October is supposed to be all about that sweater weather, but it’s still nice and warm, so let’s dance. First things first — shoutout to readers Craig Bryson and JP Mansolf for correctly guessing last week’s mystery spot: The MC5 mural at the former Grande Ballroom building. 

Think you can guess this week’s spot? Email SaMya at samya@outliermedia.org for bragging rights, or to share your cider mill recs, Black culture podcasts or anything keeping Detroit vibrant. Now, onto this week’s culture and community roundup.

Dancing across four decades

Older woman stands holding onto a bar, her heels together with toes pointed out. Dancers in blue leotards stand in a similar pose. One girl is looking towards the left, her arms rounded in front of her torso.
Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy co-founder Debra White-Hunt demonstrates how to plié and relevé in her pre-ballet class for 6- and 7-year-olds. Photo credit: SaMya Overall

Debra White-Hunt is ready to retire. But before she goes she wants to make sure her long legacy at the Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy is in good hands. White-Hunt has been running the company for 40 years and says more than 15,000 Detroit dancers, from recreational enthusiasts to professionals, have moved through the studio.

This week, we sat down with Debra White-Hunt as Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy entered its 40th season in Detroit. Read more about DWDA’s legacy.

Classy grooves

Detroit Dance Center, founded by DWDA alumni Jasmine Woods, Linda Hendricks and Dominique Hamlett, offers ballet, hip-hop/jazz, contemporary, tap and acrobatic dance for dancers of all skill levels… Release Dance Studio in Ferndale offers beginner friendly hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, barre and ballet classes (I’m in the beginner hip-hop course!)… Motor City Street Dance Academy teaches popular street dance elements like breaking and popping… Studio Detroit Dance Center in Hazel Park offers dance classes across multiple genres… Detroit Disability Power also creates an inclusive and welcoming dance space with its DanceAbility events… For more experienced dancers, the Detroit Opera holds master classes with pros from all over the country… Looking for more culturally rooted options? Classes from Ballet Folklorico de Detroit are for beginners of all ages, or you could Polka in Livonia. 

Have a dance class you want to recommend? Let us know!

Hoofin’ it

Detroit Horse Power is hoping construction will start within the year on the city’s first urban equestrian center. The $8.1 million, 14-acre project plan includes a stable to house 20 horses for plenty of youth programming, the nonprofit’s sweet spot. It currently operates out of the Marygrove College campus, meaning young people in the program currently travel to Davisburg, East Lansing and Plymouth to interact with actual horses.

The equestrian center, funded with private and state dollars, is planned for the former Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy site near the streets of Fenkell and Linwood, on land leased from Detroit Public Schools Community District.

P.S. If you can’t wait for the center to see some horses, consider visiting Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association’s horse stables!

Community voices

The first community meetings to discuss a $2.9 billion New Center development by Henry Ford Health, the Detroit Pistons and Michigan State University kicked off earlier this week. Missed it? Catch the next meeting on Oct. 10. Developers want to get City Council’s sign-off on the project by early next year.

The meetings will give community members a first look at the project, which could take a decade and could end in a new hospital, medical research facility and residential, commercial, retail and green space. 

Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance requires projects worth at least $75 million or seeking land or tax subsidies from the city worth at least $1 million to engage with nearby residents to hear their comments, address negative impacts and establish benefits to the community. 

Fall favorites 

Early October can only mean one thing — cider mill season. It will be peak apple-picking season for the rest of the month. The cider mills are busier during the weekend, but for all of you working Detroiters, if you must visit then, arrive early with your reusable bags, warm clothes and comfortable shoes.

The city’s annual Cider in the City event returns Oct. 14-15 and 21-22 in Beacon Park. Visitors can head downtown for hot cider, pumpkins and caramel apples from Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill. Enjoy lunch from a local food truck, and sip on fall cocktails and craft beer from Lumen Detroit.

My personal favorite cider mill is Goodison Cider Mill in Rochester, perfect for a quick, quiet visit. While you’re there, try their caramel apples — I can’t go one fall without grabbing some! 

Not a cider person? Detroit breweries are buzzing with fall beers and cocktails. Visit Atwater Brewery for their Pumpkin Spice Latte or Bloktoberfest, a German-style marzen. Try Blake’s Hard Cider at various bars around Detroit — I love the El Chavo hard cider, which has a little bit of a kick.

Got an underrated fall activity you want to share? Email SaMya at samya@outliermedia.org all your fall fun activities!

(Detroit Windsor Dance Academy, Detroit Dance Center, Release Dance Studio, Motor City Dance Academy, Studio Detroit Dance Center, Associated Press, Model D, Freep, Detroit News, Planet Detroit, Cider in the City, Visit Detroit)

Do you know this Detroit spot?

Close-up of a mural of a Black woman wearing a pink earring of the Old English “D.” The woman is also wearing a blue hair wrap and a jersey.
Hint: This pink “D” is a part of a larger mural on East Grand Boulevard. Photo credit: SaMya Overall

Back again with another mural to test your Detroit knowledge. What’s the name of this Grand Boulevard mural?

SaMya (she/her) believes in empowering and encouraging minority voices through local journalism because journalism is a service to the community, not vice versa. She loves Campus Martius, especially during holiday time with the bright lights and snow.