Hearing an artist speak about her work is like getting new windshield wipers. Sure, you could see most of what was going on with the bad wipers, but the new ones allow you to see so much better. See Laylah Ali: Paintings and Drawings more clearly after attending the artist's upcoming lecture at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660 or www.contemporarystl.org). Perhaps the Wash. U. grad will speak about the many appendages of the sometimes-masked figures that make up much of her current show. Maybe not. Either way, you'll have a little more insight into Ali's work after attending the free talk at 7 p.m. (the cash bar opens at 6 p.m.). -- Alison Sieloff
Thursday Night Fever
Dancing the night away
Everyone knows that a first date is probably the most awkward single event a human can endure. No matter what, you're nervous about what to wear, who should pay and, most importantly, what to do. The dinner-and-drinks date seems so tired, so 2004. What you need is a new idea, something you and your date will always remember. Why don't you try the LGBT dance class offered at the Mahler Ballroom (4915 Washington Boulevard; e-mail mkelenadance@hotmail .com for more information)? For $10 per person, dance instructor Elena Lyashenko will help you and your date learn the basics of Latin, ballroom and swing dancing this and every Thursday at 7 p.m. Will you know what you're doing? No. Will you be a bit clumsy at first? Sure. But here's the good news: Chances are your date doesn't know how to do these dances either, and that will make breaking the ice with him or her that much easier -- and more fun. The classes are open to singles, too, so no partner, no problem. -- Alison Sieloff
Kashmir means many things to many people. To some, it is a disputed region; to others, it's a bitchin' Led Zeppelin song. And yet to car enthusiasts, "Kashmir" is a 1952 Cadillac roadster (yet another weird Zepp-Caddy link). See Rick Dore's prized, magazine-cover-worthy car among other great rides at the annual World of Wheels car show Friday through Sunday (January 14 through 16) at America's Center (Broadway and Washington Avenue). Admission is $5 to $13; visit www.worldofwheels.com for times. -- Alison Sieloff
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