Dance Zone: Stepping out for fun

MARQUETTE – Dance Zone of Marquette celebrated its third anniversary with a live band and numerous free dance workshops on Sept. 28, but if you didn’t attend, that doesn’t mean you missed out on all the fun.

“Our Mission is to make dancing available to the Marquette area,” Sklar said. “Our focus is ballroom, but we have much more than that.”

Participants can learn a wide variety of dance forms, everything from Contra, Hula, Square dancing, International dance to Zumba and much more. Classes are held weekly and live bands come in for certain events each month.

“A lot of the things we do are free like our Sunday night ballroom lessons,” said owner Marge Sklar.

The Steppin’ Out Ballroom Dance Club meets on Sunday every week at 7 p.m. and offers free dance lessons. The NMU International Dancers also meet weekly, on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. These lessons prepare people for the monthly special dances and whatever types of dance occasions they want to attend, said NMU student Ben St. Aubin.

Dance Zone features local live bands once a month for ballroom dancing and once monthly for contra dance. Their many bands include Black Pearl, Blue Champagne, A Little Bit of Outlaw, Julie and Dave Williams, Derrell Syria and All Strings Considered.

While dance studios in the area typically focus on children, Dance Zone is unique in that it offers its classes to adults. Children are still welcome to family dances held, but the majority of lessons are for adults and teens. Anyone is welcome with any skill level.

“They should come and have a good time,” Sklar said. “Where else can you go and learn the tango?”

Dance Zone offers the only square dancing classes in the area as well as several unique forms of Zumba. They offer zumbatomics for children 4 to 12 years old, Zumba Gold for seniors and Zumba toning.

“I like to modify the classes to the people that are here,” Zumba instructor Alesia Maki said. “If it is a bunch of new people, I will do easier moves or simplify the moves I already have.”

Maki is having a Zumbathon from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Baraga Gym. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Second Skin, Dance Zone or from Maki. All proceeds go to Breast cancer research.

Dance Zone is all about coming together as a community to have a great time. They hold family dance nights on the first and third Fridays of the month at 7:15 p.m. where parents and children can dance together. They also let Northern Michigan University organizations as well as community organizations use Dance Zone at no cost to hold dance events. They will even stage dance-themed parties there.

“We had a princess ballroom dance party here for a tenth birthday,” Sklar said. “We had some students from Steppin’ Out help and we had a lot of fun.”

They offer individual lessons for a fee or people can come to group classes, some of which are free. If you are getting married, Dance Zone offers private dance lessons and wedding choreography. Zumba classes are $8 a class or $40 for 10 classes.

“Mention this article and you can get the first class for free,” Maki said. The class is open to anyone who wants to try it.”

For more information, call 906-236-1457 or visit Dance Zone is located at 1113 Lincoln Ave, Marquette. For more information about Alesia Maki and Zumba visit

h other times by appointment.

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