Event attracts dance lovers

“One, two, three, four, point toe, knee up…” Adam Herbel, a line dance instructor said as he taught the participants dance moves step-by-step.

CityDance San Jose, organized by the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, attracted dance lovers in San Jose to join the dance party in downtown last Thursday. 

Country line dance was the second style of dance to be taught at the weekly event. 

“We are trying to bring the opportunity for people to experience cultural dance and music,” event director Tammy Turnipseed said.

The Office of Cultural Affairs holds dance events for the San Jose community “because it’s universal, everybody likes to dance and everybody likes to listen to music, or they like to listen to music and see other people dance,” Turnipseed said.

Live music echoed throughout the public park, allowing people passing by to join in on the music and dance party. 

Accompanying the country songs played by Country Cougars, dancers moved their feet, pointed their toes and turned around. 

They danced in rows, which faced one direction at one time, and repeated their actions in a sequence.

Herbel has been dancing for 19 years and teaching for 14 years. 

After going to his first dance lesson at a country dance club, he signed up for college courses to further enhance his skill. 

He enjoyed teaching dance and guiding his students in all different sides, “I just came out here and ran all over the place from the wall to wall and help people out. 

“Sometimes, we get people who know how to dance who could help out,” Herbel said.

Ella Klepfer, a student at Gateway Middle School, Washington, was a first-time line dancer. 

She said she was able to follow the instructor. “It’s really simple,” Klepfer said. “I think he made it for beginners, so [it is] easier.” 

San Jose resident Victoria Lamber said she likes old dances and country style was one of those, “Actually I joined CityDance every year and I was waiting for it,” Lamber said.

Though this was the third year of the event, the organizing team still tried to bring a variety of genres into the CityDance series. 

Popular dance styles such as Bollywood and country line dance were still the regulars, but new dance styles will be added to the list.

We were here last week as well, it’s super fun to come out for an hour and learn the dance,”  San Jose resident Laura Moreno said.  “It’s fun being in downtown San Jose, listen to live music, and having fun with my friends.”

With a beer in hand and friends around, some people who did not dance listened to  the live music in the park.

The events of CityDance San Jose occur every Thursday from Aug. 16 through Oct. 4 at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The first two dance styles had 350 participants on average. 

Turnipseed said they expect is to have about 400 people joining each CityDance event.

Various genres of dance that will be presented and instructed for the following weeks are Bollywood, disco, electro-swing, k-pop, merengue and bachata, and vogue.