by Carrie Havranek
The Lehigh Valley is home to all sorts of hidden gems, and while all of these aren’t truly hidden, they are gems. Here are five cool places where you can reconnect with your body and discover its capabilities (and, inevitably, its limitations) and just have some plain old good fun. Learn a new style, expand your horizons, and try something different: Dance is a transformative opportunity to get lost inside—and outside—yourself. We want to hear about your favorite place, too, so we’ve intentionally left the fifth spot blank. Tell us!
Belly dancing, salsa lessons and more, Easton and Bethlehem. Easton Yoga has long offered belly dancing classes, but the studio recently unveiled a new room dedicated to dance and movement so you can also find salsa on the schedule, too. Currently, there’s an ongoing eight-week introductory session which runs through the end of July and it’s too late to take a drop-in class, but keep checking the schedule because salsa es muy popular and will return. The Yoga Loft of Bethlehem offers belly dancing classes taught by Amala Gameela, and an introductory series for beginners is set to start Monday, July 11, 7:15-8:15 and will run through August 29. Not sure you want to commit? There’s a free introductory class on Friday, July 1 from 6:15-7pm.
Dancing on the Thirds, Easton. Every third Friday, you can dance ballroom, salsa, cha-cha, the hustle, foxtrot and more in downtown Easton. The next event, July 15, is west coast swing. Come for the night; you’ll receive an hour-long lesson in the style and then an open dance with a deejay follows. All ages are welcome. Admission is $10 per person; college students with valid ID get in for half price, and it’s brought to you by Easton Main Street Initiative. Every Third Friday (and some fifth Fridays, where the calendar allows), 7pm-10pm; Third Street Alliance, 41 N. 3rd Street, Easton; 610.330.9942.
Lehigh Valley Tango Society, Allentown. This is Argentine tango, which is strictly its own thang distinct from the tango most people are familiar with, at least in passing. The group holds its practicas on Wednesday nights at the Antonio Salemme Foundation downtown. There’s no charge for your first practica and beginners are always welcome; it’s an open session where you can observe, learn, and of course, dance. Wednesdays, 7pm-10pm; Empire Ballroom, 2nd floor of Antonio Salemme Foundation, 542 Hamilton St., Allentown.
Sangria, Allentown. Friday nights are Latin nights, and they’re almost always led by a deejay, and the dancing varies from salsa, merengue, to bachata. The patio just opened last week, the super creative chef Abe Lopez just unveiled a new summer menu, and they’ve always got red and white sangria along with specialty ones, too; just ask. Whatever you do, don’t miss the fish tacos. Fridays, 10pm. 840 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown; 610-432-3280. Valet parking.
Where’s number five? We’re leaving that up to you this week. Where’s your favorite place to go dancing?
Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who hung up her pointe and character shoes about ten years ago and swapped them for a yoga mat. She still adores dancing.
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