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September brings dance events both new and vintage

September is quickly approaching, and so are many fall dance events. Staring off, we have another up-and-coming dance group taking root in Rockford. September 5th, and every first and third Friday thereafter, you can dance at Studio Z on E. State Street 7:30 p.m.- 10:30p.m. The night starts with a half hour lesson which is geared towards fundamentals to help you dance to any style of music. The rest is time for social dancing. Admission is $5. If you’ve ever wondered how you are supposed to partner dance to random songs played at parties or weddings, you should check this group out!

Sunday, September 14, Tri-City Swing and the St. Charles Arts Council is putting on a Jazz Age Party in the Park. This 1920’s style lawn party will have live music courtesy of The Fat Babies. When you aren’t dancing it up, you can take a stroll through the vintage car show, or enter the picnic or pie baking contests. This free event will be held at Pottawattomie Park in St. Charles from noon to 5 p.m. Event goers are encouraged to dress in vintage attire, but it’s not a requirement. If you plan on dancing at this event, remember that it is outdoors, and sweat attracts mosquitoes. So pack accordingly.

Tri-City Swing will also host Windmill City Swingout on Saturday the 20th. This is a whole day of workshops and dancing to take place at Shannon Hall in Batavia. They’ve lined up instructors Carl Linder, Karrie Willis, and Andrew Twiss for the Swing and Lindy Hop classes. Live music for the dances will be provided by Chi-Town Hot Shots. Price is $20-$40 depending on what you want to sign up for. For full schedule and registration, see their website. This is an awesome opportunity for those who have always wanted to try some dance workshops, but don’t want to commit a whole weekend or hundreds of dollars in travel expenses to do so at the moment.

Another event on Saturday the 20th is the annual USO-style dance which is part of Rockford’s World War II Days. This weekend event is put on by Midway Village Museum, where most of the activities take place. The dance used to be held there as well, but quickly outgrew any indoor space the museum could offer. The Veterans Memorial Hall downtown housed the dance for the past couple of years. Even though the wood floors there were great for dancing, it became quite cramped. This year they are trying a new venue, the Indoor Sports Center in Loves Park, which will hopefully give dancers plenty of space to strut their stuff. Moonlight Jazz Orchestra will give you the tunes you love to dance to this year. As always, admission is $5, or free to those re-enactors that are taking part in the weekend. Take part in the fun even more-so by wearing your finest 1940’s era vintage!

If you didn’t have enough to do on that third weekend in September, it’s also Green County Cheese Days. That’s right, the festival that’s all about cheese, music, and fun is here for its 100th anniversary! With plenty of live music, and let’s not forget all the free samples in the cheese tent, dancers and cheese lovers alike will love this festival. It’s a bit of a drive to Monroe, WI, but well worth it. Admission is free, but food and drinks are not. And remember, this festival only occurs on even numbered years. So get your cheese fix while you can!

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