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Buskirk-Chumley Theater's series keeps Baby out of corner



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A member of Ritmos Latinos Indiana teaches the audience salsa dancing Friday night at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The event was part of the "Dance Moves and Movies" series. Hannah Reed Buy Photos

Attendees of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater's “Dance Moves and Movies” series were able to have the time of their lives at the recent screening of “Dirty Dancing.”

Around 100 people of all ages gathered in the Buskirk-Chumley on Friday night to see “Dirty Dancing” as part of the theater's “Dance Moves and Movies” event. 

Some were there with popcorn and drinks, ready to relax and watch “Dirty Dancing” on the big screen, while others were prepared to watch a demo by Arthur Murray Dance Studio and learn some salsa steps from Ritmos Latinos Indiana. 

“This happens to be one of mine and my sister's favorite movies, so whenever it’s on TV we never miss a chance to watch it, like, over and over again,” Erica Hubbard, Bloomington resident, said. “We get to see it on the big screen, and we’ve never seen it on the big screen.”

Before the screening and the lesson, attendees were able to see a brief performance by two members of Arthur Murray Dance Studio. The stage lights came on and the crowd screamed as “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” began to play. 


Dancers from Arthur Murray Dance Studio perform a demo for audience members Friday night at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The performance was part of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater's "Dance Moves and Movies" series. Hannah Reed Buy Photos


After the members of Arthur Murray left the stage, Ritmos Latinos began a demo of “Rueda de Casino.” 

The group dances, teaches and performs the Cuban-orginated “Rueda de Casino,” a form of group salsa dancing.

“We do demos for many different organizations, so we always prep in advance very briefly,” Tamara Loewenthal, a member of Ritmos Latinos, said. 

Ritmos Latinos improvises moves for their dances, according to a representative who spoke on stage Friday night. While none of the moves were choreographed, the members of the group did clap and yell out calls at the same time.

After the demo, Ritmos Latinos invited audience members down to the front of the theater to learn some basic salsa steps. Participants were taught how to move their hips and arms, and how to do the claps and yells the dance group did earlier in the night. After learning some basics, participants were welcomed to put their newly-learned moves to use to a slow salsa song.

When the song ended, everyone took their seats as the lights dimmed as "Dirty Dancing" began to play.

“Dance Moves and Movies” is a four-part series where residents of Bloomington are welcomed to the Buskirk-Chumley to learn dance moves before watching a classic dance movie. 

“Whenever we present film at the BCT, we’re always looking for ways to make it more of an event,” Danielle McClelland, executive director, said. “So it’s not just a movie screening, but something that involves the audience, has an opportunity for the community to get involved, and to use it as a launching point to promote or encourage other arts groups in the community.”

To choose the four movies for the series, McClelland said it was a collaborative effort amongst the staff at the Buskirk-Chumley. “Dirty Dancing” was a classic, no-brainer for the group.

“It’s an iconic film that lots and lots of people know but, especially younger people, have never seen on the big screen,” McClelland said. “You might see it on your big-screen TV, but it’s not the same as seeing it in a theater and certainly not the same as seeing it in a historic theater.”

The third installment of the “Dance Moves and Movies” series will take place July 20 with a showing of “Step Up” with a brief lesson by the 40vers Hip Hop Group.

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