How does one celebrate 20 years? In true Century Ballroom fashion, they do it all, during the month of February.
From NYC’s George Gee Swing Orchestra (one of the first swing bands to play at Century Ballroom) to Joan Soriano (the first Bachata artist to play in Seattle), there is something for everyone during this month of celebration. Festivities are not just for dancers: guest can choose to just listen to artist like the amazing blues singer Kelley Hunt (seen numerous times on Prairie Home Companion) or watch performances like “Century on Tap”. Dancing guests will enjoy a wide variety of special live music nights as they dance Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Square Dance and beyond.
This month of celebration will represent the breadth of what Century Ballroom has done over the last 20 years. Be one of those folks who says “I was there!” when #CenturyTurns20.
Here is a chronological list of special “Century Turns 20” Anniversary Events
(beyond our ongoing weekly events):
Friday, 2/3 – OutDancing: A Swing Girls Reunion
Swing Girls was the organization that Hallie Kuperman (Century Ballroom owner) started prior to Century Ballroom, in the same space. Along with her original teaching partner MaryLee Lykes, Hallie will lead a Zydeco class at 7:30pm, followed by a Bachata class with Alison Cockrill, Hallie’s teaching partner and co-runner of the Century Ballroom for the past 20 years.
Saturday, 2/4 – Live Salsa with Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (from LA)
Salsa, Merengue, Kizomba: Lemvo’s blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan semba and kizomba) have been described by the Los Angeles Times as “seamless and infectious.” makinaloca.com/
Friday, 2/10 – Live Tango with Chicharra (from Seattle),
and Free Wine Tasting in The Tin Table
Chicharra plays smokey Argentine classics from the 30s, 40s, and 50s transporting the heart from the Golden Age of Tango to modern milongas.
Saturday, 2/11 – Live Salsa with Tumbao (from Seattle)
A Century Ballroom favorite, Tumbao is a six-piece Latin ensemble that plays a variety of rhythms from Boleros to Timba and Joropo to Danzon. They were also the house band for Century Ballroom’s cabaret Musica Vitae! Tumbao.us
Sunday, 2/12 – Live Swing with Dusty 45s (from Seattle)
The Dusty 45s have inspired and fired up crowds for almost two decades. The group melds styles ranging from Honky Tonk, Jump Blues, Surf and R&B, all while adding Dixieland and Jazz elements. Dusty45s.com
Tuesday, 2/14 – Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dancing with Blues sensation Kelley Hunt: Blues & West Coast Swing (from Kansas City, MO)
Join us for a prix fixe dinner in the main ballroom, followed by a couples
West Coast Swing lesson, then the band. (Dancing not required – you may come and just listen.) Roots, R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/piano player/guitarist Kelley Hunt is a rarity and a challenge to the music industry’s penchant for easy artist definitions — steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and a refreshing originality. Together with a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe. www.KelleyHunt.com/
Tuesday, 2/14 – Valentine’s Day Tango Dance
Join our weekly Tango dance in West Hall! Take a one-hour couples Tango lesson to spice up your Tuesday, Valentine’s Day.
Friday, 2/17 – Century on Tap: a Tap Dancing dinner/theater event followed by a live band Swing dance with Casey MacGill (from Seattle)
Experience an incredible tap dance dinner/theater event followed by a live band Swing dance with Casey MacGill. Century on Tap performers will include: Alchemy Tap Project (ATP), NW Tap Connection, Jovon Miller, Sister Kate and special guest Chester Whitmore, one of the Masters of Lindy Hop and Tap.
Thursday, 2/23 – Live Bachata with Joan Soriano (from Dominican Republic)
Celebrate Joan’s birthday with him at Century Ballroom! Born in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano infuses steel string Bachata with equal parts romance and grit. He is the star of Adam Taub’s The Duke of Bachata and was featured in Alex Wolfe’s acclaimed documentary, Santo Domingo Blues.
Century was first venue to bring him to Seattle and this will be his third appearance here. iasorecords.com/artists/joan-soriano
Thursday, 2/23 – Square Dancing with Squirrel Butter Stringband w/ Charmaine Slaven calling (from Seattle)
One of our favorite monthly events a while back was Urban Square Dancing – no experience necessary. This event will take place in Century Ballroom’s West Hall
Saturday, 2/24 – Live Salsa with Spanish Harlem Orchestra (from NYC)
Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the two-time Grammy winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the standard for excellence in authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. Recorded or live, it doesn’t get any better. This event is a rare opportunity to see this band in a venue made for dancing. Don’t miss it. The night will have a number of performances sprinkled throughout the evening, and there will be a Swing dance in West Hall. spanishharlemorchestra.com/ facebook.com/SpanishHarlemOrchestra/
Sunday, 2/25 – Live Swing with George Gee Swing Orchestra (from NYC)
The great Frankie Manning (the legendary original Savoy Ballroom dancer), said that The George Gee Swing Orchestra was his favorite modern swing orchestra; we agree! The George Gee Swing Orchestra was one of the original swing bands to play Century Ballroom when it opened. GeorgeGee.com/