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Oregon Dance Fair Preview
by: COURTESY OF LARRY PEACOCK, Eleven-year-old Natalie McKee takes Oregon Dance Fair organizer Larry Peacock for a twirl across the floor.

It seems like everyone used to know how to dance. But as dancing has become more free-form and less organized, fewer people know actual partner-dance steps.

The Oregon Dance Fair, the state's first social dance festival, is an opportunity for dancers, and those who would like to become dancers, to get together and take lessons in Argentine tango, ballroom, blues, contra, Lindy Hop, salsa, waltz, zydeco and swing.

Acclaimed local dance instructors teach workshops geared toward beginners (but open to all) during the day. In the evening, live bands play at social dances where hoofers can shine, and greenhorns can practice new moves.

Prize competitions in the West Coast swing, salsa, Lindy Hop and ballroom give practiced dancers extra incentive to brush up on their skills.

Registrants can sign up for weekend, day, single-workshop or viewing-only passes.

On Saturday and Sunday morning a pancake breakfast is complimentary for those with day or weekend passes.

- Brooke Myers

6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. FRIDAY, 8:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. SATURDAY, 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. SUNDAY, Sept. 29-Oct.1, Norse Hall, 111 N.E. 11th Ave., 503-957-3369, www.socialdancefair.com, $99 weekend pass adults, $89 weekend pass students/seniors, $65 day pass adults, $55 day pass students/seniors, $15 workshop pass, $15 live music pass, $10 dance pass (per dance), $5 spectator pass, $30 entry fee for couples competition