The Copernicus Center, situated in the heart of the Jefferson Park neighborhood, shines as a beacon of Polish culture. Though it serves as a gathering place for nightly dances, ESL classes, and theatrical performances, its most anticipated event is the annual Taste of Polonia. The festival stretches over the Labor Day weekend, welcoming crowds to celebrate Polish culture with traditional eats and live music.
On Friday, polka band Squeezebox entertains audiences with a medley of horns and accordions, and Saturday hosts Pink Freud—a Pink Floyd tribute band that also strives to unleash your inner id—on the Tribute Stage. Pan Franek, Zosia and the Polkatowners incite Eastern European boogying on the Dance and Polka Stage on Sunday, and School of Rock teaches crowds how to get down at the World Music Stage on Monday. In addition to live performances, the festival also hosts kid-friendly events, such as clowning and karate, and screenings of Polish-themed films.
The award-winning professional belly dancers at Arabesque edify adult performers of all levels in the theories and techniques of Middle Eastern dance. Instructors teach hips to shimmy through scintillating moves as guests study such art forms as belly dance, choreography, and prop work. Throughout classes, skilled dancers lead by example, gracefully wielding swords, fans, and pool noodles or tapping out rhythms with finger cymbals. Classes are available in five skill levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. Instructors and students can flaunt new moves during periodic local and national performances.
Hone your finger-wagging, toe-tapping moves to keen perfection with today's Groupon to The Galaxie: $45 gets you six progressive weeks of dance classes, a $90 value. Whether you've got a dancing partner or you're looking to meet a few new ones, you can choose from the following classes: beginning swing, intermediate swing, beginning lindy hop, beginning tap, intermediate tap, blues, and 1920s Charleston. Check out Galaxie's special Groupon page for the class schedule, then get your Groupon and register for the class you want. (Note: Your Groupon is good for one dancer. Couples should purchase two Groupons.)Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Though its exhibitions often focus on the visual arts, Rumble Arts Center's educational programs encourage creativity in all its forms. Artistic inspiration may manifest in capoeira dance classes, or amateur painting sessions where students sip glasses of self-brought wine. Visitors may also discover an interest in digital media, or make use of the open art studio. The nonprofit welcomes creative community endeavors of all kinds into its spaces, whether it's a donation-driven market, a DJ dance party, or a theatrical performance protesting the cancellation of Frasier. Additionally, the organization works to offer a range of free programs to children and adults from the local community.
Inside Penguin Foot Pottery's large, bright working space, which also serves as a gallery for local artists, seven potters' wheels and two electric kilns invite the fingers and hands of adults and children to reach for the highest creative heights. Adults can train wayward digits to obey the wishes of the imagination in a hand-building class or learn how velocity and steady guidance can make a lump of clay turn into an elegant pot, vase, or model of a local shopping mall during beginning throwing (more proficient potters can opt for the intermediate/advanced throwing class). Kids' clay classes, offered at levels one, two, and three for artists ages 7–13, incorporate basic building and glazing techniques and produce new projects every week. Parent/child classes are also available. Classes meet weekly and most take place on weekdays. See the website for schedules.