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A dance party for the Ugly Sweater season should help burn calories

It’s time to just belly up to the fact of the matter. You’ve packed on the pounds over Thanksgiving weekend, and now you are looking forward to yet another month of holiday cheer — when the urge to bake, share and eat seems to take hold of you and all your friends at work.Is there an antidote to calorie calamity? And more crucially, can it possibly justify the wearing of that ugly holiday-themed sweater — the one with reindeer and bells that for some reason has continued to sit in the back of your closet? As a matter of fact, there is. It is being described as “a new spin on the Ugly Sweater Party” — one that promises you can learn how to dance both salsa and swing (great calorie burners), and do it in full fashion-backward style.So mark you calendar for a visit to the Duet Dance Studio, which will be hosting two Ugly Sweater Dance Parties — one on Dec. 12, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (the salsa session), and another on Dec. 19, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 .m. (the swing dance session).Guests will learn the salsa or swing dance basics in a 45-minute “beginner” dance class and enjoy a 30-minute period of open dancing and mingling. And everyone is encouraged to come in holiday sweaters to win prizes for the Best Sweater. The party is BYOB, and guests must be 21 and older with a valid photo ID. Tickets ($20) can be purchased at Szewai Lee, founder of the Duet Dance Studio, explains it: “I want to create a fun and relaxing environment where people can learn to partner-dance without feeling self-conscious or being judged. Whether you are learning to dance for a special occasion or for fun, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time learning, meeting people and/or hanging out with your loved ones.”Since May of 2013, Duet Dance Studio has been helping people overcome the fear of social dancing through private ballroom and Latin dance lessons and public BYOB dance parties. The studio’s private BYOB dance parties have also become a much requested service from people celebrating a birthday, bridal shower, wedding anniversary or other event.“Singles, couples, and anyone with ‘two left feet’ are welcome to come to my studio,” said Lee. “Our dance parties are unlike anything you have experienced at a typical dance studio.”Located at 2515 W North Ave. in the West Bucktown neighborhood, Duet Dance Studio, which Lee founded in 2013, offers Latin and ballroom dance lessons, wedding dance instruction and public and private BYOB dance parties. In addition to salsa and swing there are classes in tango, rumba, merengue, bachata, cha cha, waltz, foxtrot and the hustle.For additional information call (312) 823-8199 or visit