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"2nd Sunday" Socials ("on 2") at Metronome Ballroom


by Julian


See Picture of the On2 Social!


The Metronome Ballroom always held a soft spot for me in terms of their variety of dance offerings and pressure-free environment in which to learn them.  One day, as I was sorting through all my email messages from the Alberto's mailing list, I was pleased to find one message announcing a new monthly event at this venue focused mainly on my Salsa/Mambo timing of choice.


If you have ever been to New York and attended Jimmy Anton's famous Sunday socials, you don't have to travel 5000 miles to get your fix anymore!  Ava Apple and Luis Rosa will host an “on 2”  Sunday Social every second Sunday of the month at the Metronome Ballroom, right here in San Francisco! 


On the opening night of September 9, 2001, Ava and members of Latin Symbolics dance company were our hosts and offered beginning and intermediate classes in both "on 2" and "on 1" timings.  Ava taught a huge beginning "on 2" class, which was well-attended by DotCom Dance members, while Philip and Teresa put you through your paces in an intermediate-level class up in the mezzanine level.  Ciro and Maryann were also there to provide instruction, both beginning and intermediate, "on 1", as well as to promote the "on 1" socials they will host on all other Sundays.)   All instructors that night taught and will be teaching their distinctive New York-style of Salsa/Mambo.


By virtue of word-of-mouth, many of the oft-seen Mambo dancers came to show their support and to dance to the excellent selection of tunes provided by Fred Flores and Ava Apple (we remember your Sunday socials, too, Fred!)  Many of the songs played were medium-tempo with a strong beat that is very conducive to the "2", much like the DJ music I danced to during my last trip to New York.  Hey, as a non-musician, that's about as accurate a description I can provide!  However, my point is that this timing seems to be best enjoyed to music that allows you to bring out qualities that are inherent in New York-style Mambo, whether it be on the "1" or "2".  Observe the emphasis on close partner connection, musicality, and use of the "clave and tumbao" rhythm, and you will understand what I am attempting to convey.


In the true tradition of a New York social, this event welcomed many new faces of various levels in a casual and less-pressured environment than one you would encounter at a club.  I like to call dance socials "great equalizers", as the lines between dance experience, age, racial/ethnic background and "social cliques" all tend to blur.  And, yes, casual does mean t-shirts, jeans, jazz sneakers, and even sweatpants were OK (but come dressed in your usual club clothes, if you want!). 


This type of event is also usually very conducive to learning, practicing and sharing of new ideas (i.e. shines, partner work etc.), without the "scene-to-be-seen" element.  We all seem to be more like family.  One on side of the main floor, a few of the regular Mambo dancers were showing each other some cool partner combinations while on the other, Naomi was practicing her leading skills on a friend.  Even I practiced my following skills—which, unfortunately still leave a lot to be desired!  As for me, I was trying to get in as many “on 2” dances as I could with the followers I never usually see in the club scene.


We also had two great performances by our own Gil & Naomi and John & Liz's Salsamania during this opening evening. Try to catch their performances when you can! Lastly, I’d like to offer kudos to Ava & Luis and Latin Symbolics for their efforts in organizing this monthly event (in addition to your near-daily classes, that’s a lot of stamina to muster!)  Many thanks as well to the staff and instructors at Metronome Ballroom and the DotCom Dance organizers, for your equally hard work and efforts.




When: every second Sunday of the month (all other Sundays “on 1”).

Where: Metronome Ballroom, 1830 17th Street (at De Haro), San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:  415-252-9000


All levels and ages welcome!

When: 2nd Sunday of the month (all other Sunday's are on 1)

Classes on the "2" (New York Style) w/Ava Apple & Luis Rosa

Beginning lesson "on 2", 6:30pm-8:00pm, Main Ballroom

Intermediate lesson "on 2", 6:30pm-8:00pm, Mezzanine


Party from 8:00pm-11:00pm.

Admission: $12 for class & party, $6 for party only.

All other Sundays:

Classes on the "1" (New York Style) w/Ciro & Mary Ann Martinez

Beginning lesson "On the 1", 6:30pm-8:00pm, Main Ballroom

Intermediate lesson "On the 1", 7:15pm-8:00pm, Main Ballroom

ALL SUNDAYS: Party from 8:00pm-11:00pm.

Admission: $12 for class & party, $6 for party only.


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