Northern Illinois University’s Duke Ellington Ballroom (located in the Holmes Student Center) once again will be the setting for a three-day celebration of ballroom dancing when the “Let’s Dance” Big Band Weekend returns Friday to Sunday.
Event organizer John D. Smith of DeKalb says the best part of the event for him is seeing couples’ reaction to the quality of the event and the fun they have.
“It’s great to see young to old dancing, visiting and loving the ‘Let’s Dance’ event,” he said. “People so rarely get a chance to go dancing just for fun, and they love the venue and the environment it provides, as well as the great music with live big band jazz. It’s a magical and fun experience.”
The weekend features three live bands, three package deals, and three levels of swing, waltz, foxtrot and Latin lessons. Several packages and options are available.
The Welcome Dance Party kicks off the weekend on Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. with music by Cary Sheley & The Little Big Band out of Rockford.
Saturday begins with the opportunity to practice new dance moves during a relaxed time at the Cabaret Dance from 2 to 4 p.m. Roger Hintzsche will lead the Shananigans Dance Combo with vocalist Zachary Harris. Saturday evening’s Let’s Dance Ball, from 8 to 11:15 p.m., will feature event host John Smith & Shananigans Big Band.
Sunday’s Dance Party starts early, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and features the Dick Elliot Orchestra from Chicago.
Registration is required in advance, however, “dance only” tickets are available at the door. There’s also a $5 “listen only” ticket where guests can sit in the balcony.
Beginning, intermediate and advanced lessons are available for $6 a person per session.
For information on the 14th annual “Let’s Dance” Big Band Weekend, visit justmakeithappen-dekalb.com. Registration forms are available online.