Casino Rueda -- a more flamboyant version of square dancing, with better music? Pretty much, or so it seems. Casino Rueda is dancing with two or more couples exchanging partners in a wheel (rueda) formation, salsa music playing all the while. Partner exchanges are good for the duration of the dance -- but don't try to take someone else's partner home. Originated in Cuba, the dance begins with couples tapping their feet, then continues with a fancy ordeal called the exhibela, meaning exhibit her. This does not in any way involve disrobing. Rather, leaders move the women into the middle of the circle, then snap them back to the outside. Be prepared to hear people yelling things like "Dame una!" and "Dame dos!"
A beginner's class is set to take place this Saturday at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560) from 1 to 4 p.m. If you aren't too tuckered out after class, you could even enjoy an afternoon romp on the mechanical bull. Participation costs $10.-- Gina Kaufmann
For Your Love
Amateurs walk the Bottleneck's plank.
When we venture into the Bottleneck, we like to pretend we're entering the hull of a rock-and-roll pirate ship. Maybe it's the boozing hipster gypsies with all their jangled flair and skin art, but ever since the club was renovated with a raised tier surrounded by banisters, the Lawrence venue makes us feel like we've set out to sea with a crew of überhip young buccaneers.
On most Monday nights (when touring bands aren't booked), the Bottleneck lets amateur adventurers take the helm (meaning stage) for a thirty-minute set. Open-Mic Night at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence) starts at 9:30; the five thirty-minute sets will last until 1 a.m.
Interested performers must contact the club in advance to book one of those sets, but it's a little easier for the audience. There's no door charge, and the bar offers $1 off import draws. For details, call 785-842-5483.-- Michael Vennard
An Unusual Call
The art on the walls at the Telephone Booth (3319 Troost) will make you scratch your head at least once, probably twice. It includes, for example, a framed note sent home to the parents of Andy Maugh when he was caught intentionally letting perishable food rot in his locker and an image of the Virgin Mary on a surfboard, rendered inside a cellophane-wrapped Styrofoam container. It's kinda chilly in there right now, but your visit needn't take long, so don't let that stop you. Check out the plate by Anne Austin Pearce, some racy Kacy Maddux portraits, a collage-plastered album cover by Jilly's DJ Pat Alexander, and an installation piece by Miranda Young with silhouettes of girls cut from chunks of book pages. For a viewing, call 816-582-9812. -- Kaufmann