There’s that song that just makes you get up and dance. For me, that’s most songs and I’ll go up alone. So when Electra Night Club closed, I wondered where I’d go dancing again.
There are actually many places to dance with a variety of music options.
With a DJ
Cover: $5, some events require you to buy tickets
Dancing Starts: Usually 9 pm, sometimes 7 or 8.
Music Style: Rock, themed nights like 80s, today’s hits, live bands
Environment: Open space with a bar, pool tables, and more.
Location: 188 S. Main Street in the Freight House / Engine Room
Highlights: Will be going through renovations under new ownership in Feb. so there will be new offerings for the Engine room soon like catering and large group gathering options. This venue has lots of special events. They also host live music too like this great band: Woodsmith and Hersch.
Cover: $10 per person, 12 and under free
Dancing Starts: Thursdays at 7 pm
Music Style: Mix of 80s through today and country music (see videos here: Click on Thursday Nights at Fusion)
Environment: A family friendly event that’s well attended
Location: 101 Mulberry Street in the same building as the Time Out Grill
Highlights: A regular event so if you can’t make one, you have plenty of opportunities for fun. You can also find Conrad Farnham’s lessons and line dancing fun at Wagon Wheel in Chelsea and VFW in White River. Find out where he’ll be having an event and learn some dances on his website here.
Cover: None, 21+
Dancing Starts: Fridays and Saturdays, 8-9 pm depending on the event
Music Style: Rock, today’s hits
Environment: A pub with lots of seating, good food and drinks. Music is in the front and there’s a space for people to get up and dance.
Location: 2 West Park Street, on the Green in Lebanon
People say this is the place to be for great live music and energy. I’d say Salt Hill is the venue for the widest audience. I think the video below says it all. You can see more of the Conniption Fits here. You can also see the Conniption Fits at the Wagon Wheel Bar and Grill in Chelsea, VT, which offers live music and a dj for you to dance your heart out to.
Cover: Yes, under $10
Dancing Starts: Saturdays, 8 pm
Music Style: Country/Rock – new and old
Location: 92 S. Main St.
Highlights: The VFW hosts weekly dances. You get to support an organization that brings veterans together!
Dancing Starts: Wednesday and Friday, starting at either 8 or 9 depending on the event.
Music Stye: Rock, folk, anything awesome!
Highlights: People love the Skunk Hollow Tavern for its live music and good food. Looks like a fun atmosphere too to spend time with friends.
Environment: There are lots of videos of people performing Skunk Hollow online, but I liked the sound of Still Hill the best because I love folk music that sounds like it came from the mountains back when and they really got the crowd going. You can also check out Carlos Ocasio, who also performed there and sings Carribean Quattro, Delta Slide Blues, gospel and soul.
Cover: Depends on the event, if so it’s around $10-12
Dancing Starts: 12-3 pm on Sunday Brunch Bluegrass and usually around 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Environment: Lots of energy and a great crowd, as the video below shows.
Highlights: Skinny Pancake offers a variety of bands to entertain you each weekend. Take the family on Sundays for the Bluegrass Brunch and dance around with your kiddos. Music and crepes. I’ll definitely be adding Skinny Pancake to my to-go list for a special treat sometime along.
Ballroom/Swing Dances and Lessons
Sign up for the newsletter to know about upcoming special events or public dances. You can also take classes. I’ve watched the owner, Natalie, perform with her husband at Dancing with the Stars Newport. It’s just beautiful to watch and each year I’d look forward to seeing her perform with her husband at the finale. I’ve been hoping to go to one of the lessons, but unfortunately I don’t have a partner. So it makes it a bit tricky. Here’s a video of Natalie performing years ago; she’s still just as amazing now and you can learn how to dance from her!
Ballroom Nights offers social dances and lessons for all ages and abilities. No partner is required!
Swing Jamie teaches dances around the Upper Valley and often to Dartmouth students. Jamie teaches in the Alumni Gym Poolview Room most Tuesdays & Thursdays during the school year. These classes are open to students and the community. Line Dancing every Wednesday afternoon at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Jct. is open to all ages. You can see where social dances and lessons are around the Upper Valley in his monthly newsletter.
The Upper Valley Dance Club has a dance on the 4th Saturday of every month at the Richard Black Center in Hanover.
Shall We Dance in Brattleboro also offers social dances and lessons for all ages and abilities. Singles and beginners welcome: no partner needed! Dances are most Friday nights and once a month a dance on Saturday, usually around 7-10 pm.
Traditional Folk & Irish and Non-Traditional
I’ve been to one of these dances and they’re a lot of fun. No partner required! Dances are at the Tracy Town Hall and start at 8 pm. I felt like I was stepping back in time as the band played and the caller called out the steps. You can find out about their upcoming events on their Facebook link above.
Locations vary. Try a pot luck and dancing, English Country Dance in Norwich, or learn Irish Set. Dancing at Salt Hill. Dances are on the weekends, usually
Contra Dances on Saturday from 6-9/10 pm or Sundays from 3-6 pm, and lessons are on Tuesdays from 5:30 -6:30 pm. Often no partner is necessary, which is right up my alley.
Have to Dance is an excellent resource of all things ballroom dance in the area and beyond – lessons and places to dance.
The River Valley Club occasionally offers ballroom dance lessons as a 4 week series. They also regularly offer cardio dance which incorporates hip hop, Broadway, Latin, and country dancing as an aerobic workout for all ages and abilities. You don’t have to be a member to participate. Sounds like fun.
You could also try belly dancing. Gina Capossela teaches belly dancing in multiple towns in the Upper Valley. So you can find a place nearby to try it out, 4 days a week. Try it out for free and then sign up for a class series and see yourself grow as a dancer. Learn more here.
Where have you enjoyed going dancing in the Upper Valley?