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A step in the right direction: The social dancer's guide to learning to dance

If you don't want to spend money on private lessons and dance studio tuition and you just want to be able to go out social dancing, this may be the track for you. Many social dance venues offer beginner lessons at the beginning of the dance party and this is a great way to get your feet wet and meet new people (not to mention learn some new steps!). This article also touches on some independent dance companies and instructors. So, here's a guide to all things social divided up by dance genre:

Salsa (This includes Salsa-on-the1 (L.A. Style), Salsa-on-the-2 (Mambo-on-the-2 or N.Y. Style), Bachata and Merengue):

Martini Park at Easton: Tuesday nights, 8pm salsa lesson. $7 on DJ nights, $10 on live band nights.
El Vaquero Restaurant: Every other Thursday night, 7pm salsa lesson. $7 (see here for nights.).
La Fogata in the Short North: Friday nights, 8pm salsa lesson with Carlos Rubio. $10
Mas Y Mambo: A salsa dance company founded by Shanelle Marie and Mike Poe that emphasizes the afro-caribbean heritage in salsa. Offers private or group classes ranging from beginner to intermediate levels.
Club Tropical at OSU: Promoting salsa dancing through Ohio State University and taught by the popular Carlos Rubio!
Salsa Chezotic: Salsa lessons by former Eddie Torres troupe dancer, Shezronne Zaccardi!

Swing (This includes Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa and Blues):

Swingology Dance School at Floorspace Studios in Clintonville: Every Tuesday night starting at 7:30pm two swing lessons are given followed by open dancing.
Savoy Cafe in Victorian Village: Every Wednesday night starting March 17, 2010. 7:30pm swing lesson. $5 cover charge.
YWCA Monthly Dance: Every 3rd Saturday of the month. 8pm beginners swing lesson.
Sugarfoot: Like dancing to live bands? Here's your place to keep up-to-date on all the big bands coming through the Columbus area!
Ohio State Swing Club: Weekly beginner lessons and open dancing. Check their site for more information!
The Lindyroos: Started by swing dancers Mark Calkins and Shannon Varner, these two offer excellent lindy hop classes.
Buckeye Bop Club: Every Tuesday night at Bow Ties in the Ramada Plaza Hotel. 7pm lesson. $5 cover charge. Must be at least 21 years old. Wanna dance every night? Check out their awesome daily calender!
Mid-Ohio Boogie Club

Argentine Tango:

TangoOSU: Ohio State's tango organization. Weekly lessons and milongas as well as special workshops!

Social Ballroom (This includes the American styles of Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, Mambo, Bolero, Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and Tango):

Elizabeth Blackwell Center: Every Saturday night they have two beginners dance lessons starting at 7:30pm and followed by open dancing. $10 entry fee, refreshments included!
*Also note that many ballroom dance studios hold their own mini parties on Friday and Saturday night. Check out the list of ballroom dance studios to see when their parties are!

Is there a venue missing? Contact me here!

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