Every week, The Palomar Ballroom's 80-year-old space reverberates with a DJ's Latin beats and synchronized salsa shimmies. Beneath a baroque chandelier, couples twirl passionately enough for the New York Times to deem this salsa party the "spiciest spot downtown." Owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Jeremy Pilling prizes the supportive atmosphere that allows his students to commingle at these parties, whose themes can also cover Argentine tango and swing.
To lead up to its festivities, The Palomar Ballroom hosts drop-in classes, weekly series, rehearsals for routines, and private lessons for dancers that range from beginner to expert. During these sessions, seasoned instructors stress the social aspects of dance while teaching the techniques, rotating partners often so that they can learn different ways to twirl, dip, and ceremoniously lacerate a rug. Visiting dance champions also lead workshops on their specialties, showcasing advanced steps in cha cha, samba, swing, rumba, and other styles.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Adventures in Helsinki transforms Santa Cruz’s historic Rio Theatre into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band lures in dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, girl-group garage rockers The Sandwitches enchant with sardonically lovelorn themes and harmonies.
Music Director John Larry Granger and his team of tunesmiths offer up ear-bending Orphean arrangements with an evening of symphonic staples titled "Strictly Classical". The alluring auditory menu opens with the stirring, regal motions of William Boyce's Symphony no. 5, followed by the renowned Pacific Trio performing Beethoven's sweeping Triple Concerto, a piece that brims with majesty and intensity while evoking Beethoven's frustration with a faulty microwave. Mozart's Symphony no. 39 closes the program with its cheerful, evocative emotion and hummable, lyrical themes.
Alongside with her accomplishments as a dancer and choreographer, Oanh Tretter always wanted to lead her own dance company. Ariel Dance Productions lets her realize her long-held passion, where she can create a fun and non-competitive environment for dancers of all ages. The studio's broad swath of classes run the gamut from the precise steps of ballet and show choir to the more fluid undulations of belly dancing. The family-oriented studio also bring parents and students together for frequent recitals and seasonal talent shows.
Owner Bethany Hooks?s dancing skills landed her in such Broadway shows as Grease, My Fair Lady, and Rent. Her impressive r?sum? also includes an assistant choreographer position for Holland America Cruise Line, which took her to Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico. She now runs Just B... Dance & Fitness, where students as young as 2 years old can learn ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip-hop dance moves.
Leo Sidorenko and Olga Agafonova started dancing at age six. They were teaching dance by the ages of 14 and 15. After an international competitive dancing career, they have opened their own studio in order to teach others the art of ballroom dancing. They offer a variety of techniques such as tango, swing, salsa, and waltz, and offer classes for students of all levels from casual wedding dances to professional competitors.