20th Annual Chicago SummerDance – Jump, Swing & Step to the Beat Downtown and in Neighborhood Parks

June 6, 2016

Friday–Sunday, June 24 – September 11, 2016 Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park

Christine Carrino    christine.carrino@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0573

Jamey Lundblad    jamey.lundblad@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.2493


Various Saturdays and Thursdays, July 9–September 8, 2016 at Six Neighborhood Parks Throughout the City

The largest annual outdoor live music and dancing series in the United States, the 20th Annual Chicago SummerDance invites dancers of all abilities to flock to the Spirit of Music Garden as it blossoms into a unique, urban dance space all summer long. With interactive dance lessons spanning diverse genres of dance, an energetic DJ series and the kick-off of the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago, the line-up includes something for everybody to enjoy. Chicago SummerDance takes place in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 to 9:30pm, and Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7pm, between June 24 and September 11.

Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), SummerDance brings people of all ages and skill levels together on a 4,900-square-foot, open-air dance floor made of 100% recycled material. The series offers free, introductory one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. The diverse lineup showcases various traditional and modern dance styles from all corners of the globe.

Additionally, throughout the summer, a House Music DJ series will be presented in conjunction with the Chicago Cultural Center’s (fall through spring) Wired Fridays series. Mario “Smokin” Diaz will appear at SummerDance on July 1, Mickey Oliver on August 5 and Paul Johnson on September 2. On Saturday, August 20, SummerDance presents a special “Purple Party” in tribute to Prince with DJ Kwest_on.

The weekend of September 9–11, Chicago SummerDance kicks-off the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago with a lineup that includes two days of Salsa music with Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra and OLA FRESCA as well as a Bhangra Blowout with DJ and live Dohl presented by Kalapriya. The World Music Festival runs September 9–25. The complete schedule will be available at a later date at worldmusicfestivalchicago.org.

Chicagoans can also enjoy SummerDance in the Parks July 9–September 8, presented at six different neighborhood parks throughout the city including the Humboldt Park Boathouse and Washington Park Refectory. The events kick off on Saturday, July 9, with legendary Chicago DJ Herb Kent for an afternoon of Steppin’ in Douglas Park. SummerDance in the Parks is presented as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Chicago Park District. Arts programming in the city’s neighborhoods advances the goals of the Chicago Cultural Plan and the Night Out in the Parks initiative. For more information about these initiatives, visit nightoutintheparks.com and chicagoculturalplan.org.

Uptown Saturday Nights! will also present a special SummerDance event on Saturday, July 9, at 7pm, in Buttercup Park’s Plaza. Samuel del Real, the Salsa Legend Piano King, will play with his full band.

Updates and announcements (including weather-related announcements) will be shared on Facebook and on Twitter @SummerDanceChi. For more information, visit chicagosummerdance.org or call the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at 312.744.3316.

Chicago SummerDance Schedule

Except where noted, Chicago SummerDance takes place each Friday and Saturday evening – dance lessons begin at 6pm with live music and dancing from 7:30 to 9:30pm; and every Sunday afternoon – dance lessons begin at 4pm. with live music from 5 to 7pm. Below is the complete 2016 schedule.


Friday, June 24


The Flat Cats (Jump Blues, Swing)

Margot Toppen and Riley Wimes, Jr. (East Coast Swing)


Saturday, June 25


Carpacho y Su Super Combo (Colombian, Salsa)

Lisa “La Boriqua” (Merengue, Cumbia, Salsa)


Sunday, June 26

Tango and Milonga

KAIA String Quartet with Richard Scofano (Argentine Tango)

American Tango Institute (Argentine Tango)


Friday, July 1


Wired Fridays - Mario Smokin Diaz



Saturday, July 2


DJ Eric “ET” Taylor (Steppin’)

Dawud and Lura Shareef (Steppin’)


Sunday, July 3


Al Scorch and The Country Soul Ensemble (Country)

Jeffrey Cannon and Meg Kindelin (Country Two-Step, Waltz)


Friday, July 8

Hustle and West Coast Swing

Chicago Catz (R&B/Top 40)

May I Have This Dance (Hustle, West Coast Swing)


Saturday, July 9

Salsa and Cha-Cha

Los Hacheros (Son Montuno, Guaracha and Salsa with Bomba)

Dance Academy of Salsa (Salsa, Cha-Cha)


Saturday, August 6


Sons of Susan (Jazz, Blues, Swing, Western Swing and Hokum)

Dance Center Chicago (East Coast Swing)


Sunday, August 7

Ballroom and Big Band

Alan Gresik Swing Orchestra (Ballroom and Big Band)

Kasper Dance Studio (Foxtrot)


Friday, August 12


Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Soukous and Rumba, Cuban Son and Salsa)

Arthur Murray Dance Center (Salsa)


Saturday, August 13


DJ Calvin (Steppin’)

Dawud and Lura Shareef (Steppin’)


Sunday, August 14


The Hoyle Brothers (Honky-Tonk Country)

Jeffrey Cannon and Meg Kindelin (Country Two-Step, Waltz)


Friday, August 19

Tamburitza Music and Dance

Kirin-Gornick Band (Tamburitza Music)

Ethnic Dance Chicago (Southern and Central European Folk Dances)


Saturday, August 20

A Purple Party: Tribute to Prince

DJ Kwest_on



Sunday, August 21

Tango and Milonga

Maldito Tango Duo (Argentine Tango)

Tango 21 (Argentine Tango)


Friday, August 26


Nabori with Yoko (Salsa)

Latin Rhythms – Academy of Dance and Performance (Salsa)

Sunday, July 10

Romanian Music and Dance

Bahto Delo Delo (Lautaresc music of Clejani)

Galia Miloucheva, John Kuo and Ensemble Balkanski Igri (Romanian Folk Dances)


Friday, July 15

Baskeda, Reggae and West African Dance

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (Baskeda)

Idy Ciss (Traditional West African Dances)


Saturday, July 16

Mambo and Cha-Cha

Angel Melendez and The 911 Mambo Orchestra (Big Band Mambo)

Mixed Motion Art (Mambo, Cha-Cha)


Sunday, July 17


Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys (Zydeco)

Buddy Bates and Monica Vachlon (Zydeco)


Friday, July 22


DJ Mellow Khris (Steppin’)

Majestic Gents (Steppin’)


Saturday, July 23


Joel Paterson and the Modern Sounds (‘30s and ‘40s Swing)

Big City Swing (East Coast Swing)


Sunday, July 24


DJ Krush (Bollywood)

Bollywood Groove (Bollywood)


Friday, August 5


Wired Fridays - Mickey Oliver


Saturday, August 27

Mexican Son

Sones de México Ensemble (Regional Mexican Folk Dance Music)

Lorena Iñiguez (Veracruz Folk Dancing and Mexican Polkas)


Sunday, August 28


Teddy Lee Orchestra (Ballroom)

Fred Astaire Dance Studio – West Loop (Waltz, Rumba)


Friday, September 2


Wired Fridays - Paul Johnson



Saturday, September 3


The Fat Babies ('20s and '30s Jazz and Swing)

Big City Swing (East Coast Swing)


Sunday, September 4

Contra and Square Dance

Golden Horse Ranch Band (Country and Square Dance)

Annie Coleman (Square and Contra Dancing, Line Dancing, Polka, Waltz)


Friday, September 9


Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra (Cuban Son and Salsa)

Fred Astaire Dance Studio – West Loop (Salsa)


Saturday, September 10


OLA FRESCA (Cuban Son, Salsa, Timba and Funk)

Chicago Dance (Salsa)


Sunday, September 11


Kalapriya presents

Bhangra Blowout with

DJ and live Dhol (Bhangra)


SummerDance in the Parks Schedule

From July 9 to September 8, the Chicago Park District hosts free SummerDance in the Parks at six neighborhood parks throughout the city. Unless noted otherwise, dance lessons begin at 6pm, with live music and dancing from 7 to 9pm. Below is the complete 2016 schedule.

Saturday, July 9


Douglas Park, 3–6pm

1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

DJ Herb Kent (Steppin’)

Dawud and Lura Shareef (Steppin’)


Thursday, July 14


Washington Park Refectory

5531 S. Russell Drive

DJ Myron (Steppin’)

Majestic Gents (Steppin’)


Saturday, July 30


Austin Town Hall Park, 3–6pm

5610 W. Lake St.

National Steppers Society (Steppin’)

Kenneth Watkins (Steppin’)


Thursday, August 4


Portage Park

4100 N. Long Ave. Rica Obsesion (Salsa)

May I Have This Dance (Salsa)


Thursday, August 11

Salsa, Mambo, Bachata

Ping Tom Memorial Park

300 W. 19th St.

El Caobo (Latin DJ – Salsa, Mambo, Bachata)

Denita Inez Gregory (Salsa)

Thursday, August 18


Washington Park Refectory

5531 S. Russell Dr. DJ Cross (Steppin)

Majestic Gents (Steppin’)


Thursday, August 25


Humboldt Park Boathouse

1301 N. Sacramento Ave.

Naborí with Yoko (Salsa)

Denita Inez (Salsa)


Thursday, September 1


Humboldt Park Boathouse

1301 N. Sacramento Ave.

Afinca’o (Salsa, Mambo)

Dance Academy of Salsa (Salsa)


Thursday, September 8


Ping Tom Memorial Park

300 W. 19th St.

Petra van Nuis Quintet (‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s Classic Swing)

Dancing with Class (East Coast Swing)


Uptown Saturday Nights!

On Saturday, July 9, Uptown Saturday Nights presents a special free SummerDance event. Details at exploreuptown.org

Saturday, July 9


Buttercup Park’s Plaza, 7pm

4901 N. Sheridan Rd.

Samuel del Real, the Salsa Legend Piano King and his full band.


Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park

The Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park was developed and landscaped especially for Chicago SummerDance and received a Gold Award from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. The Chicago Park District worked with Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of General Services and the Mayor's Office of Special Events to create a garden that fulfilled program needs as well as a destination garden. Using a combination of annuals and perennials to create the spectacular splash of color throughout the summer, the garden’s layout incorporates a geometric design that pulls the visitor into the center of the garden. Classic-looking wooden umbrellas, tables, and chairs circle the center of the garden, allowing visitors to sit and enjoy their surroundings. A variety of food and drinks are available for purchase at the SummerDance Grill. Outside alcohol is strictly prohibited at all SummerDance events.


Chicago SummerDance Dance Floor

The open-air dance floor for Chicago SummerDance was designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman out of recycled plastic. Titled Chicago Ground Cover, the floor was first installed in 1997 at the original Chicago SummerDance site in Grant Park along Michigan Avenue at Washington Street (now Millennium Park). Originally 2,500 square feet, it was first expanded to 3,500 square feet in 1999, and was then expanded to 4,600 square feet in 2008. In 2011, it was renovated and further expanded to 4,900 square-feet to accommodate the increasing number of SummerDance visitors.


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.


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