Where to Shake Your Money Maker

It really isn’t a secret. In fact, its literally been shown that simply getting up and dancing has properties of managing stress, weight, and cardio-vascular health. Dancing is also a great way to make friends and gain some self-confidence in your new boogie shoes. If these reasons aren’t convincing enough, Aga Burzynska, a human development professor from Colorado State University, and her team of researchers published a study for Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience after they found that dancing is an incredible way to fight brain-aging and improve your cognitive memory. 

No need for that grocery list for your next Trader Joes trip, am I right?  

Ecstatic Dance 
If rules aren’t your vibe, Ecstatic Dance might be your move. Get it? It’s a new-age dance style that isn’t really a style at all. The people over at Ecstatic Dance are all about simply moving to “express, not impress.” The DJ plays House music, and dancers are free to frolic without worry of judgment or lack of prior skill because there is no skill required. Dancers come here to express whatever movement their bodies and hearts are called to in this safe-zone, where shoes, photos, alcohol, and conversation is prohibited. The pride of Ecstatic Dance is that it’s truly a place to come and be exactly who you are. 

Interested? Ecstatic Dance is open to the public every Sunday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. with a free Yoga warm-up prior to the event at 9:30 a.m., at Odd Fellows Hall on 223 SW 2nd St.  

Rumbanana Cuban Salsa Dancing
If you’re looking for something a little spicier, upbeat, and choreographed, now is your chance to learn the art of Cuban Salsa Dancing and join the Cuban Casino Salsa Team. The Corvallis team has been around since 2006, and is led and taught by founders: Mike Eskeldon and Simona Boucek Beattie, whose passion lies in Cuban music and dance. 

The Rumbanana Casino Salsa Team has performed and partied across the U.S, Mexico, and Europe. Who doesn’t want to join a group that does that?

Whether you are a seasoned pro and want to come and shake it with other Salsa enthusiasts, or the most salsa you’ve had in your life has come with a side of chips, you have a place at Rumbanana. 

Find the team at Impulse Bar and Grill on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Beginners and level 1 dancers meet from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Level 2 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Level 3 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, Level 4 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, and Level 5 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights.  

Contra Dancing
Maybe you’re into a little more, boot-skootin’ and boogie’n – that’s cool too, ‘cause we’ve got it. 

Grab your partner and make your way to Gatton Hall in the First Congregational Church and join the Corvallis Folklore Society to learn this traditional folk-style of dancing. 

Each dance has a caller, so no worries if you don’t know the steps, and a live band typically playing anything from fiddles to bagpipes and a mix of anything in between.

It’s only a $7-$10 sliding scale fee to get in, and you get a dollar off if you bike there or if you’re already a CFS member. Even better, if you’re under 18 you get to shake it for free. 

Dancers meet every first and third Saturday of every month, except July and August, at 8:00 p.m. with a special instructional session for newbies at 7:30. 

Find the full schedule of dances and locations at their website: corvallisfolklore.org/home/contradancing/

Corvallis Swing Dancing
Been watching a lot of Grease and hoping to become the next John Travolta? Right on – grab your leather jacket and come learn the art of Swing Dancing, specifically The Lindy Hop with the Corvallis Swing Dancers. This group of volunteers meet once a month to dance the Lindy Hop on a Saturday evening, and can also be found on Fridays during the academic year at the Oregon State University Women’s building. 

Want to learn different styles to really hone in on your Grease chorography? The team also teaches 6-Count Swing and the Charleston, in addition to the Lindy Hop. Learn all the basics behind these classic dances and check out their full schedule of classes and events on their website: corvallisswing.com/lessons/catalog/.   

Brimhall Academy of Irish Dance
Are those celtic sounds calling your name? Well, if your over the age of four, your welcome to join the Brimhall celtic arts academy for irish dance.

These dancers share their art on stage at festivals and events, as well as participate in competitions worldwide. Many Corvallis folk should be familiar with these Irish dancers, who regularly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by putting on a public jig at our only Irish pub in Corvallis, Cloud and Kelly’s. 

This year on St Partick’s Day the dancers will perform at Cloud and Kelly’s annual block party, from 8:15 to 8:45 p.m. But that’s not all…

The Brimhall dancers will also be at Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis on March 16 for their Shamrockin’ Shenanigans event. Doors open at 6 p.m., and attendees are welcome to enjoy beer, cider, snacks, and raffles in the lobby before the event officially begins at 7 p.m. 

Tickets are $12 for seniors and kids 12 and under, $15 for adults, and can be purchased online at www.majestic.org. 

Contact the Brimhall Academy for more info at CorvallisCelticArts@gmail.com.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dance classes and opportunities in Corvallis. There are opportunities for hip-hop, jazz, and creative dancing at Downtown Dance, and Corvallis even boasts two ballet studios. 

And if you still aren’t convinced that dancing could be your new thing, you should come and support your fellow community members who move it like they mean it anyway. 

If you see something we missed or have ideas for future dance coverage in Corvallis and the surrounding areas, email editor@corvallisadvocate.com.

By Kirstyn Archer