Bend's Growing Partner Dance Scene | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Bend's Growing Partner Dance Scene

Lessons to get dance newbies moving and grooving

The Bend social partner dance scene is growing. With so many new dance lesson events coming through the Source Weekly calendar, we thought it would be nice to do a little roundup of options out there.

"There's a lot of technique and connection that goes into social dances, because it's about lead and follow. You learn about connection so that you can dance with everybody in the club," said Victoria Tolonen from Bend Dance.

Tolonen has been teaching dance in Bend since 2001, and said she is excited to see the recent growth.

Bend's Growing Partner Dance Scene
Courtesty Kai Dunn
Victoria Tolonen is the dance instructor at Bend Dance. Tolonen dances with Tracy Perkins at The Capitol in Downtown Bend.

Bend Dance - Salsa and West Coast Swing

Bend Dance has a four-week West Coast Swing Dance Class that takes place on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm. West Coast swing is different from country swing. It is a modern dance style that is done to music that people are familiar with, like hip-hop, blues, top 40 or R&B. It's smooth, luscious, sexy and versatile, according to Tolonen.

Bend Dance also has a four-week Beginning and Intermediate Salsa Dance series on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30pm. Salsa is sexy, fast, sassy, fun and Latin. Tolonen hosts Latin dance nights, as well.

Both four-week series are $50, and no dance partner is needed. Partners are rotated throughout the class, and it's all ages.

Cross-Eyed Cricket Thursdays - Country Swing and Line Dancing

The Cross-Eyed Cricket is a country-western themed bar that offers the community free choreographed line dancing and country swing dancing lessons on Thursday nights from 7-9pm. The Cross-Eyed Cricket invites people of all experience levels to its dance floor.

The type of dance rotates every other week between line and swing. After learning a dance routine, the second half of the night is dedicated to practicing and dancing in your boots.

Line dancing is a group dance that is a repeated sequence of steps and dancers are lined up in rows while performing the same steps in-sync. Country swing dancing is an energetic partner dance that is fast paced. On swing nights, it is suggested to bring a partner, but it isn't required.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the Cross-Eyed Cricket plays the songs from the Thursday night dance lessons. This gives Thursday night attendees a chance to practice their moves and get the social dancing started.

More Social Dance in Bend

Argentine Tango is taught weekly at 6:30pm on Wednesdays at the Sons of Norway Hall, located right off NW Galveston Ave. No partner is required for these classes, and the first class is free. The lessons are from 7-8pm, and free dancing follows until 9:30pm.

Tolonen from Bend Dance hosts a monthly West Coast Swing event at the Sons of Norway Hall on every 4th Saturday. Last month, there were cocktails, a food cart and over 70 attendees, Tolonen said.

"Dance classes are a healthy place to mingle and meet adventurous people who are getting out of their comfort zones," Tolonen said.

To find more social partner dances and other dance opportunities, check the Source Weekly event calendar online and in-print.

West Coast Swing and Salsa Lessons
Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm
Bend Dance
19833 Porcupine Dr., Bend
$50 for 4-week series

Country Swing and Line Dancing
Thursdays, 7-9pm
Cross-Eyed Cricket
20565 NE Brinson Blvd., Bend

About The Author

Allie Noland

Allie graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in journalism and public relations. She loves writing articles that have anything to do with the outdoors and culture. When she’s not writing, you can find her skiing, playing volleyball, backpacking, gardening or sitting at a local coffee shop.
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