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South End Plays Host to Salsa In The Park

Hot dances, cool breezes at sunset on Mondays

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Mondays can be tough to face: the weekend is over, a long workweek lies ahead. But Salsa In The Park (SITP) is guaranteed to bring a lift to the start of your week.

Sponsored by MetaMovements Latin Dance Company, SITP offers free salsa lessons every Monday throughout the summer on several dance floors set up in the South End’s Blackstone Community Center Park. There’s no better way to enjoy the outdoors, meet new people, and shake up your routine. Plus, you’ll come away from the event with a new talent to show off to all your friends.

Lessons are open to dancers of all ages and skill levels, whether you have two left feet or are ready for the next season of Dancing with the Stars. Dancers from MetaMovements, Boston’s premier Latin dance troupe, will teach you the fundamentals of salsa dancing, from basic steps and foot patterns to body rolls and turns.

Classes for all levels take place on all floors from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., but the instructors also offer additional free lessons for beginners at 7:15 p.m. on the back floors. And, if dancing is not your thing, make your way to the Music Corner, where you can either use an instrument you bring with you or borrow some maracas, claves, bongos, or congas and try your hand at playing salsa music. The evening culminates in a free dance party, where you can test out your newly honed salsa prowess with music from DJ Hernan from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Salsa dancing emerged in New York during the 1970s. A fusion of traditional Latin American dance styles like mambo and cha-cha, and featuring elements of swing dancing and disco, salsa is a true American art form. SITP helps to keep the salsa tradition alive by passing it on to several hundred Bostonians every Monday night.

Salsa In The Park takes place every Monday night through August 24 at the Blackstone Community Center Park, 50 West Brookline St., located at the corner of West Brookline and Washington Streets in Boston’s South End. Both the dance lessons and the party are free and open to the public. If it rains, the event will move inside the Blackstone Community Center, 50 West Brookline St., Boston, located next door to the park. Via public transportation, take a MBTA Green Line trolley to Copley and switch to a MBTA No. 10 bus and take that to the corner of West Dedham and Washington Streets. You can also walk from Copley Square: head up Dartmouth Street, cross over Tremont Street when it becomes West Dedham Street. Make a right on Shawmut Avenue and turn left on West Brookline Street. Walk down and the basketball court and park will be on your left.

Samantha Pickette can be reached at pickette@bu.edu.

This story was originally published on July 14, 2014; it has been updated to include current information.

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