Posted on Fri, Mar. 03, 2006

Swing dance show to benefit Antioch High School students

Dance classes to cover basics from waltz to salsa as well as etiquette on and off the dance floor

By Rowena Coetsee
Adrian Flores teaching dance

It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or hot/

Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got.

The phenomenon that originated on the dance floor of a Harlem nightclub in the 1920s is coming to Antioch, where dancers will gather next week to give the rhythm everything they have as they showcase the styles known as swing.

The production features professional performers and instructors who will jump and kick it with their partners to the syncopated rhythms of a 10-piece jazz orchestra -- and then invite members of the audience to join them on-stage after the show.

The swing fest is the brainchild of promoter Adrian Flores, a former competitive ballroom dancer whose long-range goal is to introduce young people to the joys of partner dancing.

The Antioch show is the sixth that Flores has staged around the Bay Area and marks the second time that he has brought a cast to El Campanil Theatre; last fall he organized an exhibition of different Latin dances.

Proceeds from ticket sales go to the nonprofit organization Flores has formed to defray the cost of putting on free, eight-week ballroom dance classes for students in grades K through 12.

Flores began teaching his first class at a San Jose high school in January, and that same month he received word that Antioch High School also wants his services.

Classes here will meet three times a week in the evenings, during which Flores will teach the basic steps of the most common styles -- waltz, fox-trot, cha cha cha, rumba, tango, swing, salsa and samba.

But he isn't satisfied with helping teens only master the box step.

Students also will learn the importance of observing etiquette both on and off the dance floor, which Flores considers a vital part of being a good partner.

Making eye contact and offering firm handshake, introducing oneself before a dance, thanking one's partner afterward -- they're all ways of making a good impression on the opposite sex, he says.

So is knowing how to conduct oneself at a restaurant, a traditional precursor to an evening of dancing, he said.

And when young men and women have those social graces, they not only are less likely to get into trouble trying to attract attention, but will set themselves up for success in the workplace, Flores said.

Reach Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141 or


WHAT: The Swing Era -- a dance exhibition

WHEN: 7:30 to 9 p.m. March 11

WHERE: El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch

COST: $30 general; $20 students

CALL: 925-757-9500