"It's a fun summer thing to do," Downtown Burbank Manager Gail Stewart said. "We're inviting everyone to take free dance lessons, listen to some of the great bands coming down to play for us, and just enjoy being outside on a warm summer night."
The festivities, presented by the Downtown Burbank Partnership, kicked off at 6 p.m. with married dance duo Francisco and Stacey Martinez, co-founders of The Dance Family studio in Pasadena, teaching a swing class to eager dancers and "not-yet dancers," as Stacey Martinez calls those who believe they have two left feet.
"We try to make it as fun as possible," said Stacey Martinez, who will teach swing in July and salsa in August with her husband during the dance sessions. "We take the intimidation factor out of dancing by telling every participant, 'If you can get out of your car and cross the street, you can learn how to dance.'"
Dozens of brave bystanders joined the 10-year veteran dance couple in the walkway outside Ben & Jerry's to learn a few basic steps of the East Coast swing.
"It's really fun and will come in handy when I have a partner one day," 12-year-old Erina Galanukan said of her first try at swing dancing. "The teachers were really nice and funny. There was nothing hard about it. I think I'll come back next week to learn more."
While many participants were learning beginners' dance steps, 84-year-old Mickey Wurzel kicked and swirled with ease across the bustling walkway crowed with restaurant and moviegoers.