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Atlanta, GA

Sentimental Journey Orchestra - Third Friday Dance at City Lights Dance Club

by Robert Abrams
July 18, 2003
Atlanta, GA

Sentimental Journey Orchestra - Third Friday Dance at City Lights Dance Club

DanceSpot review by Robert Abrams
July 18, 2003

When I find myself in a new town by myself, I often will do a search of the web to find somewhere to go dancing. I never know quite what I will find, but that's what an adventure is for.

Tonight I ended up at the Sentimental Journey Orchestra/City Lights Dance Club "Third Friday" dance. This turned out to be a Swing and Ballroom party. They had an 18 piece big band, with two singers. The band and the singers were all worth listening to. Chalk one up in the plus column for Atlanta.

The event was well attended. The dance floor was fairly spacious and often filled up.

The people there were a family crowd. Mostly older couples with perhaps ten people in their twenties or thirties, plus a few kids (probably ten or younger) running around. The kids weren't wearing dance shoes. In fact, one older person teasingly asked them why they weren't wearing dance shoes. This seemed to be the kind of crowd where the parents just expect their kids to take up dancing. Chalk another one up in the plus column for Atlanta. Of course, if the kids continue to insist on not wearing shoes, that probably just means they will grow up to become modern dancers.

A significant portion of the people there, both old and young, seemed to know what they were doing. There were more than a few couples who were really striding across the floor. This was very refreshing to see on a social dance floor. The floor, by the way, was not wood, but it did have about the right amount of resistance to my somewhat beat up ballroom shoes. The room is decorated with a series of chandeliers. Drinks are available. I didn't see anyone eating.

Initially the scene felt a little closed, but then I spotted a woman walking along the edge of the dance floor with a slightly searching look. I asked her to dance and she accepted with what sounded like a small sigh of relief. Her dancing was enthusiastic and she had good technique. Afterwards she introduced me to her friends. I ended up staying a couple more hours as a result and danced with several people, including a Georgia Tech student who is focussing on Lindy Hop. It just goes to show that with patience and one connection, the true beauty of a place can be revealed.

They teach a dance lesson starting at 8 pm, with live music starting at 8:30 pm and running until midnight. They are located at 4001 Presidential Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30341. It is a 15 story round building that is impossible to miss as you get closer. You can call them at 770-451-5461, or check out www.citylightsdanceclub.com. Admission is $12 per person. There also happens to be a night club called Club Europe next door - one of those pounding music, flashing lights, go there because you are hip kinds of places. I didn't actually go in because I wasn't in the mood and bump and grind is not my thing, but it is kind of ironic that two completely different dance venues are right next door to each other.

The Sentimental Journey Orchestra

Dancing at the City Lights Dance Club in Atlanta

Editor's Note - 7-28-04: It appears that this event is no longer taking place at this location. Your best bet is to contact the Sentimental Journeys Orchestra at their website www.thesjo.com to find out where they are playing.

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