Belly dancers and children ballroom dancers on Lancaster Avenue? Yep—it’s time for First Friday Main Line again. On Friday, May 6, Cricket Avenue in Ardmore will be filled with dancers of all kinds for First Friday’s annual “Swing Into Spring” event, including tap dancers, swing dancers, child ballroom dancers, a belly dancer and more.
“Whether you’re 8 or 80, you’ll find something you like,” public relations volunteer Carla Zambelli said.
First Friday has held an evening of dance in past years, always with great success, First Friday Main Line executive director Sherry Tillman said. Usually the event is held in August, but this year will some of First Friday's dancers this year will come from Philadelphia schools, like the Dancing Classroom Philly performers.
“The kid dance companies that come, they’re my favorite,” Zambelli said. “Watching those little kids put their heart and soul into their performances… it’s just awesome.”
Attenders will be able to enjoy various styles of dance while strolling down Cricket, as well as music from big band The Gin Canaries from 8 to 10 p.m. Tap dancers and a belly dancer will also perform. A complete schedule is available on the First Friday website, and a bulleted list is also provided below.
Of course, it wouldn't be First Friday without visual art as well. The Case Gallery in Ardmore will host the opening reception for the Delaware County Traveling Art Stroll on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring work by First Friday artist Karen Gotlieb.
The Art Stroll is a partnership between the Wilmington Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Media Arts Council, First Friday Main Line, Historic Kennett Square, Oxford Mainstreet Inc., and the Oxford Arts Alliance that seeks to increase the presence of art in local communities. Gotlieb is the artist chosen to represent First Friday in the traveling art show.
“It’s really awesome because [the Stroll is] helping the artists get bigger audiences by having it in different towns, and also exposing the town to the fact that the arts are going on in all these other various communities,” Tillman said.
In case the dancing doesn't strike your fancy, Main Line Art Center will be hosting a First Friday reception from 6 to 9 p.m., and A Taste Of Olive will be offering special in-store tastings and a 10 percent discount from 6 to 9 p.m.
Here’s a rundown of the events:
- Gillian Pokalo at Beneficial Bank
- Delaware Art Stroll, featuring work by Karen Gotlieb, at Case Gallery
- Julia Hartling at Firinji
- Christine Dorian at Jack Burns Architecture
- Dona Dalton at Past*Present*Future
- Kathryn F. Lee at Merion Art & Repro Center
Performances (on Cricket Ave. unless specified):
- 6:30 p.m. – Dancing Classrooms Philly
- 6:45 p.m. – Tap dancer David Powell Pershica on Lancaster Ave.
- 7 p.m. – V Renee Price School of Dance students
- 7-9 p.m. – Tap dancer David Powell Pershica
- 7-7:30 – Belly dancer Jenna Bowles - Merion Art & Repro and Past*Present*Future
- 7:30 p.m. – Tap dancer Tim Yue
- 7:30 p.m. – Tap dancer David Powell Pershica
- 7:45 p.m. – Dancing Classrooms Philly
- 8-10 p.m. – Live music from The Gin Canaries
- 8 p.m. – Swing dancers Nicole LaBonde and Shaun Yates
- 8-8:30 – Belly dancer Jenna Bowles - Merion Art & Repro and Past*Present*Future
- 8:30 p.m. – Lindy hop champions Carsten Starke & Karen Plocquet
- 9 p.m. – Swing dancers Paul Salter & Samantha Sheesley
If the fun of dancing doesn't entice you, the nice weather on Friday should, Zambelli said. “There's also some nice shops like Taste of Olive and others that have recently opened in Ardmore. Lots of restaurants here have outside dining, the dancing is just fun—it’s one of those things where even if you have two left feet, your feet still start tapping,” Zambelli said.
“I think of art as being anything," Tillman said. "Dance is art, cars are art, food is art. Celebrating all of those things [at First Friday] is such a beautiful quilt of what our community is and the businesses we have right around us; and I think that’s what makes First Friday work.”