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LET’S DANCE. Show up to a park this summer and Lilli Ann Carey and her daughter, Claire, might teach you to tango. (📸: Constance Brinkley and Lilli Ann Carey)
PUT ON YOUR RED SHOES AND DANCE THE BLUES
Dancing Til Dusk is bringing the dance floor and all kinds of dance lessons to Freeway, Westlake, Occidental, and Hing Hay parks every week through August.
One of the folks behind Dancing Til Dusk is coordinator and dance instructor Lilli Ann Carey. She’s been working with the program since 2007, when the Freeway Park Association, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and former mayor Greg Nickels launched it to spice up urban parks.
“It’s really being involved in a social community — that means a safe space, an opportunity to learn, to use your body and and try something that most people are quite intimidated by,” Lilli Ann told us. “The space that’s created is quite magical.”
We caught up with Lilli Ann to learn what she loves most about dancing in Seattle.
How did you first fall in love with dance?
When I was a teenager, I always liked basic shake-your-tush dancing, but … it wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I went to a party and I danced with somebody who knew how to swing dance. And I was like, ‘I want to learn how to do that.’
Seattle has a pretty active dance community. What do you love most about it?
When people start to learn to dance, we seem to think of it as “I’m going to learn how to do a waltz for my wedding and that’s it.” But when somebody learns to waltz or swing, they start going to dances, then they meet a few people, and then one day they walk onto the dance floor and they know 50 people.
Dancing in public can feel kinda…awkward. What advice would you give to someone nervous about learning to dance for the first time?
Show up. Once you get there, the entire space is set up to make someone who’s brand new [feel] welcome. You can see there’s a lot of people who’ve never danced before, so you realize suddenly that you’re not alone. There’s a whole lot of people around who you who are in the same shoes as you are.
What are your favorite dance floors in Seattle?
What’s your favorite park to dance in?
I like them all! Westlake Park for the wide, expansive open spaces. Freeway Park for the intimate setting, fountains, garden, and beautiful atmosphere. Occidental Park because of the beautiful vine-covered bricks. [I’m excited about] Hing Hay Park because it’ll bring people there who’ve never been.
Planning to put on your dancing shoes? Dancing Til Dusk kicks off next Tuesday, July 10, with “swinging jazz” at Hing Hay Park in Chinatown-International District. If you go, be sure to tag #theevergrey in your pics and videos.
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NOW HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR CITY
Dude, where’s my soda? Nobody knew who installed it. Nobody knew who stocked it. And now, nobody knows where it went. The “mystery soda machine” that’s been dispensing obscure soda flavors for two decades from East John Street in Capitol Hill was just not there anymore on Friday. People freaked — “IS THIS AN EMERGENCY,” someone wrote on the machine’s Facebook page — but there’s hope in the form of a sticker on the spot where the soda machine once stood: “Went for a walk,” it reads. Thanks to reader Carla Vikingstad for the weekend heads-up! (Capitol Hill Seattle)
‘A SAD DAY.’ That was the front-page headline in The Seattle Times 10 years ago today, after the Seattle Sonics ended their 41-year run of NBA awesomeness. The Sonics’ then-new owner, Clay Bennett, moved the team down to Oklahoma City — taking our hearts and our 1979 championship trophy with him. But the story’s not over. Once KeyArena gets its massive $600 million renovation, a new NBA team could come cheer us up. (The Seattle Times)
Can you play flag football with one hand? Benjamin Kennish can. He’s one of the 300 Washington athletes competing in the Special Olympics USA Games, which are going on right here in Seattle through Friday. “This is a big deal, for our athletes and anyone with developmental disabilities!” wrote in reader Debbie Casselman, who’s attending with her daughter. Want to join the 70,000 people cheering on the athletes? Here’s the full schedule. (Crosscut)
Sometimes you want brunch … and sometimes you want brunch with bottomless mimosas. Here’s a list of not one, not two, but five Seattle spots that’ll give ‘em to ya. 🍸 (Seattle Met)
YOU SAID IT
The 5 Point Cafe in Belltown got a bunch of bad reviews last week for a very weird reason. A man posted on a Fox News Facebook thread that he’d “never” let Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders eat at his restaurant (he was being hypothetical), people thought his restaurant was the 5 Point (he doesn’t even own a restaurant) and it was all a big online mess we summed up for you here.
And it got people debating: If you owned a restaurant, would you want to refuse service to people who are too far removed from your political views and values?
In Seattle, at least, that wouldn’t be such a good idea. That’s because — as 5 Point owner David Meinert and reader Elliott Bronstein reminded us — discriminating against someone for their political orientation is actually illegal.
“We’re one of the very few spots in the U.S. with that protected group. It means that an establishment (or employer) who wants to treat people differently based on their politics could face a charge of illegal discrimination from the Seattle Office for Civil Rights,” Elliott wrote.
“In other words, certain forms of political incivility are against the law here at home. We can still be rude to one another, but take it outside.”
HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP
TOMORROW ~ FOURTH OF JULY
🎶 Listen to classical music under the stars (Capitol Hill)
🍿 Watch Princess Bride at a rooftop bar (Downtown)
🍸 Sip on locally distilled spirits (Fremont)
🎨 Help paint a community mural (Central District)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership.
BOOM BANG BOOM
Still looking for a spot to watch them? Seattle’s Seafair 4th of July show is always a hit, but if you want to switch it up, you’ve got plenty of options. There are 27 public fireworks shows scheduled for King County tomorrow — from the center of Angle Lake all the way to quartermaster harbor on Vashon Island.
They say summer in Seattle starts July 5, and that’s when we’ll see you next.
Have a great holiday, all. — The Evergrey