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.
Bull McCabe's traditional Irish pub unhinges diners’ appetites with a full menu of both American and Irish pub fare. Pique taste buds with a selection of tavernesque appetizers, such as breaded mushrooms ($6) or a basket of fries ($5), before getting stomachs to bench-press heftier fare, including a half-pound Black Angus No Bull burger, cooked to order with a choice of toppings ($8). Singing duos and centaurs alike will applaud flawless pairings of Irish bangers and mash ($9) and fish and chips, made with fresh haddock ($12). Enjoy these fine eats in the easygoing atmosphere afforded by daily live-music performances, weekly karaoke and trivia contests, and yearly blinking tournaments.
Influenced by dance trends from Europe to Latin America, the staff at SuperShag Dance Studios splits its time between three Boston-area spaces filled with dancing poles, yoga mats, and custom sound systems. Founder Chris Johnston—who won several amateur Latin dance championships as a kid in Ireland and was named a World Class adjudicator by the National Dance Council of America—carefully amassed his talented troupe of teachers from dance schools around the world and from Fred Astaire’s botched attempts to clone himself. During private and group lessons, they spice up Latin-, ballroom-, and pole-dance numbers with an urban twist heavily influenced by British Dancesport, and ready students for competitions.
Combining her love of art and travel, Deb Colburn created Nomad to provide local homebodies and world-weary backpack buffs alike an opportunity to explore and purchase unique collections of clothing, jewelry, textiles, art, and home furnishings from around the world. Nomad is a supporter of eco-friendly clothing and fair-trade goods, often purchasing items directly from artisans. Pillage through a profusion of vibrant clothing to discover fashionable, one-of-a-kind sweaters or blouses, or pretend to be Bihari royalty with ornate ear adornments from the wide selection of domestic and international trinkets. Consider adorning a living-room shrine or baby's room with a piece of global folk art, such as a Día de los Muertos skull or a colorful, screaming dragon.