MY TOP 10 SWING DANCE DATE IDEAS IN LOS ANGELES

Swing dancing is a great social activity when you’re single, but it can also be a really fun and classy date idea. Here are my top ten Swing dance date venues in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, starting with my all-time top pick: The Cicada Club!

1. The Cicada Club

The Cicada Club is at the pinnacle of vintage charm and class in downtown Los Angeles. You’ll step back in time when you enter this amazing art-deco space, built in 1928 (and which has been used in so many movies). Be sure to make dinner reservations so you’ll have a table the whole night (and because the cover charge is waived with dinner).

The Cicada Club

There is a formal dress code (coat and tie for men, dresses for ladies), so dress up! The food and drinks are excellent, and pricey, but definitely reasonable given the quality and ambiance.

Check the SwingDance.LA calendar for dates and times,  then go with someone special!

2. Disneyland / California Adventure

Disneyland is really romantic at night. Skip the morning and arrive in the late afternoon, go on a few rides, get dinner, then go dancing at Fantasy Faire on Saturday nights to the live band. Watch the fireworks later in the night and do some more dancing. Fun, right??

Disneyland

Yes, this is an expensive date, but I think it’s worth it once in a while. See this article for more Disneyland date tips!

You can also check out California Adventure on one of their Dapper Days, where you’ll run into other Swing dancers dressed vintage!

3. The Skyroom

The Skyroom in Long Beach is an incredible 1926 vintage art deco restaurant on the top floor of the historic Breakers building. The food and service are simply first class here, not to mention the amazing view. This place is really pricey, so go if you really want to impress someone!

The Skyroom dance floor

Check the swingdance.la calendar for nights with Swing dancing (usually Friday and/or Saturday). After dinner and dancing, go up to the bar for an even better view, or take a stroll down to the Pine Avenue Pier and gaze at the Queen Mary. Then, walk up Pine avenue for a selection of bars and dance clubs. For more details, check out this article.

4. The Edison

The ambiance of the steampunk-themed Edison is simply amazing. Refurbished from a 1910 electrical generator station, the Edison is a great place to grab dinner or drinks, then dance to bands like the Dustbowl Revival, Jennifer Keith, and the New Recessionaires (usually once a month on a Thursday, check the calendar).

Dancers at the Edison

Amazingly, there is no cover to get in, but please do buy something so they keep having Swing bands. There is a slight dress code, but I encourage you to go all-out and dress vintage!

For more downtown LA date ideas, check out this article.

5. Lindygroove

The venues I’ve mentioned so far don’t offer lessons, so they’re not ideal for beginners or first-time Swing dancers.  Lindygroove is a great Swing dance date for beginners because it offers great lessons before each dance, and there are plenty of dancers of all levels there so you won’t feel intimidated. It happens every Thursday night.

Lindygroove

It’s also in a charming venue, just a few blocks from Old Town Pasadena, so you can grab dinner beforehand.

All of this is why Lindygroove is an ideal date venue for beginner Swing dancers.

6. Honky Tonk Hacienda at El Cid

El Cid is a really magical place with decor that reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. You’ll descend into a charming outdoor courtyard, and proceed into the two-level restaurant with dance floor and stage.

El Cid outdoor patio

Reserve a table for dinner and then dance to the Western Swing bands that play on Thursday nights. Definitely something unique and fun!

7. Swingtronic at Pour Vous

Okay, electroswing is definitely a controversial topic in the Swing dance community. Love it or hate it, I think everyone will agree that Pour Vous is an insanely cool Paris-themed bar, complete with a real trolley car in the back patio that you can hang out in! It usually happens the first and third Wednesday of the month, but check the Calendar.

Pour Vous

DJ Professor Watson spins electroswing tunes with guest DJs and bands. If you grab dinner on Melrose, then come here for their great themed drinks and dance with an open mind, I guarantee you’ll have a good time. There is no cover, but there is a dress code, so dress up!

8. Fairfax Farmer’s Market

I love the Fairfax Farmer’s Market (adjacent to the Grove in mid-city). Dating back to 1934, it has a romantic, vintage feel that is hard to find in LA. Look for nights during the summer when danceable bands are playing like Dave Stuckey, the Califonria Feetwarmers, and the Lucky Stars. Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants in the market (so many choices it’s hard to decide), then hit the dance floor. It’s tiny and crowded, but insanely fun.

Fairfax Farmer's Market
The Lucky Stars at the Fairfax Farmers’ Market 2015

Yes, traffic near the Grove totally sucks during rush hour, but it’s worth it! Check the Calendar for dates and times.

9. The Lindy Loft

How many LA/OC Swing venues have a fantastic view of downtown LA? The Lindy Loft is a really unique venue on the 9th floor of a vintage highrise in downtown LA. Have dinner at one of the fine restaurants in downtown, then make your way to the Loft’s once-a-month Friday “Vintage Rhythm Night” dance.

Dancing at the Lindy Loft

You’ll find dancers of all levels, and there’s a beginner lesson as well!

10. Outdoor Free Concerts

Proving that not all dates have to cost an arm and a leg, we have free outdoor summer concerts to round out my top ten list. Check the SwingDance.LA calendar for the many free live danceable bands that play during the summer. There is not always a dance floor, but if you’re willing to be flexible about the dance surface (cement, grass, etc.), you can have a great time for little or no money!

Dustbowl Revival at MacArthur Park
Free concert by Dustbowl Revival at MacArthur Park in 2013

Bring a blanket or towel, some snacks, and of course, someone special, then enjoy the show!

Summary

As you can see, there are some amazing places to go Swing dancing with someone special in the LA area.  Here’s the rundown of my picks:

  1. The Cicada Club
  2. Disneyland / California Adventure
  3. The Skyroom
  4. The Edison
  5. Lindygroove
  6. Honky Tonk Hacienda at El Cid
  7. Swingtronic at Pour Vous
  8. Fairfax Farmer’s Market
  9. The Lindy Loft
  10. Free outdoor concerts

What did I miss? What are your favorite Swing dance date spots? – Brian

 


  • Bianca Zen

    Hi Brian. Great article but you should add the days of the week for each avenue! Very helpful for newer people and out of town people😉.

    Bianca

    • Hi Bianca,

      Good idea. Updated to include day of week, where possible.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  • Kay Hwangbo

    Brian, Great article! We have an embarrassment of riches here in Southern California, when it comes to cool places to swing dance. Thank you for the fantastic compilation. Now if I could just find a guy to go on a date with… Ha ha!

    • Thanks Kay!! – Brian