Country Dance Bars
I've also assembled a page of Dance Bars and Events specific to the Baltimore/Washington area.
Rodeo in Minneapolis, MN
Another of my favorite bars in the country. I come here alot. They seem to play alot more 2-step than most places, but they play all the other dances when requested. I got to help teach a line dance here in Mar '97. It was even better in Sep'97.
Electric Cowboy (formerly BJ's Star Studded Honky Tonk) in Little Rock, AR
This is where I first tried Country Dancing (against my will) six years ago. I've since grown to love it, and have a fond memory of this huge dance place. I've been back several times. If you have an out of state license, you don't need to purchase a membership. BJ's Honky Tonkers Dance Club meets here. When I was driving to the world championships in California in Jan '97, I stopped here and was made an honorary member of their club.
Texas in Fort Walton Beach, FL
I found this place my accident, near the beach. It ended up having a good instructor and a small following. Did alot of WCS, a couple of interesting line dances too. Came back again on a Wednesday in Sep '97, a great ladies night.
Cancun Cantina in Hanover, MD (Baltimore)
A fun bar near BWI airport. The level of dancing is low to average, but it's alot of fun here regardless. There is an alternative bar on the deck, and during the summer they have LIVE Bullriding on one night of the week. Wednesday nights are the best here; Ladies night. I always have a good time here.
Cowboy Boogie in Anaheim, CA.
Came here on a weeknight to try some dancing, found a very young crowd. A little bit more meat market than dance hall. A few people did WCS on one of the two tiny auxiliary dance floors. Not the best place around..... Right near Disneyland.
Blakely's in Chesapeake, VA (Home of the Bad Girls Dance Team)
I came here on a Wednesday night and had a great time. Being an honorary 'Bad Boy' helped. West Coast Swing and anything else you could want is played here. They also have an excellent house band. Saturdays are supposed to be good too.
The New West in Tucson, AZ (formerly "Stampede" and "Wild Wild West")
Everytime I come here this place has a new name. That doesn't matter though, it's a decent place under any name. It's Huge! I've never run into a group of good dancers here, but there is always a good crowd.
In Cahoot's in Oklahoma City, OK
This bar is one of a chain of many more in other cities. I danced non-stop at this one, although the level of dance was average. This place is usually packed, and Wednesdays are 'Coin' beer night, that's right, even a penny will buy you a long-neck.
Dakota's in Richmond, VA
Danced here on a Friday night a year ago, had a blast. Rumor tells me it has changed format, see about other Richmond places at the contributed reviews page.
Tumbleweeds in Stillwater, OK
Garth Brooks once worked here as a bouncer, about the time I used to trek up from OKC to hangout. That was before my dancing days ('88), but it looked like a fun place. I've heard many people mention it as a good dancing place that's lots of fun.
Coyote's in Louisville, KY
Part of a group of connected bars, Coyote's does alot of Two Step, but not much swing. After 11pm, they let in under 21.....the "teenagers", and the dancing goes downhill. Most "dancers" leave at this time.
Bordertown Nightclub in Jefferson, IN
When I left Coyote's in search of better dancing, I crossed the Ohio river and found it, just 2 miles away. Alot of good dancing going on here. There is a very interesting contemporary country art mural on the wall.
AK Korral in Anchorage, AK
The biggest city in Alaska has dancing too, a small group of people that can do WCS and other dances. The teacher and dancers here are very enthusiastic, and seem to cherish anybody from out of town that can dance. They do good considering their distance from the 'lower 48.'
Midnight Rodeo in Albuquerque, NM
Came here during the New Mexico Dance Fiesta, then again a few weeks later. A great big floor, with that 'western' bar in the middle layout. Not alot of room for Swing dancing or Line dances when the Two steppers are coming around the track.
Midnight Rodeo in Fayetteville, NC
A membership bar, in a military town. Gotta buy that before you get in. If you're there with others, just buy one membership, and sign the others in. Once you're in the door, don't expect any good dancing. It's definitely a redneck bar
Guitar's & Cadillac's in Lincoln, NE
This bar was once a movie theatre, and it's now a great place to dance. The dance floor is at the bottom, and there are really cool terraced levels with tables where people can hang out. The line dances were pretty hot here, a little bit of couples dancing too.
Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, TN
Disappointing....... Nashville may be the heart of country music, but it certainly isn't the heart of country dancing. The show you see on TNN is staged, the bar itself is kinda lame. Previous trips to Nashville have always left me discouraged in the same way, it's just not a quality dancing town.
Cotton Eyed Joe in Knoxville, TN
I can see why this place was voted the best country bar in the country, it's definitely in my top 5. From the ID checker to the owner, the entire staff here is friendly. This is the classic country bar; it has a huge central dance floor, a mechanical bull, country karaoke, a small practice dance floor, a good food menu, free lessons, and a DJ in a tractor trailer cab. It's no wonder that no other country bar in town can survive. My buddy, Pedro, used to be an line dance instructor here, but came back home. They've recently opened a second CEJ in Cookeville, TN.
Denim & Diamond's in New York, NY
I thought this place was cramped and overcrowded. It still amazes me that bars need a permit in NYC to allow dancing. See additional comments at the contributed reviews page.
Toolie's Country in Phoenix, AZ
Went here during a slow night in the middle of the week, didn't get much dancing in. The event schedule showed that there are many types of dance lessons, and top name acts come here often.
Carport in Tulsa, OK
Is that the correct name? This bar Rocks! I was here during the weekend of the UCWDC competition, so maybe that made it better. I like this place alot.. Except for that strange two step they do, the one where the couples only hold hands and don't have any real frame/connection. I can't quite figure that one out. This bar is in my top 5 list of favorites.
Wild Rose Saloon in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
An expensive cab ride from downtown to this bar all the way back near the airport, but almost worth it. They do things a little different up here, but being Canada, everyone's friendly. I line danced alot, learning some new ones along the way.
The Crazy Horse Saloon in Jacksonville, FL
A few WCS dancers, and alot of Two Step. Record amounts of beer are being consumed here. The floor is decent, and there was only one fight while I was there. Reminded me of Cancun Cantina back home in Baltimore.
Sandy Station in Sandy, UT (Salt Lake City)
The Banque in Norfolk, VA
There is some East coast swing here, but no WCS realistically. The Two stepping' is good. Some basic line-dances and alot of average dancers. They seemed to repeat one particular line-dance about 10-15 times in one night, mundanely running it into the ground. A below average place.
Denim & Diamond's in North Kansas City, MO
Ladies night on Wednesday is a good time to go. There's no WCS, but there is a little bit of everything else, even Hustle. A friendly crowd, always someone to dance with.
No Place in Grain Valley, MO (Kansas City)
A friendly crowd and a great, large dance floor. The DJ booth has quite a unique location too. Although I was here on a weeknight, the crowd was good, and I heard weekends are packed. Line Dancing is king here, with lots of it and good instruction.
The Beaumont Club in Kansas City, MO
Ladies night is on Thursday, and it's a good night to go. This 'yuppie' country bar has some good dancing, and a very slippery floor. It's a younger crowd, lot's of beer and silicon. It's in the area of 'Westport', which has alot of bars.
Rock N Rodeo in Boise, ID
Since it was just about to undergo renovation, there was nobody here when I went, should reopen in September '97. The bartender said that Thursday is the best night. Went back in Oct'97; still closed.
Shorty's in Boise, ID
The best place I could find in Boise to dance...... that's not saying much. They just don't really dance here. One girl could follow a WCS, otherwise just a small amount of Two-Step, and a large amount of "Defensive Dancing.".
Jim's Place in Clovis, CA (Fresno)
Imagine my surprise when I opened the window to my hotel, and saw this place in front of me.... I had just been sent information about 'Jim's Place' three days before....
Inside I found a very friendly staff. I was there early, and I waited and waited for any dancers to show up, but that didn't happen until 11pm. But when they did show up, I had a good time dancing. The buzz helped. The floor is not huge, but adequate. The band did a good job of playing requests, I just wish someone would play music during band breaks. It's just quiet when the band stops playing, no DJ...... a strange effect. Overall a nice place to visit.
Colorado Cafe in Watchung, NJ (NYC Suburbs)
Once you find this place, (not easily), you will be rewarded with enthusiastic dancers, and a great dance floor. I found some people here that I recognized from the competitions, that's a good thing. I enjoyed the dancing here, couples and line. Wednesday is ladies night, and Thursday they call Swing night. Always packed on weekends.
Wild Wild West in Mobile, AL
An easy place to find, but don't expect very much couples dancing. Luckily, I brought a partner, and I could dance. But otherwise there weren't many opportunities to do anything but line dance. The bar itself is nice, just needs some quality instruction.
Ezmerelda's in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Or "Ezzy's" as the locals call it. A young crowd without much quality dancing, except on select days. The floor is large and the people are friendly (It IS Canada you know). Make sure you get some of that local beer, eh?......the dancers in the area usually go to 'Ezzy's' on Sundays.
Cook County Saloon in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
JACKPOT! This is definitely the place to go in Edmonton. It's just been added to my top 5 favorite list of places. Here I found enthusiastic dancers at all levels, I even found the event directors of the UCWDC competition up here. This bar had the perfect mix of drinkers and dancers. Enough drinkers to keep the place open, enough dancers to keep it exciting. Friday and Saturdays are good here....
In Cahoots in San Diego, CA
This is where all the good dancers of the San Diego area go, a little like the Junction in the Washington DC area. A very small dance floor, but they somehow make it work. The level of dancing here is very high, with an endless supply of WCS dancers. Go there on Wednesdays and dance from 5 to 8pm, before it gets too crowded. The DJ caters to line dancers later in the evening.
Stampede in Aurora, CO (Denver)
I was here on Halloween night, and it was alot of fun. I was told that It was more packed than on a normal Friday night. The costumes were outrageously funny, it was fun to be a spectator for once. This place has that racetrack type dance floor, with the bar in the middle, making it difficult to WCS. There is a small representation of the swing community here too, and they made it fun for me. The best night to go is on Wednesday. See the review that I received.
McCabe's in Tacoma, WA (Seattle)
Located near the Tacoma Dome, I heard of this place from several people before even coming to the Seattle area. The bar is relatively small, but it's laid out well. There is good instruction, although it is not free like most bars. I had fun here learning a line dance with a little Irish Jig in it. The instructor was very friendly (I later taught him Kick-n-Rock). I've had fun here on two consecutive visits.
Cactus Moon in Tucson, AZ
I spent a Friday night here, it was alot more packed than when I came here 3 years ago. There were some swing dancers from the Tucson Swing Club, more country dancers, and many more drunk dancers. "Dance Etiquette" and "Line of Dance" are unknown phrases here, it was a mess. But overall, it's a really fun place. I got to dance several times. Everyone asked if I was a Phoenician (from Phoenix).
The Grain Bin in Sioux City, SD
This is not a large town, but I found this place quickly. I'm glad I didn't want to dance too much, because this wasn't the place to go. As I was leaving town the next morning, 3 different people told me that "Buckies" is the best place in town. I didn't get to check it out unfortunately, but I will next time..
Johnny's in Yuma, AZ
You want country dancing? Go to another town.... There's not much here anyway. I was lucky though, I came to Johnny's and found a dance partner that was visiting from Phoenix, so I got to dance. If you come here, just bring some friends and start ordering pitchers of beer, you'll fit right in.
The Westerner Club in Salt Lake City, UT
I found somebody to sign me in to this membership bar. A huge floor in the middle, and it's quite busy. The seating is set up like a Bull Roast on both sides. Cheap Beer and friendly people, even a few WCS dancers.
Nashville Waikiki in Waikiki Beach, HI (Honolulu)
I've been here a couple of times, and frankly, it's fun. Didn't expect to find a country bar in the middle the Waikiki beach resort. It is a small place though, in the basement of a hotel. When I danced, I'll bet my head came 2 inches from hitting the ceiling.
Pecos River Cafe in Pearl City, HI
A military country bar. Dancing doesn't really matter here, just wear a big hat and bring a big clique of friends.... Oh, make sure you make a fool of yourself while you're here.
Desperado's in Billings, MT
JD's in Billings, MT
The Eagles Nest in Billings, MT
You too can sit in a dive, listen to a defective juke box, and come home smelling of camel cigarettes and cheap beer. That's what awaits you at The Eagle's Nest.
Howdies in Buffalo, NY
I liked this little bar that was tucked away a little bit out of town. The level of dancing was low, but frankly, I had a good time here. If people were line dancing, there really was no room for couples on the floor.
Stampede in Largo, FL (Tampa Bay)
Came here on a Saturday night, was impressed by the floor, but not by the crowd that night. I met a great couple from Canada who chatted with me, and gave me some insight to the local dance scene. I did some line dances, a Hustle and WCS. Overall, the staff was friendly. I didn't stay very long.
Round Up in Tampa, FL (website)
Hey Bubba, I found a place (despite lousy directions on the website) where you'll fit in very well. I almost got run over by three monster trucks driven by kids in the parking lot before I even got in the door. Luckily, it got a little better from there. The dance floor was larger than I had been expecting, it was substantial enough on this night at least. I danced a few, ate some free pizza, and just looked around. I heard that the best dancers in the Tampa Bay area come here on Wednesdays.
Cowboys in Kennesaw, GA (Atlanta)
This is Atlanta's premier dance location, especially on Wednesday and Saturday nights. It has the potential of being one of my top ten bars. There's a huge dance floor in the center, and multiple levels of bars and seating to both sides. This is where Atlanta's best dancers hang out the most. I went on a Saturday and found a large group of dancers gathered around the floor. I had met several of them at previous UCWDC dance events in Atlanta and Birmingham. Fridays are usually reserved for concerts from national acts. The mechanical bull gives quite a ride.
Pure Country in Montgomery, AL
I can sum this up in two words: Redneck Bar. There is a small amount of lame line dancing going on by a few of the women, but nothing else but drunk wiggle. But it's the best thing in town, just be prepared to reek of smoke when you get home, more than usual. Bring a dancer with you.
Tequila Willie's in Hoover, AL (Birmingham)
I came here on a Saturday night ready to dance, and I was not disappointed. The group of dancers here are very friendly. If you get there before 8pm, you will get in free, and get alot of dancing in before it gets too crowded. This country bar has learned the trick of staying open: Have another contemporary bar attached. Yes, "Senior Frogs" is connected and is completely different format. Since country dancers don't bring much money to their dance bars, this is a good thing. Plus it keeps the drunks off the (country) floor.
I welcome comments about other places that are not listed, and updates about places that are. I have added another page of contributed reviews, please add to it.
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Last Updated on 18 July 2006