SOCIAL DANCE SHOWCASE
Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3, 2023 | Bumper Car Pavilion & Ballroom Back Room
The Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture is pleased to present another Social Dance Showcase over Labor Day Weekend!
Join us for two days of FREE social dances – most with live music – and get a taste of a variety of different dance styles!
Short beginner lessons will be held at the start of each dance, and all dances are open to people of any skill level! No partner required.
This year we are celebrating 90 years of our historic Spanish Ballroom! When you visit the Park, you're stepping into a unique slice of DC-area history.
Saturday, September 2 (11:30am - 12:30am)
- 11:30am - 1:00pm, BCP | Ballroom presented by Ballroom Time, music by Mike Surratt
- 1:00pm - 2:00pm, BCP | Soul Line Dancing presented by Paula Allen
- 2:30pm - 4:00pm, BCP | Square Dance presented by DC Square Dance Collective, music by Awesome Possums
- 4:00pm - 5:30pm, BBR | Balboa presented by Gottaswing
- 4:3opm - 6:00pm, BCP | Rueda de Casino presented by DC Casineros Cuban Dance Company
- 5:45pm - 7:15pm, BBR | Sevillanas presented by Dance Flamenco DC
- 6:30pm - 8:00pm, BCP | Cajun/Zydeco presented by Dancing by the Bayou, music by Little Red & the Renegades
- 7:30pm - 9:00pm, BBR | Blues presented by Capital Blues
- 8:30pm - 12:30am, BCP | Swing presented by DCLX, music by The DCLX All-Stars
Sunday, September 3 (1pm - 1:00am)
- 1:00pm - 2:30pm, BCP | Family Dance presented by Folklore Society of Greater Washington, music by Joe DeZarn (fiddle), John Devine (guitar), & Ralph Gordon (bass)
- 2:30pm - 4:00pm, BCP | Contra Dance presented by Folklore Society of Greater Washington, music by Joe DeZarn (fiddle), John Devine (guitar), & Ralph Gordon (bass)
- 4:30pm - 6:00pm, BCP | Waltz presented by Waltz Time, music by Some Assembly
- 6:00pm - 7:00pm, BCP | Irish Waltz and Two Hands presented by Megan Downes
- 6:30pm - 8:00pm, BBR | Tango presented by Tango Brillante DC
- 7:00pm - 8:30pm, BCP | Ceili presented by Megan Downes, music by Peter Brice (button accordion) and Sami Suplee (fiddle)
- 8:30pm - 10:00pm, BCP | Folk presented by Glen Echo International Folk Dancers
- 8:30pm - 1:00am, BBR | Zouk presented by District Zouk
BCP ~ Bumper Car Pavilion
BBR ~ Ballroom Back Room
No music listed ~ pre-recorded
Dance descriptions are below.
RSVP preferred, not required. There is no check-in at this event.
In between dance sessions, be sure to check out the 52nd Annual Labor Day Art Show in the Spanish Ballroom, 12:00pm - 6:00pm!
Ballroom dance includes foxtrot, slow waltz, ballroom tango, quickstep, Viennese waltz, cha-cha, samba, rumba, mambo (paso doble in some regions) and jive/swing. The emphasis in ballroom dancing is on etiquette, grace, precision of movement, completion of figure patterns, dancing to a variety of music, and the thrill of making a dance work as a couple.
Soul Line Dance
Soul line dancing – like country line dancing – is really just choreographed dance moves that you do in a group, without a partner. The Electric Slide is a classic example. The "soul" part comes from the music used — like R&B, hip-hop, soul and contemporary hits. People come for the fitness, but they stay for the friends — and the broader health benefits that come with having a supportive community.
The DC Square Dance Collective organizes community square dances open to all ages and experience levels - no prior dance experience, lessons, or special getups needed. Dave Hauver will be calling the dances with music provided by the Awesome Possums.
Originating in Southern California in the 1920s, Balboa became hugely popular in the 1930s and ‘40s. It was rediscovered by Lindy Hoppers during the Great Lindy Hop Revival of 1998. This eight-count basic is danced in closed position and is exceptionally well-suited for faster music, but its smooth styling makes it wonderful for any dance tempo.
Casino de Rueda
Cuban Popular Dance, focusing on Casino Dance, Son, and Rueda de Casino. This Cuban Social dancing is often done in a circle.
Sevillanas (Flamenco social dance hailing from Seville, Spain) are known for their charismatic, lively gracefulness. Each of the four sections ends with a sudden stop as dancers strike a pose, inspiring the audience to shout ¡Ole! A closed shoe with heel is preferred. Optional: long flowing skirt. All genders are welcome.
The Cajun dance style is a partner dance comprised of several styles of two-step, the jig step and waltz. Similar to the music of the Cajuns (displaced French Canadians who settled in Louisiana), zydeco was created by the Creoles (those of African heritage in Louisianan French culture). Its name is thought to come from a modified pronunciation of the French phrase les haricots (“the beans”) heard in a popular song. Zydeco dancing is a syncopated two-step or jitterbug. Cowboy boots, leather sole shoes or sneakers are typical footwear.
Blues is a family of social dancing that grew up around the various styles of blues during the 20th century. It focuses on improvisation, connection to partner, and connection to music.
A family dance is fun for all ages! Our caller will get everybody moving to live music with accessible dances for all - just bring comfortable shoes and your enthusiasm.
Contra dancing is a lively social dance form where you and a partner get to dance with the rest of the room too. No partner or experience necessary when you arrive; we just recommend bringing comfortable shoes and a bottle of water.
Folk waltz, social dance dating back hundreds of years, is today enjoyed across the country in local dance halls and other venues, and at dance weekends, contra and Cajun dances, and, for more than 37 years, at Glen Echo Park. Attire for waltzing, which is danced in 3/4-time, is casual, though we recommend avoiding flip-flops and backless sandals.
Irish Waltz & Two Hands
Two-Hand partnering dances for Irish music (barndance, reel, jig, waltz).
Argentine tango is a dance that evokes a range of emotions, from joy to sadness, from love to anger, from intimacy to distance. It is a dance that requires a deep connection between the partners, a mutual understanding of the music, and a willingness to improvise and explore.
A Ceili includes group dances for all, in lines, circles and squares in the Irish American tradition.
Learn dances from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Croatia, Serbia, and more. Our specialties are great music, fun dances, and nice dancers.
Brazilian Zouk is a partner social dance developed first in Brazil and that slowly has been taking over the world. Among its distinctive characteristics, you will see a mix of playful footwork, body movements, and Brazilian Zouk's unique head movements for followers. Today, almost every major city around the globe has a Brazilian Zouk scene of passionate dancers ready to embrace everyone that wants to join.