Country and Western > Dancing in the rurals

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by pygmalion, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Just curious. Out looking for C&W topics this morning, I decided to google dancing or C&W dancing by state. Texas, (meaning Dallas and Austin) no problem. California, (anywhere you can think of) no problem. Montana? Big problem. There were very few dance listings at all, and even fewer social dance venues.

    What's the deal? What kind of dancing do people do in heavily rural areas, and where do they do it? (I know people dance out there -- you can see their listings in the C&W comp entries.)

    So what's up? Is it a less organized social thing? Pretty ironic, I think, since C&W dance supposedly originated in the country, that it's hard to find dancing in the cuontry these days.

  2. Mt2stepper

    Mt2stepper New Member


    Finding places to dance in Montana (about as rural as it gets) is tough. There are no social dance venues that I know of. I've spent a lot of time looking to find a place that would be much more dancer friendly and haven't had any luck. Most all the dancing takes place in bars. What's sad is most of the bars have extremely small dance floors. Also, your lucky to get in one or two sets of dancing because around 10:30 or 11:00 the bars fill up with people who don't know much about dance ettiquette. The drinkers pay for the band, not the dancers. So you have to take what you can get.

    I'd really like to be able to find a social dance venue that was set up for social dancers. No luck so far. I've only seen one dance studio that offers C&W dance classes, but it's too far away to travel to. Most of the classes are offered in a bar, but I have seen a few that are offered in health clubs or in public schools. The problem is, there is no social dancing following the lessons.

    There are some of us that are tired of fighting the bar crowds and are renting a hall and having our own private dance. I'm hoping it works out and that we can have a monthly dance and open it up as a social dance venue.

    Wish us luck.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh. I didn't realize you were in Montana. I was just being hypothetical. :oops: Yep. It looked like dance venues of any kind are few and far between out there. So how do you find places? Just dance around the drinkers? :?
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    And I complain about the dancing here!! :oops: I should be ashamed of myself! Good luck with starting out a social dancing place M2Stepper! :cheers:
  5. Mt2stepper

    Mt2stepper New Member

    We find places by word of mouth and checking to see where the bands that play good dance music are playing. That doesn't guarantee that the band floor will be dancable though.

    And usually you try to dance around the drinkers for as long as you can. Where we are dancing right now, around 10:30 the drinks and cigarettes start showing up on the dance floor and then its time to leave. By 11:00 the drinkers are standing on the dance floor and you can't dance at all.

    It's not like that in all the places but the more dance friendly places that I know of are too far away, or closed down or dumped the band and turned into a casino.

    Anyone want to finance me in opening up a country dance club? :lol:
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Not that I can afford to finance it, but that might be a good idea. I wonder what the demand is like for a nice, clean dance spot, where you are? Hmm...
  7. Mt2stepper

    Mt2stepper New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd let you all know how the dance I talked about earlier in this thread went. We had it on Jan 2nd and had a blast. The hall we rented has a huge wood floor to dance on. It's probably 60x30 or bigger. Remember we are used to dancing on floors that are 1/4 or less this size. I hooked up my computer to my home stereo and placed speakers around the dance floor. We only had 9 couples show up but we were all excited to dance. Some people were so excited the showed up over an hour early.

    The first song was a two step and after the song was over, everyone started clapping. We all thought it was funny that a computer was getting applause. But it was so nice to have a big dance floor and dance with etiquette being followed.

    It looks like we are going to do it again as a Valentines Day dance, hopefully we will get more people to come.

  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow! Fantastic! Sounds like you're being proactive there. I wonder how you could get more couples to come out and dance. :? A contest? Prizes? Nine couples is good, but if you could get more, that would lower the cost for everybody. 8)
  9. cntrydancer2004

    cntrydancer2004 New Member

    Hi Mt2stepper, I am in Charleston, SC and we only have 1 venue here to dance at. I know what you mean about a small dance floor and we leave once the drinkers start bringing their drinks onto the floor. Thank goodness we have a ballroom dance coach who sponsors a monthly western night and a monthly swing night at a local ballroom. This allows us dancers a clean smoke free environment to do just what we want to do "Dance". When I lived in Florida I was part of a swing dance society and we sponsored our own dances at the Elks Club. We rented the space and they sold the drinks and we brought the food. Usually finger food. At most dances we would have over 100 people sometimes more. Of course they put out flyers and they sent emails out to those who had joined. They had a huge mailing list. Advertising is the way to go and it can be done cost effectively from a computer. it doesn't have to be anything too fancy. I wish y'all luck!!
  10. Mt2stepper

    Mt2stepper New Member

    Thanks pygmalion and cntrydancer for the suggestions. The first time we did this was more a group get together. We're talking about letting it grow now. If we do that, we'll use your suggestions and some other ways to get the word out.

    In my area, the "dance schools" dont' put on any dances or even any c&w dance classes. It would be nice if there were dances already set up but I guess someone has to get the ball rolling. ;-)

  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I wonder if you could talk one of the local schools into having a teacher give a free lesson at your Valentine's Day dance -- in exchange for the lesson, they'd get free advertising. And you'd get an added attraction for your dance. Win, win.
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Right. Once people see there is the demand and money to be made from it events will start sprouting up....
  13. Mt2stepper

    Mt2stepper New Member

    One of the couples that dances with our group are the main area teachers of c&w dancing. I was going to suggest to them to give free lessons before the next dance with the help of the rest of us. (All students of theirs) If not free lessons, let the cost of the lesson include admittance into the dance. I was ahead of you on that suggestion and think it's a great idea. ;-) Some day I think it would be a lot of fun to invite instructors from other areas to come and teach a lesson before the dance too.

    I'm hoping it will grow and would appreciate any more suggestions you have.

  14. cntrydancer2004

    cntrydancer2004 New Member

    Hi Rick,

    Once all is going well with your dances make a post here in a few months and invite all of us to come up. Give us a few month's notice. Would be kind of neat huh ??? :wink:
  15. Mt2stepper

    Mt2stepper New Member

    That would be a blast, you could visit Glacier or Yellowstone or both and make a vacation out of it.

    Judging by how long it took to get the first one going, it took me 8 months to convince them that it would be a good time, it might take me a while to get it well established. Start saving now.

    How much do most places charge for a dj'd dance anyway?

  16. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    This is outstanding that you folks started this! Congrats! And I hope your next event is well publicized and perhaps it will increase in attendance.

    Good luck! Keep up the momentum!
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. Good luck. 8) :D
  18. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Well if this happens, we will need to add this to the DF World Dance Tour. ;)

    I'm more of a Ballroomer/ATer, but I might give C&W a try. Then again, I might just go fishin, too. I here tell that there's some might nice fishin in Montana. ;)
  19. cntrydancer2004

    cntrydancer2004 New Member

    Well our swing dance society charged members $12.00 and non-members $15.00 to get into a dance. Remember we also served food and got a deal with the Elks club for them to serve the drinks at their member prices. If you do not have food and make it a byob type dance I would reccomend charging betwen $8.00-$10.00 per person. This should help cover the cost of renting the room. To further keep costs down you can make a simple flyer on your computer and than take a copy to say Office Depot and copy it. (Costs less than trying to do it at home as the ink on a printer is more expensive than copying.) Than just have everyone pass the flyers around or even check with some local places about putting them out for people to pickup.

    I wish you luck!

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