Big-band dancing in DeKalb July 19-21

Online Staff Report

DEKALB, Ill. — Dancers in the mood for some big-band music may want to check out the Eighth Annual “Let’s Dance” Big Band Weekend July 19-21 in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, 340 Carroll, within Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.

Balcony seats ($5) and main-floor tables ($25 per person) will be available for purchase 30 minutes prior to any dance or lesson.

The three-day annual event includes three big-band dance orchestras (10-, 14- and 17-piece), two dance levels of instruction, and a family time “Sock Hop.” All levels of dancers and listeners are encouraged to attend.

Friday’s “Welcome Dance Party,” from 8 to 11 p.m., will be kicked off by one of Midwest’s favorite, the 14-piece Johnnie Kaye Orchestra.

Saturday morning activities (8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) include lessons for Waltz, Swing, Foxtrot and Latin. Beginning levels will not be offered because of insufficient advance registration. Registration for guests is 8 a.m. at the west entrance of the ballroom. Cost is $6 per person per lesson.

Saturday afternoon, from 2 to 4 p.m., is reserved for families to enjoy. Grandparents are welcome.

The “Sock Hop” is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an easy dance in an air-conditioned ballroom while dancing to the Shananigan Combo. The music features clean lyrics, familiar American Songbook hits, and sound levels appropriate for families.

During the dance, children will be able to visit the stage while the musicians play. A dance guide will provide instruction for some easy moves.

Connie McCleary, director of DeKalb’s FUMC Summer Lunch Program and More, reports numerous families who plan to attend with the assistance of KCH’s “Dancing for Health Scholarship” program. At door sales will be available starting at 1:30 p.m. at the West Entrance of the ballroom. BYO Table decorations are welcomed without helium balloons. Everyone picks up at the conclusion of the “Sock Hop.”

Saturday evening features host John Smith and Shananigans Big Band for the “Gala Ball,” 8-11:15 p.m. Attendees will be treated to a brief patriotic salute at 7:50 p.m. with vocalist Nancy Killeen and the Shananigans.

Sunday morning, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Chicago’s Dick Elliott’s 10-piece orchestra will be featured for the ballroom dance time.

Dance-only and balcony guests can register and pay at the Welcome Desk at the west entrance of the Duke Ellington Ballroom 30 minutes prior to any dance. Dress is casual up to formal, and leather-soled shoes are required to dance on the 13,000-square-foot wood floor. Sock Hop participants’ footwear must include good, clean socks. The air-conditioned ballroom maintains a dry floor for easier ballroom dance moves.

Visit for more details.

Posted July 17, 2013

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