Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue July 05 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | July 5, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Shake It Up At Chicago’s Summerdance Festival

    Shake It Up At Chicago’s Summerdance Festival

    Photo courtesy of Summerdance

    Summer in Chicago means lots of festivals and street fairs. Every single neighborhood hosts some sort of street party so that you can always find one on every summer weekend. Most of these events last a few days and occasionally a week but there’s one annual festival that stretches through the entire summer: Summerdance. Chicagoans look forward to this joyful weekly festival to learn dance steps, hear live music and enjoy the relaxing landscape of Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden.

    READ MORE: 8 Most Sizzling Nightclubs at Sea

    Chicago Summerdance is this largest annual outdoor dancing series in the U.S. From June through September, the Spirit of Music Garden transforms into an urban dance space, complete with recycled dance floor, live bands and food vendors. Dancers slide, spin, cha cha and step across the 4,900 square foot space with the backdrop of flowers and trees. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 6-9:30 p.m., dancers can snag dance lessons from professional dance instructors from 6-7 and then test out their new moves for the rest of the night.

    It’s a fun offering for all ages and it’s free. The major appeal of Summerdance is that you can learn about music and dances in an interactive experience. The genres cover a wide-ranging global scope, including Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Zydeco, West African and Bhangra.

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of Chicago Summerdance and the lineup is filled with can’t miss performances. Here are some highlights:

    Mambo and Cha Cha, Saturday, July 16

    Chicago mambo mainstays Angel Melendez and the 911 Mambo Orchestra will bring on the hip shaking with a medley of old school Mambo classics. Dance masters from Mixed Motion Art will be on hand to teach smooth Cha Cha and Mambo steps.

    Soukous, Rumba, Cuban Son and Salsa, Saturday, Friday, Aug. 12

    Travel to the Congo, Cuba and Angola through the contagious beats of Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca. The popular band’s Afro Cuban rhythms and Pan African melodies always inspire dancing. Instructors from the Arthur Murray Dance Center will lead the way with Salsa and Rumba moves.

    READ MORE: Learn To Dance In 7 Days With Bluebay Salsa Club

    Bhangra, Sunday, Sept. 11

    The festival closes out with a bang, featuring live Bhangra music and a DJ. Kalapriya Center For Indian Performing Arts will demonstrate the bouncy Bhangra dance moves and live drummers and a DJ will supply lots of upbeat energy.

More Chicago


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
Journey on an Avalon River Cruise

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships