Summer salsa brings people together

There's a lot of talk lately about how divided we are.

A white cop and a black professor who can't agree sit down with our black president and white vice president over beers.

Republicans mount an offensive against our first Latina Supreme Court nominee, question her ability to separate her background and ethnicity from her ability to apply the law, and a few nut-wings even call her a reverse racist.

A pro-immigration mural in Pilsen is defaced and scrawled with the words, "Mexicans are racist."

You'd think we don't know how to get along at all. But people, there is a bright spot and it is right here in Chicago.

It's called Summer Dance and four nights a week (Thursday to Sunday) people from all walks of life, from every age group, race and ethnicity come together and dance.

Last Saturday evening what I witnessed was nothing short of beautiful as people danced to the Salsa Chicago Mambo All-Stars. I know this sounds corny but it was a kumbaya, we-are-the-world, yes, we-CAN-all-just-get-along event rolled into one, and I got it on my Flip Video.

I saw a 70-something black man dancing with a white woman of his
generation, something that would have been scandalous when they were
teens.

There was a young Asian guy in a baseball cap dancing with a white girl with streaks of pink in her hair and in combat boots.

A sexy middle-aged Latina woman smiled broad and she towered over a
white male senior, who showed he could still shake it on the dance
floor.

Two little white girls flitted around the dance floor, and an Asian mom
bobbed her daughter as they spun around to the summer salsa vibe.

Most people didn't care they didn't know all the moves to the salsa,
mambo and cha-cha-cha. They just enjoyed the beat on the dance floor
set up in the outdoor garden in Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Ave.

It's the kind of event that you go to with your friends and family, or
you can go by yourself, like I did, and easily find a dance partner.
Mine was the 80-year-old mother of a friend that I ran into.

So dust off your dancing heels, flip flops, hi tops, sneakers, combat
boots or whatever you feel comfortable wearing and make sure you visit
Summer Dance for swing, salsa or funk before the summer is over. They have a different genre of
music for each show from local to international acts. This Thursday it's Salsa Celtica (Latin-Celtic,
Afro-Cuban fusion from Scotland).

Dance anyone?

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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