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When your feet have to move, try one of Richmond's many organized dances.

The Swing's the Thing

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Many a summer evening it's easy to pop a beer and head to the deck chair to enjoy the night breeze. But if this routine is wearing thin and nothing much seems to fill the agenda, why not give one of the many organized dances in town a try? Richmond has a good cultural cross section of loosely structured events that give both the dance whiz and the rhythmically challenged a chance to learn new steps and meet new folks.

CreoleArts organizers Richard Day and Talia Moser hold zydeco dances at the at 5218 W. Broad St. two Thursdays a month. If you're up for an energetic evening, this lively shuffle dance could fill the bill. The eight-count step-step-step, hold-and-tap move appeals to a wide range of dancers, and the music is always live and straight from south Louisiana zydeco country. A 45-minute lesson starts at 7:30 p.m. and the band kicks in at 8:30. The evening is loose, lively and informal; some come to dance a bit and talk to friends, while others dance every dance. Bands booked for this summer include Rosie Ledet the Zydeco Sweetheart and Roy Carrier and the Night Rockers. Cover varies but is usually $8. Call 264-7974 for information.

Those more in tune with swing have plenty of dance opportunities courtesy of the Richmond Area Swing Dance Society at the Dance Space Studio at 6004 West Libbie Ave. Events are held on the first, third and fourth Saturday and the second Sunday of each month. The cover is $6 and includes a workshop and refreshments. The group also sponsors swing nights at Baja Bean Co., 1520 W. Main St., every Friday night. A workshop starts at 8:30 p.m. and dancing begins at 9:30 p.m. These dances are free. There are also swing dances with live bands on Wednesday night at the Renaissance Ballroom at Adams and Broad streets downtown. Workshops start at 8 p.m. and dancing begins at 9 p.m. Cover varies from $8 to $10. All of these are no smoking, no drinking events. Call 359-0497 for information.

If circle or square dancing is more your style, contra dancing at the Lewis Ginter Recreation Center, 3421 Hawthorne Ave., might become a new find. Contra is a style of dance based on a combination of American traditional dances, and the events held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month are sponsored by the Traditional American Dance and Music Society. The dance is performed to Scotch-Irish jig and reel music provided by live bands comprising fiddle, guitar, bass and piano, and the dance is a vigorous one. A workshop starts at 7 p.m. and live music starts at 8 p.m. Cover is $5 for members of the society and $6 for nonmembers. Call 359-0497 for information.

Those looking for Latin music and dancing can head to , 8006 W. Broad St., every Wednesday night. A salsa teacher leads a workshop starting at 9 p.m. and free-style Latin dancing begins at 10 p.m. Disc jockeys provide music for this energetic and fluid style of dance, and the event is open to those 18 and older. Cover for dancers under 21 is $3. The event is free for those 21 and older. Call 346-8686 for

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