On Urban Ballroom Fridays, Inglewood is the place to be for sharply dressed, smooth-moving dancers of a certain age.
It’s Friday night, the lights are low, and music by Beyoncé is pumping, but this is no ordinary nightclub. Dancing couples glide by doing sophisticated ballroom dance steps. And there’s no one checking ID at the door: The average age here is 50.
Welcome to Urban Ballroom Fridays, a gathering held at the Los Angeles Steppers Connection (LASC) dance studio in Inglewood every second and fourth Friday of the month for devotees of urban ballroom, a partner dance that combines the refinement of ballroom dance steps with the soulful music of old-school Motown such as the Temptations and contemporary R&B like Queen Latifah, Ne-Yo, Babyface, even George Michael.
The evening starts with a dance class taught by Victor Brown and Ujazi Calomeé, but afterward even more people show up, the lights are dimmed, tables and refreshments are laid out, and the floor opens up for a party. By about 10 p.m., the dance floor is filled with a mostly African American crowd in the 40s through 60s age range, dressed to impress. Ladies sport skirts and strappy heels; many of the men are decked out in vests and fedoras…