Come to the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Learn How to Dance Bomba!


Title: 31st Fiestas Puertorriqueñas Location: Humboldt Park Dates: June 13-16, 2013
Puerto Ricans are the second biggest Latino community in Chicago (more than 113 000 according to the 2000 census). This community, whose presence in the Windy City dates back to the 1940s, is celebrating the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival this weekend. This event takes place along Paseo Boricua on Division Street (between California and Western Ave) in Humboldt Park, a neighborhood considered as the heart of all things Puerto Rican in Chicago. The festival honors the nearly 4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and all people of Puerto Rican birth or heritage residing in the mainland U.S. This celebration has become the largest attended Latino festival in the city of Chicago and in the Midwest. It features four days of fun, food, and festivities.
Also, tomorrow Saturday June 15, the fest will be the epicenter of the Puerto Rican People’s Parade, which starts at noon at Division and Western Avenue. if you go to he People’s parade tomorrow, stop by Africaribe Open House between 11am and 3pm on Paseo Boricua. Get a quick tour, stay for their free workshop and join them for a Bombazo! Bring your drums, chairs, and Bomba skirts. You don’t know about Bomba? Then click here. It is music that will make your body dance. You will have a great time trying it! Here is the link with more information about this event: And here is the schedule for the festival entertainment:

Festival Entertainment
2:00PM – Open Cut Ribbon Ceremony
3:00PM – Welcome & Pastors Presentation
3:30PM – House Music by DJ Rafy
4:30PM – Tito Vega (Christian)
5:30PM – Orquesta Nissi (Christian)
6:30PM – Freddy Kenton
8:00PM – Willie Garcia y su Orq. Sabor

5:00PM – Omi Kennedy “El mas Completo”
6:00PM – Plena Libre
7:30PM – Luisito Carrion

1:00PM – House Music by DJ Rafy
2:00PM – Anthem & Speeches
3:15PM – Carlitos Rey celebrando 40 años
4:30PM – Asi Somos
6:00PM – Duelo de Soneros
(Kayvan Vega, Sammy Gonzalez & Cano de Sabana Seca)
7:30PM – Orquesta Mulenze

11:00AM – Misa (Mass)
12:30PM – Show Jibaro
1:30PM – BomPleneras
2:45PM – Mambo Seven
4:00PM – The Juke Box (Beatles tribute)
5:45PM – Grupo KARIS
7:30PM – NG2

Learn to dance Zouk for free!

Zouk (pronounced “Zuke”) is a partner style coming from the Latin category but has become the first structured partner dance to incorporate significant elements of jazz and contemporary movement. It is presented at world music and dance festivals, but for the most part it is performed in nightclubs. Dance comes in two speeds with separate choreography (below are 2 videos showing different styles. There are others as well). This dance is extremely popular in Europe, South America, parts of Asia and Africa and it is slowly growing on the east and west coasts of the U.S.

Music utilized is sensual (light or heavy) French Caribbean Zouk and Portuguese Cape Verdean Zouk with a little Flamenco-Rumba and a few other anglo songs with a similar beat (the videos shown at bottom of this post are performance oriented and do not represent those musical styles; they are representative).

My friend Randy Nufer, an avid promoter of Zouk dance in Chicago, is looking for a female dance partner for performances and class instruction.
This is not a salaried position. However, once training is complete, performance, instructional and other small business opportunities can be realized. It is an opportunity to help build a community in Chicago and make a name for oneself.

Complete training included as part of the deal at NO CHARGE. If there is enough interest, it is possible that more than one female can be trained. Rehearsal studio is located in West DePaul/Lincoln Park.

Desired qualifications / time requirements:

Someone who is dedicated and dependable (meeting 2x times per weekday evenings and weekend afternoons if necessary for training and practice. Availability for performances and or instruction once a recurring event is launched.
Ethnicity unimportant
Some classical training – Contemporary/Jazz/Ballet
Will need to have fairly flexible back
Free flowing hair. It doesn’t have to be as long as shown in the videos below. It can be medium length. But it needs to move to create an effect. If one has long coarse hair, braids are a good solution.
Someone who can breathe life into the dance and enjoys experimenting with new movement and choreography.
Light acrobatics may be employed. TBD.

Please send short description of your dance background to or whatever other material you would like to share. Looking to train soon!

Have questions about the dance? Ask another female Zouk dancer from Chicago: Katherine M. at or 773-969-0140 .




Be part of an Afro-Peruvian percussion and dance flash mob in Chicago

Wanna learn a little of Afro-Peruvian dance? Then come to a FREE mini dance flash mob rehearsal tomorrow Sunday October 28 at Africaribe Cultural Center (2547 W Division) between 11am and 1pm. Easy steps and tons of fun. We will do the dance flash mob at a place nearby immediately after rehearsal.
If you can, bring the following:
Casual, comfortable, street clothes (bright-colored tops are preferred)
An empty glass bottle and a metal spoon to be used as musical instrument.

Hope to see you there!

NEW LOCATION for Tomorrow’s Afro-Peruvian Music, Dance and Cajon Workshops

 We have a NEW location for tomorrow’s workshops. It is located 10 block aways from the previous location. Here is the new address:
BA Studio

2846 W North Ave, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60647
(Meet at side entrance on FRANCISCO AVE)

See map here

3:00 -5:00 PM

$20 per workshop ($25 without RSVP)
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via (Subject: “Workshop”)


 Everyone has to get here early because it’s a locked building so I have to let you in when you get here. We will start on time! 🙂
-Wear work out clothes
-If possible, don’t wear shoes in studio unless they are indoor shoes

QUESTIONS? CALL 630.207.3679

Feb 25th  2012
3pm -4pm
Cost:  $20
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via (Subject: “Workshop”)
Join Ruben Pachas for a hands-on workshop on the diversity of Afro-Peruvian folk dance. He will focus  on the Festejo, a music and dance form developed in the plantation fields during the 18th century. The word Festejo, comes from the Spanish word festejar (to celebrate) .  True to its name, the music and dance of the Afro-Peruvian genre is joyous and vibrant but its traditional lyrics usually narrate the hardships of enslaved life. Participation will be encouraged. The class will last about one  hour and you will learn other Afro-Peruvian dances such as Zamacueca, Lando, Marinera & Vals.
Feb 25th  2012
Cost:  $20
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via (Subject: “Workshop”)
Join us for another special workshop with Ruben Pachas and discover the Cajon (Box) drum. This class is an introduction to the Cajon drum & Afro-Peruvian rhythms – Festejo, Zamacueca, Lando, Marinera & Vals.
Students will learn how to play basic patterns and explore different rhythms and stroke combinations on the cajon drum.
(Beginners always welcome/Advanced students learn new techniques and refresh your Cajon skills)
(We recommend that you bring your own)
The Cajon drum (pronounced cahon)is the Spanish word for “box”. The idea of using a simple wooden box as a drum is believed to have originated in colonial Peru where Africans displaced from their homeland substituted cod shipping crates for their native drums. As a result, Afro-Peruvian music is a unique blend of Spanish, Andean, and African traditions. Today, this versatile drum is steadily gaining popularity and recognition and can be heard in many different styles of music worldwide.
RUBEN PACHAS has a solid background in artistic performance and as a dance teacher with a strong emphasis in field research and dance techniques. He is a graduate of  the prestigious Escuela Nacional Superior de Folklore  Jose Maria Arguedas and has an extensive experience as a professional Folk dance teacher. He is the Founder and Director of Peruvian Folk Dance Center, a Chicago dance group whose mission is to promote Peruvian culture through the teaching and performance of Peruvian folk dances.  
Here is video with a sample of Afro-Peruvian dances performed by the Afro-Peruvian musical ensemble Peru Negro:

Unique opportunity to take Flamenco Workshops in Chicago with Spanish bailaora Almudena Serrano

Almudena Serrano
July 26-August 4, 2011

featuring live guitar by Jose Cortes “Panzekito”

PLEASE RSVP: by facebook,
email (TierraRojaFlamenco@gmail. com),
or phone (312.450.1332).
Born in Port of Santa Maria, Spain, and at thirteen years she began her studies of flamenco at the flamenco school of Angelita Gómez, while also receiving instruction in ballet at the school of Belén Fernández in Jerez de la Frontera. Afterward, she attended the Matilde Coral Center of Dance in Sevilla on scholarship. There, she trained with artists such as El Mimbre, Manolo Marín, Eva la Yerbabuena, Alejandro Granados, Mario Maya, and Merche Esmeralda. The latter invited her to join her company in the production “Ciclos,” which brought Serrano to Madrid. There, she continued her studies with La China, El Guito, Manolete, Domingo Ortega, Joaquín Grilo, and Rafael Amargo, among others. Serrano is a former member in the companies of Merche Esmeralda, Carmen Greco, and Cristina Hoyos, has performed at the Festival de Jerez, and was finalist in el Concurso Nacional de Cordoba (first prize in Buleria de Carmen Amaya).


July 26th-12:00-1:00 pm
July 27th-12:00-1:00 pm
July 28th-12:00-1:00 pm
July 29th- 6:00-7:00 pm
July 30th- 6:00-7:00 pm

July 26th-1:00-2:00 pm
July 27th-1:00-2:00 pm
July 28th-1:00-2:00 pm
July 29th-7:00-8:00 pm
July 30th-7:00-8:00 pm

July 31st- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 1st- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 2nd- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 3rd- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 4th- 2:00-3:00 pm

July 31st- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 1st- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 2nd- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 3rd- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 4th- 3:00-4:00 pm

Per Hour: $60
5 Hours: $250 (savings of $50)
10 hours: $450 (savings of $150)
PRIVATE CHOREOGRAPHY (w/ live guitar accompaniment): $500

DEAL OF THE WEEK: Unlimited Bhangra workout with Bollywood Groove for $35!

Attention dance lovers: Would you like to try  a vibrant dance that has infectious music, colorful costumes a lots of fun moves? Then you should take some Bollywood  or Bhangra dance lessons.

Bollywood dances emerged from India’s Hollywood equivalent movie industry.  From folk and Indian classical to belly dance and hip hop, Bollywood captures it all. Bhangra is a folk dance from northern part of the country known for its energetic moves and is done to the rhythmic beats of Dhol.

June marks the completion of 1 year of Chicago-based studio Bollywood Groove owned by Ajanta Chakrabortyis. Ajanta has a Senior Diploma in classical Indian dance of BharatNatyam from Prayag Sangeet Samiti and has extensive dance performance experience, beginning at age 5 and continuing till date. To celebrate the studio’s 1st year anniversary,

Bollywood Grove is offering an amazing deal. For the entire month of June, take Unlimited classes for only $35! This deal is valid for everyone including current and new participants. 
Please note: This deal is only valid for the first 50 people who sign up. Click here to sign up now.

And here is a video of Ajanta explaining the origin of Bhangra dance as well as a mini-lesson.

Breakdancing, popping and locking

Have you ever wanted to learn how to breakdance, pop, or lock? Maybe this is the time to do it, and under the instruction of some of the best dancers of this style in Chicago. My good friend and awesome b-boy Kid Jungle and his partner Poppin Chuck from THEE AUTHENTIC FEWSION (T.A.F.)  are now teaching AUTHENTIC HIP HOP STYLE CLASSES specializing in Breakdancing, Popping, and Locking at Latin Street Dance Studio. Personally, I have taken a couple of lessons with Jungle, and I must say that you will get a lot of work out, confidence, attitude, and fun doing this type of dance. I just love the way it feels so urban. Jungle says that breakdancing is not about spinning on your head, the “moonwalk,” or the “worm.” He wants you to come to his class to learn and experience the real culture of Breaking, Popping, and Locking, which are the original forms of hip hop dance. By the way, this duo will be performing at Salsa congress this year and at the Pritzker Pavillion on June 26. So don’t miss the chance to learn from these accomplished artists. Youth and Adult Classes start tomorrow Friday, April 8 · 6:00pm – 7:00pm. Classes will also be held on Saturdays and Sundays.

The address for the studio is :

1335 West Lake Street Suite Suite 103 Chicago (312)-427-2572

Here is a couple of videos of them performing so you can see you how dope they are. The first one is a taste of what’s to come for the Pritzker Pavilion. It was recorded for the Shanghai World Expo last year. Jungle was one of the dancers performing at this world event. The second one is Poppin Chuck doing what he knows best.



Are you now ready to embark in  a new dance adventure? Give it a try and tell me about your experience. The guys from TAF will sure make it super fun and easy to follow. If I could do it, you can too!

Today’s freebie: Afro-Haitian dance class

A few years ago, when I was in the island of Labadee, a small island close to the coast of Haiti, I had the opportunity to see an Afro-Haitian dance group perform. I remember that the dancers were all dressed in white clothes and that their energetic movements, along with the constant and contagious rhythm of the drums, captured my attention and imagination. To me, it felt like I was witnessing a trance-like performance.

If you would like to explore this type of dance, you have the opportunity to do it today for free. Tamboula,  a professional Afro-Haitian dance company, is offering a free Afro-Haitian dance class today Tuesday  April 5  from 6:30pm to  8:30pm At Visceral Dance Center (2820 N Elston Chicago). You will have the chance to explore various Afro-Haitian dances including Nago, Ibo, Yanvalu, and Mayi accompanied by live drumming.

Tamboula provides intercultural experiences for people throughout the United States and beyond. This company brings a new style to the dance world of Chicago. Founded in 2001 by artistic director, dancer, choreographer, Mr. Daniel Desir, the Chicago-based dance company has been celebrating the dance and culture of Haiti since its founding. Drawing largely from sacred traditions, Tamboula’s lively presentations unmask stereotypes while entertaining audiences and keeping the magic alive.

The company’s two main objectives are:

To preserve and promote Haiti’s dance heritage by creating and presenting professional choreographic works, built on Haitian, Afro-Haitian, and African traditions.

To establish cultural exchanges among all ethnic groups, by celebrating and educating them of Haiti’s rich culture and the influence of African culture to the Americas and the world.

You can see a promotional video of Tamboula here:

If you need additional information, here is the contact information for this event:
Visceral Dance Studio
Contact Phone Number:

773 517-0195


2820 N. Elston
(near corner of Elston and Western)
Chicago, IL 60618
Google Map

If you go, I would love to hear about your experience. Leave me a comment or send me some pictures or videos. Thanks!

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