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Old-fashioned dates

Grab your steady and hit the town just like they did in the olden days.


Evita and Nathan at Dance Manhattan Studios


Paolo and Lauren at Dance Manhattan Studios

Swing dancing and a speakeasy

Get things jumping Jon Favreau--style with a private swing dancing lesson from one of the pros at Dance Manhattan Studios (39 W 19th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, fifth fl; 212-807-0802, dance-manhattan.com; $80 per couple). Over the course of an hour, you'll learn the fast-paced footwork of the Lindy Hop, which had its beginnings in 1930s Harlem (represent!). Then quickstep over to modern-day speakeasy Raines Law Room(48 W 17th between Fifth and Sixth Aves, no phone) to sip neoclassic cocktails like the gin-and-cucumber-based Archangel ($13). Snag one of the curtained booths in the back and you might just get to second base—over the shirt, of course.

Burger and a movie
What could be more classic than dinner and a movie? Try an all-American burger paired with a black-and-white film. Begin your night at the venerable Minetta Tavern(113 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts; 212-475-3850, minettatavernny.com), where you can sit at the handsome wooden bar (which dates back to 1937) and split the sumptuous Black Label Burger ($26) and a side of pommes frites ($9). Then catch a screening of Bride of Frankenstein or The Invisible Man at Film Forum(209 W Houston St between Varick St and Sixth Ave; 212-627-2035, filmforum.org; $12), which is hosting a weeklong homage to British director James Whale from Friday 4 through December 10. Just don't let us catch you necking in the back of the theater. Crazy kids.

A jazzy blast from the past
It always looks and feels like the 1920s in Cobble Hill's elegant Clover Club(210 Smith St between Baltic and Butler Sts; 718-855-7939, cloverclubny.com)—witness the wood-paneled walls and retro cocktails like the Pink Lady (gin, lemon, house-made grenadine and egg white, $11). On Wednesdays from 9 to 11:30pm it sounds like the 1920s, too, thanks to the jazz standards and ballads performed by Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra. After swaying to the music, slip over to the Victorian dining room at Prime Meats(465 Court St at Luquer St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-254-0327, frankspm.com) and let the mustachioed waitstaff serve you juicy New York strip steaks ($20 each). Just make sure to be home by midnight.

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Dance Manhattan Studios was awesome. I went on their April 22's showcase for the Free Guest Night and it was so much fun!! My date and I got a crash course in all the basic steps, the room was full of friendly people with all levels of abilities. Note: sometimes you and your date might be encouraged to separate in the event the group circle shifts partners. In such cases, my date and I stepped out of the circle and rejoined for dancing. There was absolutely no issue what so ever. Plus, there was a show that covered all types of dancing including lindy hop, west coast swing, Carolina shag, foxtrot, and nightclub two-step. These dancers are simply amazing! Snacks and refreshments are also served. New students get discounts on this night if they sign-up for other classes. Best of all this was free and a nice way to see if you want to commit to dance lessons. The instructor (Teddy) was funny, cleaver, and overall a good teacher for inexperienced newcomers like myself and equally enjoyable for well seasoned dancers like my date.