This fall, TC Dance Club International celebrates a half century of teaching locals to dance

A big part of hearing and watching local live music is the spontaneous dancing—really good dancing—that inevitably breaks out among spectators.

Two-stepping couples swing and sway in time with the beat, predicting each other’s movements with style and finesse.

How do they do it? Unless they grew up dancing at home, they might have taken advantage of one of Baton Rouge’s adult dance schools, including the well-known TC Dance Club International, whose Government Street location celebrates 50 years in business in the same location this October.

“We teach social dance, as opposed to competition dance,” co-owner Rick Carpenter says.

Students ranging in age from their 20s to 70s enroll in the school’s Monday through Friday sessions, Carpenter says.

And they don’t have to be part of a couple to feel comfortable participating. There are plenty of single students.

TC Dance Club teaches many different dances, including what Carpenter calls the “big five”: swing, jitterbug, cha-cha-cha, foxtrot and waltz. These basics work for social experiences from weddings to live music.

“The Cajun waltz and the Cajun swing are the same as the American waltz or swing, just set to Cajun music,” he says. “Once you learn them, you just adjust the steps to the music.”

This article was originally published in the September 2021 issue of 225 magazine.