In Photos: NU students learn samba, waltz and more
  • Students begin the class by reviewing the Samba.
  • Freshman Adrian Waller came to class after mass on Ash Wednesday.
  • Beverly Solazzo answers students’ questions during a water break.
  • Senior Emma Danbury (left) prepares to samba with her partner.

Northwestern students and Evanston community members gather for a 2 hour class every Wednesday where they learn various dances around the world, and make some friends along the way. BLAST (Northwestern University Ballroom, Latin and Swing Team) offers free classes every Wednesday at Foster Dance Studios (near the L stop on Foster).

The classes offer a relaxed, come-as-you-are environment for learning various types of partner dances. This quarter, the class is focusing on Samba, Waltz and Intermediate West Coast swing.

“It’s open to any and every level of dance experience,” said Senior Emma Danbury, the co-coordinator for BLAST classes this school year. She notes that complete beginners and seasoned dancers alike have great experiences in the classes.

The class focuses on improving and learning new skills, but is far from serious. Between passes, dancers laugh and celebrate their success after mastering a new step. Dancers alternate partners throughout the course of the class, which builds a sense of community and camaraderie among the dancers.

The class is further enhanced by the encouraging teaching style of Beverly Solazzo, who has been teaching BLAST classes for the last two years.

“All they have to do is make sure they’re coming to have a good time,” Solazzo said, “that’s the important thing.”


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