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Dance the night, or day, away

By SANDEE DAVIES
Published May 6, 2007


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Grab a chance to trip the light fantastic at a number of local venues that hold regular dances featuring everything from salsa and swing to rock and rap. People of all ages can enjoy this healthy way to socialize and meet new friends.

In a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, the documented health benefits of dancing include reduced stress, increased energy, improved strength and increased muscle tone and coordination. Plus, it's a lot more fun than running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.

Many dances feature live big bands; others have recorded music and DJs. If you don't know the steps or have a partner, it's no problem. Lessons to tune up your toes are offered before many of the dances, and hosts are available at some locations to glide you across the floor.

All of the dances are reasonable in price: from free to $10. Some events with big-name bands can cost up to $20 at the larger venues.

Each location offers different amenities; give them a call to confirm what is offered and that the dance has not been canceled.

So get out, enjoy the music, meet some new friends, and kick up your heels.

6 Today

'Giselle': Popular classic full-length ballet presented by the St. Petersburg Ballet Company with the Florida West Ballet, 1 p.m., Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Features guest artist Sergiy Mikhaylow of the Sarasota Ballet. $10-$15. Call 822-3590.

Fractured Fairy Tales: Two short plays for young audiences of all ages, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May 19, Venue Theatre, Mainlands Plaza, 9125 U.S. 19 N, Pinellas Park. Alex in Wonderland and Betrayal are performed by actors ages 7-17. Wonderland is based on the original story by Lewis Carroll and fractured by director Gidget Cross. $7; a family five-pack of tickets is $30. Seating is limited; reservations are recommended. Call 822-6194.

9 Wednesday

All Diamonds Are Blood Diamonds: A multimedia presentation on the future of Africa's resources and people, 7 p.m., Studio@620 620 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Features physicist Dr. Aisha Fields, independent media activist Omavi Bailey and author Penny Hess. Powerful video and still images convey the devastating impact of the diamond trade on African people. A discussion proposes innovative and positive solutions. Proceeds benefit sustainable energy, clean water and independent media initiatives for Africans. $5 to $25 donation requested. Call 895-6620.

10 Thursday

'Scapino': A comedy by Frank Dunlop and Jim Dale presented by Gulfport Community Players, 8 p.m., Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S, Gulfport. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 20. $15, $10 for students.

Social Security/Medicare Part D seminar: A representative from the Pinellas Park Social Security office is available to answer questions, 2 p.m., Pinellas Park Public Library, 7770 52nd St. N. Free. Call 541-0959.

11 Friday

Tampa Bay Home Expo: Meet 500 of the area's top home improvement experts on everything from furniture and decorating to landscaping and pools. Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $3; free for those 16 and under. Call 893-8523.

Where to dance

Regularly scheduled dances for adults

Swing dance, 1-3 p.m., Fridays, Azalea Recreation Center; 893-7150.

Ballroom, 1-3 p.m. second Saturdays, Sunshine Center October through April; 893-7622.

Tea Dance, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Coliseum; 892-5202.

Tea Dance, 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Gladden Park Recreation Center (August through May); 893-7458.

Oldies but Goodies, noon-3 p.m. Wednesdays, the Pier; 821-6443.

Salsa Saturday, 8 p.m.-midnight, the Pier; 821-6443.

Ballroom dance, 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Gulfport Casino; 893-1070.

Swing dance, 7 p.m.-midnight Wednesdays, Gulfport Casino; 893-1070.

Salsa Rivera Dance, 7-10 p.m., Thursdays, Gulfport Casino; 893-1070.

Social and ballroom, 6-10 p.m. Sundays (no dance May 27), Gulfport Casino; 893-1070.

Teen and youth

Activities at youth and teen nights include dancing:

Gladden Park Recreation Center; 893-7458.

Teen Chill Nite, 7-10 p.m., second and fourth Fridays, city resident card required.

Handicapped Young Adults dance (individuals with disabilities 13 and older), 7 p.m., first and third Fridays. HYA membership is $10 annually; dances are $1.

Hip Hop Hoops (grades 6-12), 7-11:30 p.m. Fridays, Roberts Recreation Center; 893-7754. Free.

Special events

The Venturas: Dance to a mix of retro swinging styles, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. Group swing dance lesson from 8-9 p.m. Dance exhibition or contest at intermission. $11. Call 892-5202.

USA Ballroom Dance: Amateur Ballroom Dance Association dance and lessons, 7-10:15 p.m. May 21, Gulfport Casino. DJ music, dance demonstrations and hosts. $5 members, $7 nonmembers. 576-1206.

[Last modified May 5, 2007, 18:43:21]


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