Shake It Up

Groove Thang gets it in gear

THURS, 5/8

Perhaps Bootsy said it best: Get down just for the funk of it.Or for the chance to score free airline tickets.

Dancers will be doing just that at Jammin' 92.5's Shake Your Groove Thang dance contest finals, starting around 9 tonight at the Kasbah, 15373 East Sixth Avenue, Aurora. Nine semi-finalist, move-bustin' couples and individuals will take the floor to vie for the grand prize of two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere Frontier Airlines flies.

"I've been dancing since I could walk," says Deanna Lee, who'll be Hawaii-bound if she and partner Monte Ham snag the prize. Whether it's swing, hip-hop or Latin, Lee and her partner boogie to it. They'll be improvising a West Coast swing for the finals, with Lee aptly decked out in a sizzling Christina Aguilera-ish outfit.

That doesn't intimidate contestant Brian Campbell. He and partner Katia Campbell have a signature dance dubbed "the coffee grinder" -- a gyrating circular lift performed with Katia's legs straight out. Their fancy footwork secured them a spot in the finals, with the sweat-inducing, self-taught move facilitated by what Brian calls Katia's "awesome-ass stomach muscles."

"Lots of people just get out there, shaking their asses. There's no competition," says Campbell, who expects the coffee grinder to pulverize lesser contestants. "We go to swing clubs, and it's like, 'Aaaahhh!' It brings the house down."

Thursday night's finals will showcase winners of three previous Groove Thang rounds on the dance floor at the Kasbah -- a classy club despite its nondescript mini-mall setting. Sorry, gangster-rap fans: These DJs spin primarily old-school funk and disco tunes amid a dizzying light show for patrons who dress and dance to impress.

For the finals, each dancing couple or individual gets a two-minute slot to work it to any music they choose. The action is judged by a panel of three local dancers, including hotties from the Colorado Crush and CSU cheerleading squads.

Audience participation is everything, and the event is free, so get out there and cheer on your faves. Call 303-367-0591 for details. -- Erin Kindberg

Yo, Mama
FRI, 5/9

Estrogen levels will be high at the Mercury Cafe this Mother's Day weekend.Starting tonight and tomorrow at 7, there's The Mother Load, a one-woman show exploring modern-day motherhood. "Kids aren't cute, but they are little, and little is cute," says Beth Osnes, the show's creator, a mom and CU theater professor. "Think about it: A six-foot newborn would not be cute." (Tickets for The Mother Load are $10, available at the door.)

Then on Sunday, from 9 to 3, Mercury owner/chef Marilyn Megenity will offer a sumptuous -- and unique -- Sunday brunch. "People are sort of shocked when they get here," says Megenity. For just $5 to $12, you'll partake in a true celebration of Mother Earth, including "Breast of Chocolate" bread, a breast-shaped creation made of organic dough filled with nuts, berries and chocolate. "They come in all shapes and sizes," jokes Megenity. Diners will also be treated to live classical music from the Notables.

The Mercury is at 2199 California Street; call 303-294-9281 for information. -- Erin Kindberg

Pop Your Top
FRI, 5/9

Snooty connoisseurs and cork novices will unite from 6 to 8 tonight over zingy Sauvignon Blancs and delicate Pinot Noirs at the Denver Art Museum's third annual DAM Uncorked wine tasting."It's an outing for people who enjoy fine wine, socializing and, most of all, the museum," says museum spokeswoman Deanna Person. Along with tasty nibbles and live music, more than 165 flavors of grape juice will be flowing at the event, a fundraiser for the DAM. Also featured will be seminars by master sommelier Ken Fredrickson and Rocky Mountain Newswine columnist Jennifer Rosen. Tickets, available at the door, are $60 for museum members, $75 for non-members, and $30 for designated drivers; the seminars are an additional $25 apiece.

The DAM is located at 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway; call 720-913-0039 for details. Bottoms up! -- Julie Dunn

Bagel Blues

The murals on the walls of the Einstein Bros. Bagels at 300 East Alameda tout "darn good" bagels, just like those in the rest of the chain. But unlike the others, these walls also signify dang fine tunes. That's because musicians perform here every Saturday and Sunday from about nine until noon. The tradition began several years ago, when local musician Chris Cheslin, a frequent visitor to Einstein neighbor Twist & Shout, started playing. Cheslin now books acts, who are paid a small stipend supplemented by tips, for the weekend gig. On a recent Saturday morning, acoustic guitarist Michael Engberg strummed "Greensleeves" while Dave and Joe played Scrabble, Rob and Heather shared breakfast with their children, and Susan dropped in for coffee after a run. Look for an entertainment schedule at www.4casters.homestead.com. And try not to get cream cheese on the strings. -- Jo Ann Hovanec

 
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