Fred Astaire Dance Studios encourages people to put on a pot of gumbo, buy a King Cake from a local bakery, and turn up the dance music to celebrate Mardi Gras this year.
Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and is the day before the beginning of the Lenten season in the Christian religion. Fat Tuesday is traditionally a time to indulge and eat rich foods, drink spirits, and celebrate at parties before beginning a season of fasting and quiet contemplation during Lent. Celebrations begin after the Christian feast of Epiphany and end on Fat Tuesday. While King Cakes, featuring the purple, green and gold colors of Mardi Gras, can be found at bakeries throughout the country, the real Mardi Gras parties take place in Louisiana, particularly the historic city of New Orleans. Revelers craft elaborate floats and parade throughout the streets of New Orleans, tossing beads, doubloons, and cups to the energetic crowd. Partiers typically wear elaborate costumes and masks, and balls are hosted throughout the city to celebrate the season.
Mardi Gras music is a combination of ragtime, jazz, and Cajun zydeco. The numerous parties, parades and fun events provide an opportunity to perfect your dance moves. The foxtrot is a great choice for ragtime tunes and jazz music. The foxtrot features two slow steps and two quick steps. Other popular dances include the West Coast swing, lindy hop and zydeco, which features a syncopated rhythm.
Fred Astaire Dance Studios locations offer ballroom dance lessons to help you learn some of the best options for Mardi Gras. Dance lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios are taught by certified dance instructors, and participants can attend group or private lessons. The chain of dance franchises also offers an Online Lesson Platform for people who opt to stream a dance lesson at home.
Mardi Gras looks a little different during this unique time. The city of New Orleans canceled parades and large gatherings to comply with social distancing guidelines. Many die-hard celebrators opted to decorate their homes instead of the traditional parade float when events were canceled. Others are holding drive-by events and scavenger hunts.
Take a look at some of these people dancing at Mardi Gras celebrations in past years.
Check out these two police officers in Mobile, Alabama, holding a dance-off during a Mardi Gras parade, to the delight of the crowd.
In this clip, the Gris Gris Dance Troupe and Marching Band busts a move to the music of “Toxic” by Britney Spears during a parade.
The 610 Stompers, a group of men who love to dance, enjoy performing to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” The men pride themselves on being ordinary men with extraordinary moves.
Laissez les bon temps rouler! If you’re ready to get groovy to celebrate Mardi Gras this year, contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to learn some fun dances that work well with the music of the holiday.