Where to go organized dancing in Austin during SXSWi weekend?
March 7, 2007 7:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm in Austin, Texas from Friday (March 9) through Tuesday morning (March 13). Is there anywhere good to go dancing during that time (organized, like line dancing, contra dancing, etc.)?

I am heading to Austin for South by Southwest Interactive this coming weekend. I'd like to get out somewhere and go dancing one of those nights.

Is there anywhere in Austin that offers line dancing or some other kind of organized dancing during that time (i.e. not just some club playing top 40 - more like salsa or contra dance)?

It'd be especially awesome if it were welcoming for beginners (I've done ballroom and swing but haven't touched square/line dance in years, and I took a salsa class once but never used it.).
posted by cadge to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total)
I'm not much of a line dancer, but I think The Broken Sproke might be what you're looking for.
posted by puritycontrol at 8:20 PM on March 7, 2007

The Broken Spoke is an excellent place to dance. I'd also recommend Gruene Hall if you can make it out of town. I haven't lived there for a few years, but my parents recently discovered the Continental Club.

I've heard that people dance at the Little Longhorn, but when I went I didn't see it (the music was great, though).

Latin...it seems like you can find salsa/merengue anywhere these days, but if you're going to make it all the way down to TX, may I suggest cumbia or norteño? And you can polka in New Braunfels (random link to a great NPR piece about the relationship between Tejano and German music in TX).
posted by hue at 8:39 PM on March 7, 2007

Miguel's La Bodega in the Warehouse District is THE place for salsa dancing.

If you want to see authentic two-stepping, the Broken Spoke would be your place. Midnight Rodeo will have some two-stepping, but it is more club-like. Dallas Night Club may or may not be open (I haven't checked the status of their legal affairs), but it is kinda in between the two. All three are outside of the downtown area.
posted by stovenator at 8:55 PM on March 7, 2007

And now I'm trying to remember if Miguel's is still open or not. Hmmm... Haven't been there in quite a while.
posted by stovenator at 8:58 PM on March 7, 2007

Ummm.. yeah. Apparently they've been closed for a while. Sorry bout that.
posted by stovenator at 9:14 PM on March 7, 2007

If you want to salsa dance I recommend Copa's upstairs room, at Congress and 3rd-ish street. However, dunno if they've got some wacky schedule due to all the SXSW-ing going on... might wanna try calling them.
posted by bitterkitten at 10:45 PM on March 7, 2007

Nthing Broken Spoke. Not only is it a great place to two-step and watch old cowboys two-step like Fred and Ginger, but it's also a really great bar. I was just talking yesterday about what a cool, underappreciated place it is. Also on the plus side, not populated by a ton of douchey hipsters.
posted by mckenney at 6:31 AM on March 8, 2007

Why dance, when you can meet #1?

Sorry, not much of a help. If you drive a few hours out into the country you can find all kinds of stuff, but very few Texans actually do line dancing from what I've seen. Midnight Rodeo will have a few (The one here in College Station will play Cotton Eye Joe ever few hours), but places like the Broken Spoke generally only do two-step and waltz interspersed with rap music for those who can't two-step.
posted by SpecialK at 7:28 AM on March 8, 2007

Holy Crap, SpecialK, I ain't never heard rap at the Broken Spoke. Have you? I think that might be one of the signs of the Apocalypso.

Another good thing about the Spoke (not that I have ever taken advantage of this, to my wife's chagrin), there is always some crusty old geezer or geezress (geezrons?) willing to teach you to two-step or waltz. Look for the person (of the appropriate gender) dancing with anyone and ask them nicely.

I guess that I too am Nthing the Spoke.
posted by Seamus at 7:43 AM on March 8, 2007

Sweet, thanks for these recs, everyone!

And I wasn't aware of the MeFi meetup - awesome!
posted by cadge at 8:59 AM on March 8, 2007

You have to check out Don's Depot! It's a piano bar in a railroad car with a big dance floor. Don and his band play country and western swing. During the day it has a bit of a reputation as a pickup joint for the blue-haired set, but at night there is a more varied crowd in terms of age.
posted by umbú at 10:54 AM on March 8, 2007

I'd be really surprised if Copa wasn't having special, SXSW-related events this weekend. If you can get to north Austin, I like Desparado's better than the Dallas night club.
posted by lunalaguna at 6:01 PM on March 8, 2007

Seconding Miguels for salsa dancing
posted by clanger at 12:49 PM on March 9, 2007

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