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Davis, California

Friday, July 19, 2024

Get your groove on in Davis

After a week of schoolwork, what do some students like to do over the weekend? Some like to put on their boogie shoes.

There are many different places in Davis to unwind in a rhythmic manner, ranging from bars and nightclubs to dance organizations and classes on campus.

Senior exercise biology major Alex Johnson, who works at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) as a fitness and wellness center attendant, said that the ARC has nine different kinds of dance classes this quarter.

“Instructors are sometimes students or former students; they are roster classes which means people can reserve a spot that they will have for the entire quarter,” Johnson said. “It’s usually an hour class once or twice a week and they are progressive which means that if they learn something one week, they will use that and then move on during the next week.”

Summer session dance classes are also available for the entire summer. Some of the dance classes also have beginning and intermediate levels for those varying in dance experience.

As for the more recreational side of dancing rather than the didactic and fun side, there are places in downtown Davis and near campus that transform into dance clubs by night.

Recent UC Davis graduate Lacey Macri, who works at The Davis Graduate, a sports bar, restaurant, and dance club all-in-one, spoke highly of the dance nights that are held over the weekends.

“Electro nights are popular,” Macri said. “We have good DJs and a good floor; also there are Country nights and Salsa nights which both have lessons and other themed special event nights every week.”

Danny Cee, who also works at The Davis Graduate, said that Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays are Country Night, Sundays are Electro Night, Tuesdays are Salsa Night, and Wednesdays and Thursdays are College Night or Special Event Night.

“The Davis Grad has 18 and over dancing seven days a week; we just upgraded our light show,” Cee said. “We also have a raised oak dance floor.”

KetMoRee, a Thai restaurant downtown, also doubles as a dance club by night.

There are a wide variety of on-campus dance organizations to get involved with as well.

Senior English major Vanessa Valdez is the current president of English Country Dancers, a renaissance dance group on campus that meets up on Thursday evenings at Hickey Gym.

“UCD’s English Country Dancers is a wonderful place to get together with new people and learn how to dance, renaissance-style,” Valdez said. “Our motto is, ‘If you can walk, you can dance!’ We meet every Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in 290 Hickey.”

The Elite Dance Company is a contemporary and jazz dance team. Founder and captain Aakriti Gupta, senior economics and communication double major, said all levels are encouraged to participate.

“Everyone is welcome to join us for technique once a week where we concentrate on jazz technique,” Gupta said. “The rest of the week’s practices are dedicated to preparing for our spring show in which we incorporate classical ballet/pointe, tap, contemporary, and jazz.”

Telemark Dance Troupe on campus teaches ballroom dance skills to its members, said co-presidents Michele Ellison, senior political science and philosophy double major, and Lance Peery, senior neurobiology, physiology and behavior major.

“We take students of all skill levels, teach them the basics of ballroom dance, and organize a showcase in spring where our members perform for their friends and family,” Ellison said. “Not only does everyone have fun learning a new skill, but they get to meet and bond with students outside of their major and social circles.”

“Ballroom dancing has become one of my passions due to its ability to bring all kinds of people together and provide exciting, fast-paced entertainment,” Peery said.

Davis Swing Dancers president Simone Verbaken, a sophomore human development major, said her club offers free, easy lessons in Geidt Hall on Monday evenings.

“Davis Swing Dancers is a safe, fun and friendly place to learn how to swing dance. There is no pressure and different levels of classes for beginner dancers all the way up to people who know their stuff,” Verbaken said. “No partner or experience required. Free social dancing is from 9 to 11 p.m.”

There are all kinds of other dance clubs on campus who are willing to open the dance floor to anyone. For more information, check out the Center for Student Involvement website at csi.ucdavis.edu.

LEA MURILLO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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