frequently asked questions ...

  1. Where is it?
  2. What’s the place like?
  3. Can I take the metro there?
  4. Can I drive there?
  5. What about parking?
  6. What’s the neighborhood like? Is the area safe?
  7. The place sounds fancy. Do I have to dress up?
  8. What’s the floor like?
  9. What’s the deal with this place? Who’s Josephine Butler?
  10. How much is it?
  11. What about lessons?
  12. Are there places to eat/drink around there?
  13. Are there refreshments available or is the place BYOB? Are there any restrictions?

  1. Where is it?

    The Josephine Butler Parks Center is located at 2437 15th St. NW in DC. It’s right across from Meridian Hill Park. It’s 3 blocks West of Adams Morgan’s 18th St. It’s about 10 minutes walking to U Street. It’s about 5 minutes to the Columbia Heights metro stop. For directions, visit our location page. For info on the venue, visit the Washington Parks & People Website.

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  2. What’s the place like?

    We can say, with confidence, that this is one of the most beautiful places you will ever dance. Painted a brilliant gold sheen, the building overlooks Meridian Hill Park. It’s a 19th century fully restored mansion. Originally, the building was proposed to be the home for the vice president. It spent years serving as an embassy building until it was finally turned over to the Parks & People folks who spent years restoring the building and transforming Meridian Hill Park (across the street) into one of the coolest parks in the city. It’s currently being used for special events like ours, a multitude of weddings and the top floor serves as the office for the organization that restored the building.

    We will be using the ballroom and a side room for extra classes, and a freaking amazing terrace overlooking the park and 15th St.

    Visit our photos page, to see photos of the place.

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  3. Can I take the metro there?

    Yes! We are 5 block walk to the Columbia Heights Station (Green Line), about a 10 minute walk from the U Street Metro (Green Line) and about a 15 minute walk to the Woodley Park Station (Red Line). We are also about 10 minutes walking from U Street, and Adams Morgan’s 18th St. To see what stops are close, check out our metro map. We suggest the U Street stop. See our location page for more detailed info.

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  4. Can I drive there?

    Of course. Visit our location page for more info.

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  5. What about parking?

    There is plenty of street parking around the area. If 15th street is getting tight, try right across the park on 16th St.

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  6. What’s the neighborhood like? Is the area safe?

    The neighborhood a very nice, high-rent, and quiet residential area 3 blocks West of Adams Morgan’s 18th Street. The park, across the street, was described as one of the nicest and safest in the city.

    We wouldn’t hold a dance in an area that we considered “unsafe”. However, it’s in a city so general rules of don’t-be-stupid decorum apply.

    Speaking of our neighborhood, please be quiet and respect our neighbors as you leave. Thanks.

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  7. The place sounds fancy. Do I have to dress up?

    Dress in whatever you’d like. We anticipate many people will dress a bit nicer here than they would for, say, a dance in a basement. However, we don’t have a dress code or any of that nonsense. We do suggest you don’t wear gnarly street shoes to dance in. The can muck up our floor and can be be hard on your body sometimes. You want some dance shoes? Visit dancestore.com.

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  8. What’s the floor like?

    The floor is gorgeous forgiving hardwood. Wood, it’s what’s for Cellar.

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  9. What’s the deal with this place? Who’s Josephine Butler?

    From the Parks & People Website:

    Daughter of sharecroppers and granddaughter of people who were enslaved, Josephine Butler (1920-1997) was one of innercity Washington’s most respected community leaders, who helped shape nearly every major social change initiative in Washington since the 1930’s. She started America’s first-ever union of black women laundry workers, she helped lead the integration of the Adams and Morgan Schools, she educated thousands of children about the hazards of air pollution a generation before the environmental movement began, she was a lifelong leader in pressing for health care reform, and she co-founded the statehood movement for the District of Columbia. She became a champion of park revitalization to give our communities a place to come together, our children a safe outdoor place to learn about the world, and our city a place to champion true home rule for the lands we cal home. Led by Ms. Butler at the time of her death, Washington Parks & People has named the historic building at 2437 15th Street, NW, after her — in the heart of the community in which she lived and worked for 63 years.

    Check out our page dedicated to the Parks Center

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  10. How much is it?

    Dance is $8. The lessons are $15/ea. It’s $18 for both. The beginner lesson is FREE!

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  11. What about lessons?

    Every week, we have an hour long FREE beginner lesson at 8pm. From 8-9pm, we have 2 simultaneous 4 week long series - one for beginners and another for intermediate level dancers. We don't allow drop ins for the beginner class after the second week of the series (check the calendar!), but drop ins are always welcome for the intermediate classes. All classes are taught by the Jam Cellar Crew or specially invited instructors. Our members teach all over the world, and are known as some of the best dancers around.

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  12. Are there places to eat/drink/shop around there?

    Hell yes. Adams Morgan is 3 blocks east. There are about a million awesome places to eat over there. South of us, on U Street, there are countless restaurants, bars, etc. U Street also has an awesome strip of independant fashion boutiques. Did we mention that U Street is also the jazz hub of DC? Duke Ellington grew up there. There are about 20 little jazz clubs to check out.

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  13. Are there refreshments available or is the place BYOB? Are there any restrictions?

    Currently, we only have water available. We’ll also have mints so you don’t breathe on us. On especially hot days, we like to provide popsicles! You may also bring whatever food or drink you would like to share with your friends. No smoking, sorry!

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