During the early years, dancing and parenting seem to be one and the same. There are months and months of getting down—rocking to soothe the little nippers to sleep, followed by endless rings-around-the-rosy, all falling down, then hilarious full-body expression at any and all events with dance floors (weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc.). But there comes the inevitable day, sooner rather than later, when wee ones start to mock grown-up moves and are humiliated by parental steps. Saturday, September 23, offers three entirely diverse opportunities to rock out en famille. Do it while you can.
Paper Doll Militia
The Bowery Poetry Club
This Santa Fe–based circus group is in town today teaching a family lab–tutorial at the Bowery Poetry Club. Expect funky teachers; they self-identify on their MySpace page as “circus performers, musicians, dancers, actors, visual artists, capoeiristas, poets, and storytellers.” There could be many applications for their safe, easy, amazing circus skills in the real world. High shelves, anyone? 308 Bowery, at Bleecker St. (212-614-0505 or bowerypoetry.com); $10.
Dance From Congo Square
Maybe the family listens to jazz at home, but do you jazz dance? (Jazz hands don’t count.) Pick up some basic steps at this workshop in the park, presented in partnership with the Museum for African Art. The movement is taught in conjunction with a lesson on the history of jazz dance from its roots in Congo Square in New Orleans. In Central Park, at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, 36 W. 110th St. (212-860-1370 or centralparknyc.org); free.
Hispanic Heritage Month Festival
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
As part of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s celebration, kids can dance and bang on percussion instruments with Los Calientes. Whaling on the drums is part of learning about the instruments, music, and songs of the African, Catholic, and Taino rituals that contribute to salsa. Best for percussionists 5 and up. Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St. (212-721-1234 or cmom.org); free with admission.