Summertime in Chicago is known for many things. Increased traffic as folks who stowed their convertibles for a harsh winter now bring them back to compete for lanes on Lake Shore Drive. The unusual notion that you are simultaneously delighted and disgusted at the daily beach report which outlays the level of bacteria that is present in Lake Michigan and determines the beach going behavior of a careful few. Never to be ignored, forgotten, or disparaged are the profuse number of neighborhood festivals held throughout Chicagoland.
If you have been aware enough to attend any of those festivals that are held in Chicago’s downtown area, you may have come across an ingenious little event known to we Chicago natives as the Summer Dance. A festival brought about to celebrate low cost Sangrias, live bands from every musical genre, and the joy of people dancing on a hardwood dance floor with just enough alcohol in the blood to prevent you from talking yourself out of a good time.
I was once quoted as saying that we could cause a movement of peace across the planet if we promoted this concept worldwide. Pretentious attitudes tend to melt away when a crowd of onlookers are worked into a rhythmic frenzy during a jam session by the Chicago Afrobeat Project, Funkadesi, or Kokolo. There is also no shortage of opportunities to learn to move with other styles to which you are not yet accustomed. If you are a brave soul, come out to Grant Park, throw back one of those $5 Sangrias and find your way to the dance floor. You may find kindred soul in rhythm such as myself. As the old mystic aphorism goes, it is only when you lose yourself (in the rhythm, some forget that part) that you will find yourself again.
I must graciously thank Ms. Ashera and Ms. Elise for attending this year’s festivities with me. They were very capable of handling themselves on the floor since I occasionally become quite intense. I must also offer my thanks to that sister with the short cropped cut who rocked a tank top and a full length blue jean skirt whose Ebon complexion evoked all sorts of emotions in me beyond the dance floor. I am quite sorry the excitement caused me to miss your name. I experienced a physical rapport with you in that moment that was unable to be matched for the remainder of the evening. Respect!