Best Places to Go Dancing in Seattle

Seattle has always been a dancing kind of place. After all, the area stretching from Tacoma to Lynnwood supported at least four large dance halls where folks swayed to big band music in the 1940s. Although those ballrooms are long gone, the city’s love of dance remains. The scene has since diversified to feature other styles including Salsa, Contra, and Cajun. One thing that hasn’t changed is that it’s still possible to find at least one dance every night, some with lessons, and Uber can take you to all of them. Here’s a sampling of some of the more popular offerings:

The Monday Milonga

Milonga is Argentinian for “Tango party,” and China Harbor Restaurant has been hosting All Seattle Tango’s South American dance event with a beautiful view of Lake Union for the last 13 years or so. It runs from 9pm to 12:30am every Monday. Although you can drop in on a pre-dance lesson at 8pm for $20, it’s not for the faint of heart. The instructor assumes you already have some experience doing the Tango. Admission for dance only, $8.

Two-Stepping on Tuesday

The band may change every week, but the 1950s-style neighborhood bar, the Little Red Hen, has a country dance every Tuesday night from 9pm to 1:30am in Seattle’s Greenlake neighborhood. There’s no cover charge for the live music or the dance lesson at 8pm.

West Coast Swing on the Eastside

You don’t have to know a lot about West Coast Swing if you attend the pre-dance classes on Wednesday nights at the Harmony Ballroom in Bellevue. Teacher Scott McKay says he gears his instruction to fit the least experienced person in the class so they’ll be ready to sway to a range of contemporary music and blues. Lesson runs from 7:30pm to 8:30pm for $8, dance admission $8, or $13 for both.

Another Kind of Line Dance

If you’ve heard of square dancing, you already know many of the moves in Contra dancing including swinging your partner, doing the do-si-do, and promenading. The Lake City Contra & Old Time Country Dance at the Lake City Community Center is a dance with a live folk band where participants progress up and down a line based on the instructions of a caller. If it sounds confusing, don’t worry. There’s a free introductory lesson at 7:30 before the proceedings start at 8. Admission is $10 adults, $8 for seniors and youth, but newcomers get in free.

Dance With Your Boots On

If you’ve been jonesing for line dancing, head to the Hayloft Dance Hall and Event Center in Lynnwood where there’s a country dance on the third Friday of every month. No experience or partner necessary. An hour-long lesson starts at 7:30pm and the dance goes from 8:30pm to 11:30pm. $10 admission, $5 for dancers under 18.

Weekends With A Side of Salsa

The Saturday evening Salsa dance from 9:30pm to 1:30am (with introductory lesson at 8:30) is just one of many offerings at the Century Ballroom inside Capitol Hill’s landmark Oddfellows temple. In addition to hosting at least one dance nightly, the Ballroom also offers dance classes for styles ranging from Bachata and Kizomba to Waltz and West Coast Swing throughout the week. The intro lesson costs $16 and includes admission to the dance. Without the lesson, dance admission is $10. Other weekend offerings include swing dancing every Sunday night from 9:30pm (lessons start at $9, lessons and dance admission, $9) and a Waltz Café with live music from 12:30pm to 3:30pm on the second and fourth Sunday of the month.

Photo credit: Zabara Alexander


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