The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
On Friday nights at Crosby Whistle Stop dance hall, the floorboards heat up under the swinging steps of students, regulars, and teachers cutting a rug at Boston Swing’s Central’s weekly social dances. Sometimes it’s pre-recorded tunes and sometimes it’s a live band inspiring the boogiers, but either way, it’s a rollicking good time for all ages and skill levels and no partner is required.
The weekly party, which starts with a group class from 8-9 p.m. and then transforms into a free-for-all from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m., is the focal point of the non-profit dance organization. Boston Swing Central also offers classes and boot camps where dance instructors teach you how to do the east coast, lindy hop, and Charleston.
Salsa y Control's instructors—who have performed and taught across the nation—welcome students for a variety of salsa classes. Beginner salsa courses help dancers develop basic steps, techniques, and etiquette, and more advanced courses delve into refining footwork and working with partners. Salsa y Control also offers intermediate classes, along with classes on bachata, burlesque, and cha cha.
Formed by a pack of game-changing new comedians, The Comedy Studio's casual laugh lab hosts both acclaimed funny people and fresh faces. The jam-packed schedule ensures plenty of opportunities to take in a show. The 8 p.m. shows break up the monotony of a chaotic workweek but end early enough (10 p.m.) to curb next-day exhaustion. Seating is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. The all-ages facility provides a funny-bone-fondling venue for blind dates, out-of-town visitors, or disgruntled neighbors.
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals presents its annual drag burlesque show for Cambridge-area theater buffs, offering a no-holds barred, song-packed performance. Like the unwritten rule about undeclared freshmen taking Intro to Jay Leno, the show is a Harvard tradition that began in 1844. Kashmir if You Can provides expectant audiences with sex, suspense, and a bumbling British detective.