece group from Rockford. The formal attire Let’s Dance Ball, featuring the 17-piece John Smith and Shananigans Big Band, will be held, Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Finally, there’s a dance party on Sunday, July 21, at 9:30 a.m. with a performance by the 10-piece Dick Elliott Orchestra from Chicago.
Event organizer John D. Smith of DeKalb says the best part of the event for him is seeing couples’ reaction to the quality of the event and the fun they have.
“It’s great to see young to old dancing, visiting and loving the Let’s Dance event,” he said. “People so rarely get a chance to go dancing just for fun, and they love the venue and the environment it provides, as well as the great music with live big band jazz. It’s a magical and fun experience.”
Three packages are available for those who wish to attend. The “best” deal includes all three dances, plus food for $125 per person. The “flexible” deal allows attendees to pay $50 to attend the dance of their choice with food included. There’s also a $30 ticket that allows for attending one of the dances without food.
Also, $5 “listen only” tickets are available where guests can sit in the balcony.
Beginning, intermediate and advanced lessons are available for $6 per person per session.
There’s also a cabaret dance at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20. This easy, relaxed dance time is billed as an opportunity to practice new dance moves, and the cost of attendance is however much the participant wishes to put in the tip jar.
For more information on the 14th annual “Let’s Dance” Big Band Weekend at NIU’s Duke Ellington Ballroom, July 19-21 visit justmakeithappen-dekalb.com. Registration forms are available online.