There are plenty of things to do on the weekends or Friday nights, but dates and fun excursions don’t need to be confined to two evenings. For those who are looking to spend some time out and about on the weekdays, On the Rocks has great events that run consistently through the year. Every Thursday, Salsa Night takes over the space.
Cover for On the Rocks is $5 after 8 p.m. and free before then. You can come early and avoid the charge to enjoy a menu more extensive than typical bar food — kale caesar salads, turkey clubhouses with boar bacon, and maple seared salmon, just to name a few. Once you’ve had a meal and a drink, the Latin music that plays all evening will have you ready to swing your hips until the wee hours of the morning (or until 11:30 p.m., if you have to work early).
For those who are intermediate salsa dancers, a free lesson is offered at 8 p.m. for half an hour. Don’t be afraid to come if you’ve never danced a salsa before though, because from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., On the Rocks offers a free beginners class. Learn the steps, the beat to follow, and simply to let yourself have fun with the music.
People who have gone to Salsa Night before, or don’t wish to receive a lesson, often start arriving around 10 p.m. to dance. The dance floor is open much earlier for those who want to practice before the crowds start to flood the space. You can go in large groups, but there are always lots of people to dance with, and partners on the floor are constantly changing, so no worries if your date can’t dance.
On the Rocks has a diverse group of patrons, and there are people from ages 18 to 60 out on the dance floor. This makes the space a great choice for bringing people other than significant others, as friends and family can mesh in the large group.
The evening at On the Rocks can cost as little or as much as you want, so it’s a nice place for people on a budget to go and cut loose. Salsa Night is a wonderful choice to have fun and make the night all about dancing — especially since the music is easy to follow and consistent. There’s no pressure to dress up, but many people will wear flashy clothing, with flowing skirts and shiny shirts taking the stage.
Two salsa moves you can use for the whole night!
Basic Step: The basic eight count dance step that every salsa dancer needs to know. On the
first beat, leaders step forwards with their left foot, followers back with their right. On the second beat, dancers use their other foot to step in place, then on the third beat the leaders step back with their left foot (followers forward with right) and hold for another beat. On beat five, the dance is reversed with followers stepping forward with their left and leaders backwards with right foot. The eight count dance step has six movements, and can be thought of as 1-2-3, 5-6-7.
Cross Body Lead: The cross body lead is a variant of the basic step. For the first half of the eight count, the leaders step forward with their left foot, do a quarter turn with their right, then step sideways with their left foot. The followers’ steps are the same as in the basic step. The leaders then swing the followers the full half-turn when stepping backward with their right foot (completing a quarter turn for themselves), and resume the normal basic step.
Photography by Lydia Fleming.