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A couple cuts a rug during South Central Swing at The Duce.
A couple cuts a rug during South Central Swing at The Duce.
Courtesy of The Duce

The 12 Songs of Arizona Christmas: Nine Ladies Dancing

Welcome to another edition of the "The 12 Songs of Arizona Christmas," in which local stakeholders detail their most cherished holiday songs. Consider this a musical Advent calendar, where your "treat" is a better understanding of the interesting people and organizations from across the city and state.

Nine Ladies Dancing

Steve Rosenstein, Co-Owner, The Duce

It may reside at Lincoln Street and Central Avenue, but The Duce is born of a distinctly Chicago tradition (even the main bar once belonged to The Black Orchid nightclub). The staff and owners represent that communal lineage by throwing together less of a concise theme and more of a "one-stop neighborhood shop," according to owner/Chicago native Steve Rosenstein, including a restaurant, bar, and boxing ring. If that disjointed approach weren't enough, the venue's made a name for itself with several weekly dance nights, including Latin, swing, and urban country. As Rosenstein explains, it's not weird at all — it's just what works.

"When we moved here, there was a big culture shock, and I wondered if there was a real city of Phoenix. And I'm a firm believer that a building will speak to you and tell you what it wants to be. So that's why we have a bar, dance floor, and I put up a boxing ring. If you over-thought this place, it wouldn't work. It's become this cult of neighborhood things, and we don't treat holidays any different. We have an amazing DJ, Tiger, who spins some wonderful holiday duets, but I don't turn the two trees into Christmas trees. We may have a bunch of people from Israel here, and so we'll play Israeli rap or rock music. You can walk in here and maybe see eight ethnic groups, and no one's being douchey. We just always say that we keep it 'Duce-y.' But I'll see, like, a neighborhood grandma dancing next to hipsters, and I just get a hoot out of it."

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