WHERE TO DANCE IN LOS ANGELES AND ORANGE COUNTY

The LA/Orange County area has some of the best swing dance events in the country and the world! I list all of the recurring ones here. Read the descriptions to see which ones have a lot of people to dance with and which ones you should bring your own partner to. Check the Lindy Map to find an event close to you.


CLIFTON’S CAFETERIA – A MENAGERIE OF DELIGHTS

Clifton's Cafeteria

Clifton’s Cafeteria is a cafeteria, vintage bar, and kitschy “natural history museum” all rolled into one amazing multi-level building. It’s one of the last remaining vestiges of golden-age Los Angeles charm.



DON THE BEACHCOMBER

Don the Beachcomber

Don the Beachcomber is a huge Tiki-themed restaurant and bar in Huntington Beach with three stages. The promoters at B&B’s Musical Thrills want to make this a premiere Swing and Rockabilly dance destination, booking some of the finest bands like Petunia and the Vipers, Deke Dickerson, Dave Stuckey, and Big Sandy. As you enter Don the Beachcomber, make a left Continue Reading…


THE LINDY LOFT

The Lindy Loft featuring Jonathan Stout

Swing dance instructors Dax and Sarah have created a really cool, unique dance studio in Downtown L.A. featuring killer views and 1000 sq. ft. sprung floor.  They have once-a-month Friday Vintage Rhythm Nights featuring top-notch live bands like Dave Stuckey and Jonathan Stout. Check the SwingDance.LA calendar for lineup. There’s a lesson included with entry from 8-9PM, and Continue Reading…


THE BARKLEY

The Barkley is a neighborhood restaurant in South Pasadena which recently started having some very good bands to Swing dance to.  Some people remarked that it feels kind of like a “slightly upscale Joe’s Bar”, which is a pretty good description.  The food is reasonably priced, mostly American. The wooden dance floor area holds about Continue Reading…


DISNEYLAND FANTASY FAIRE

Disney Fantasy Faire

There is Swing dancing inside the park every Saturday night at Fantasy Faire! Sometimes there is dancing at Tomorrowland Terrace as well. Here’s a look at the crowd: There is a dedicated group of Swing dancing regulars with season passes that goes, so you can usually find people to dance with. I recommend going in the Continue Reading…



CASA DEL MAR

Casa del Mar

Casa Del Mar is an upscale beachfront hotel in Santa Monica. They have a beautiful vintage lobby which sometimes hosts bands like Barbara Morrison and Leftover Cuties. There is no dance floor, but management doesn’t seem to mind people dancing in the aisles, which have marble tile. This is not a regular swing event, so Continue Reading…


THE BUNGALOW SANTA MONICA

The crowd is mostly twenty-something non-Swing dancing West-siders, so definitely bring your own partner. But, it’s worth it because the Feetwarmers are excellent and the semi-outdoor ambiance is very charming and even romantic. Floor is patio decking, almost like a pier. Some dancers hate this surface; I didn’t mind it. Don’t wear heels, or they Continue Reading…


JOE’S GREAT AMERICAN BAR AND GRILL

Joe's Bar

Neighborhood bar with an emphasis on live music, including roots, blues, swinging jazz, country, Americana. Monday is the best night, with Lorenzo’s “Happy Feet Monday” with some of the best gypsy jazz bands and Bal dancers around. Always plenty of people to dance with. This is where I go dancing on Monday nights. Not to Continue Reading…


LINDYGROOVE

Lindygroove

This is the largest and most popular weekly Swing dance event in Southern California (and perhaps the whole country?). It is the place to go swing dancing on Thursday nights. People drive from as far away as San Diego and Santa Barbara to dance at LindyGroove on a normal night. There are plenty of people to Continue Reading…


VIVA CANTINA

This is a Mexican restaurant that features live music almost every night of the week. Types of bands include rockabilly, country, bluegrass, rock and roll, and big band. Check their website/Facebook page before going. My source says that Thursdays and Saturdays generally have the best music to swing dance to. Here’s a great report from Continue Reading…



MEMORIES

This historic (1902) venue in the heart of downtown Whittier has a huge dance space upstairs and smaller one downstairs (usually only one has Swing dancing though). They have Swing dancing and lessons on Monday nights. There are usually some good dancers, along with some beginners from Biola and elsewhere. Music is good DJ’d music or live Continue Reading…


PASADENA BALLROOM DANCE ASSOCIATION (PBDA)

Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association

The Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association (PBDA) is a large, friendly, non-intimidating, family-run weekly event that has been going on for years. There are plenty of partners of varying skill levels. The people here are novice to intermediate dancers with a few advanced if the band is good. There is a wide variation of ages, from Continue Reading…


THIRD SATURDAY SWING

Third Saturday Swing

Third Saturday Swing is Back is one of the best places to find lots of Swing dance partners of all levels. You definitely don’t need to bring a partner. Ben and Sheri are prominent local dancers/instructors/competitors run this popular event with very good dancers as well as beginners. They have a fun, creative style which permeates Continue Reading…


THE CICADA CLUB

The Cicada Club

The Cicada Club in downtown LA is one of my favorite venues. You really feel like you’re going back in time when you enter this amazing Art Deco space. The bands are always authentic. However, most of the time it’s prudent to bring your own partner – this is primarily a restaurant and bar, not necessarily a Continue Reading…


THE EDISON

The Edison

This is one of the most incredible spaces in LA. Built in a renovated 1910’s era power generator station, The Edison has an Steampunk feel that transports you back to a time before fluorescent lights. They have DJ’d swing music sporadically and occasionally a band you can Swing dance to (usually the New Recessionaires). You Continue Reading…


THE GROVE/FAIRFAX FARMER’S MARKET

Fairfax Farmer's Market

The Fairfax Farmer’s Market occasionally has danceable bands during the summer. The bands usually play somewhere in the Farmer’s market dining area. There is sometimes a small dance floor.  The ambiance is great. Bring a partner, though, because these events are often poorly publicized. Unfortunately, the Grove website often doesn’t list the bands playing.


CAMP HOLLYWOOD

Camp Hollywood 2012

Camp Hollywood is the biggest and best annual Swing dance event in Southern California. Dancers and instructors come from around the world to attend this celebration of Swing dancing, Balboa, Blues, and more. The popularity of Camp Hollywood has not diminished over time, and a solid attendance is expected! There are classes during the day and contests and Continue Reading…


RUSTY’S RHYTHM CLUB

Rusty's Rhythm Club

This is one of the few weekly options for Swing dancing on the West side of L.A.   Rusty’s has been going on since 1998 and always features live music. Crowd is friendly with very wide range of age groups and dance levels. At the Wednesday dances there are two classes prior to the dance Continue Reading…


UCLA BALLROOM DANCE CLUB

UCLA Kerckhoff Grand Salon

UCLA has a ballroom dance club that holds swing dances about once per quarter, usually with a live band, Swing Inc. These usually have mostly students and staff of UCLA, with a few West Side locals. Go if you’re nearby and want to meet some new people. Bring your own partner if you want to Continue Reading…


THE CASINO ON CATALINA ISLAND

The Casino on Catalina Island

This classy landmark on Catalina island was once hosted some of the best bands of the swing era. Huge wooden dance floor and awesome ambience. Tables surround the floor, and a balcony runs around the whole building, offering a great view of Avalon and a chance to cool off. Used to host PBDA’s Swing Camp Continue Reading…