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Albany Park

Not Your Average Christmas Carol: These Dance Carolers Will Bring Holiday Cheer To Your House

Choreographer Mariah Eastman launched the group during the pandemic last winter, when many people were unable to gather for the holidays. The idea was to knock on people's doors and propose a holiday dance instead of singing a carol.

Two performers from last year's Holiday Dance Carol event.
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CHICAGO — After success last year, the Holiday Dance Carol is coming back with a new and improved edition.

Choreographer Mariah Eastman launched the group during the pandemic last winter, when many people were unable to gather for the holidays. The idea was to knock on people’s doors and, instead of singing a carol, proposing a holiday dance.

“It started as a joke,” Eastman said. “But then I called a few people I had worked with before, and they agreed to join me.”

Eastman and her colleagues rehearsed over Zoom for two weeks before starting their dance caroling.

The performance was a two-minute piece to “Let it Snow.” Eastman and the other dancers performed on sidewalks outside houses, wearing holiday-themed masks and using a speaker for the music.

The dance carolers went to 30 houses in three neighborhoods. This year, the group is getting more help.

Eastman is coordinating with dance studios Dovetail Studios, Dance on Broadway and Intrigue Performing Arts and Dance Center to bring the Holiday Dance Carol to Albany Park, Lakeview and the South Loop/Chinatown area.

Eastman will perform with another group, including dance artist Robin Sherrell Davis, dancer and arts administrator Sarah Stearn, dancer and teacher Emily Rice and multimedia artist Angela Risi.

The dancers will take the two-minute piece from house to house in each neighborhood for an hour at dusk Dec. 2, 5, 10, 12 ,17 and 19.

Eastman said she specifically chose non-denominational holiday songs so the caroling is inclusive to everyone.

To reserve a spot on the schedule for dance caroling, email Eastman at mariah@mariahdchoreography.com.

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