Dance in Provo- a ‘healthy addiction’


    By Samantha Shirley

    With the end of January fast approaching, some people may be feeling discouraged about keeping their New Year”s resolutions to exercise. To combat this, Provo offers many opportunities to have fun and exercise by dancing, both on and off BYU campus.

    Salsa Chocolate on Center Street in Provo offers a unique environment to dance, exercise and meet new people.

    “It”s nice because it”s something out of the ordinary,” said Marcy Fernandez, an instructor at Salsa Chocolate. “It”s fresh, fun and you can do it with other people. Everyone is friendly and welcoming. You”ll never get a no, because everyone wants to dance.”

    Salsa Chocolate is open on Thursday and Friday nights, with ”Salsa Thursdays” and ”Latin Mix Fridays.”

    On Thursday the club plays salsa, merengue and bachata music, and on Friday the style caters to a younger crowd, playing more Latin, reggaeton and merengue.

    Salsa Chocolate offers a fun, alcohol-free environment for both seasoned and beginning dancers.

    “It”s a really nice place to go,” Fernandez said. “It”s classy and fun, there”s great music and great people. We guarantee once you start going you”ll remember it and want to come back.”

    Salsa Chocolate offers lessons each Thursday and Friday night, and helps patrons improve their dance skills and get a good workout, no matter what level they”re at.

    “It becomes a healthy addiction and a way to relieve stress,” Fernandez said. “It”s something anyone can come out and try.”

    Provo Country Dance also offers social, stress-free dance opportunities.

    “People come to dance and to meet people,” said Jared Moore, the founder of Provo Country Dance. “Every dance you”re expected to ask people. It”s a good clean environment where you meet people and make friends.”

    Country Dance offers lessons for the first half hour, then stays open for dancing until midnight. Many styles of music are played, catering to many different tastes, including two-step, cowboy cha-cha, west coast swing, waltz, swing and line dancing.

    “If you know all those you can get a dang good workout,” Moore said.

    Moore encourages people to come, even if they don”t know any of the dances.

    “With the lessons you can learn enough to figure it out and have a good time,” he said. “People keep coming back and getting better. We”re always getting new people. I”d definitely say come out and learn.”

    Along with these community dance opportunities, BYU offers weekly dance clubs of varying styles on Tuesday nights.

    The styles offered by the BYU clubs include Argentine tango, break dancing, hip-hop, salsa, swing, social dance and country dance.

    More information on these clubs can be found at

    Ransom Smith, the president of the Swing Kids Club on campus, encourages people to come out.

    “It”s fun just to dance and to socialize with people,” he said. “It”s good for exercise too.”

    The Swing Kids Club meets each Tuesday in the Wilkinson Student Center, as well as Saturday in the Richards Building.

    “It”s a really classic good time,” Smith said. “This is the kind of hobby you can keep doing when you”re 80 or 90 and it”ll still be a good time.”

    The Country Dance Club is another campus club that has been gaining popularity over the last few years. About 80 people come to the free club each week.

    Joseph Ballstaedt, a senior from Cottonwood Heights and the president of the Country Dance Club, invites people of all dance levels to join the club, as it includes lessons each week.

    “There are a lot of fun moves that are really easy to pick up,” Ballstaedt said. “It”s good for beginners and for people that have been doing it for a lot of years.”

    People keep coming back to the club week after week.

    “It”s a … contagious atmosphere,” Ballstaedt said.

    Salsa Chocolate

    116W Center St. Provo

    Thursday and Friday: 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. (lessons from 9-10 p.m.)

    $5 Thursday, $6 Friday.

    Provo Country Dance

    The Center 222 West 500 North

    Wednesday and Saturday: 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. (lessons from 9-9:30 p.m.)

    $4 before, $6 after 9:30 p.m.

    BYUSA dance clubs

    Tuesday nights

    Wilkinson Student Center

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