Dance Report: Monday May 31st in Waterloo

kevin temple

Wherein Kevin Temple, crack dance venue reporter, makes a daring trip to Waterloo to give the scoop on their relatively new Monday night social dancing.

edit: Dancing on Monday nights in Waterloo isn’t new, but the venue/format was recently changed due to a fire at the longstanding dance venue.

The Scoop

Last night I went to Waterloo to a dance with live music from Patrick Tevlin and Reide Kaiser at the button factory. From Mississauga the drive was a little over an hour, but it was relatively rainy.

It was a bit of a drive, and I got disoriented (but not lost) trying to navigate my way over there. It looked like I had past everything and had missed it, but really I was just past downtown Kitchener and into Waterloo. You can probably tell that I don’t get out there very often.

Waterloo is a little bit out of the way, but for people in the mood to dance, and especially those looking for live music, it is an option. Considering the fact that it is a half-hour drive for me to get to any downtown venues, checking this night out was a no-brainer. For those of you living in Toronto proper, it may be more of a jump in commitment for a night of dancing but if you have the time and the desire to dance, it is worth a look.

I had some fun, got in some dancing and got to catch up with the Waterloo folks.

The night in a nutshell:

Venue:

Currently at the Button Factory (25 Regina St. South, Waterloo)

Two weeks ago I went to the Monday night dance at the old venue (I think it was called Max’s) and it was definitely too small. The Button Factory has a good sized dance floor but is not so big that it loses any sense of intimacy. Also they set up a bar to serve alcoholic beverages to any thirsty dancers. In general it is a good place to hold a dance.

Music:

Patrick Tevlin and Reide Kaiser played, with the occasional special guest musician.

They played some great tunes and despite the small number of musicians, managed to keep things fresh. I had a lot of fun dancing to them.

Props to Dave Trinh for consistently bringing in talented and dancer-friendly musicians! When I went two weeks ago I was also impressed with the music.

The music during the band break was a little one-dimensional (similar tempos, similar sounds), but probably because there was only one break (if I remember correctly) and it wasn’t particularly long.

Length:

I arrived at around 9:20-9:30ish, but the dancing started at 9:00. The night was done a little after 11, which is relatively early, but it is a Monday night, and I was grateful during the ride home that it didn’t end any later.

Price:

CHEAP! It is 5 bucks or only 2 bucks for students. For good quality live music, that is crazy cheap. For the price of one beer at a Blue Jays game, I could go dancing 5 times! (Note to self: stop buying beer at Blue Jays games)

Crowd:

In my rough guestimation there were 25-30 people out. There was a mix of new/learning people and people with more dancing experience. I expect that as the Monday night dances continue, the level of dancing will only improve.

edit: A reliable source named Martha said that the total attendance over the course of the evening was over 60 people, but by the time I arrived the numbers had dwindled. Still, my guestimation was inaccurate.

Quirks:

The one quirk about the dance that I don’t quite understand, is that they teach classes for two hours before the dance and then only have a two-hour dance. A bit of a funky ratio, but this is coming from someone not interested in the classes and very interested in dancing, so I may not be in the best position to evaluate.

5 Comments

  1. Hey Kevin,

    Just a bit of extra info about the dancing here. Swing on Monday nights has been going on for many many years, since even before I moved here, and is generally the main weekly dance night in Waterloo. However you’re right that the current format is fairly new, including the venues, organizers, and the music. Recent changes have been happening due to a fire at the previous Monday night venue (Caesar Martini’s).

    For the crowd as well it changes due to various things, but it can go from 20 up to 60 or so depending on the week.

    Good that you could make it out!

    Martin

  2. Martha

    Hey Kevin! YAY! It was fun dancing with you last night! Also, last night we had over 60 people there! haha estimate fail! :P It was lots of fun! Glad you liked it.

    The structure with the lessons is the offer more progressive lessons in two tracks for those who want in-depth instruction from 7-8, then 8-8:30 is your typical ‘get-people-going’ beginner lesson.

    You’re right that the band-break music was not particularly well thought-out, but I’m pretty sure it was only 3 songs, 4 max, which nevertheless could be something we could improve one.

    Yay dancing!

  3. Kevin

    @Martha: I arrived at the dance late (around 9:20-9:30ish) and so would have missed the dancers that have the tendency to clear out after a couple dances, but perhaps my estimate was still a bit on the lowish side.

  4. Martha

    Official count for last night was 72. :D YAY for a growing scene!

  5. wow that’s very exciting :)

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