The LA/OC Halloween Swing dances are among the funnest events of the year. So, I recommend that you come up with a kickass costume and make it to as many of these Halloween Swing events in Los Angeles and Orange County as you can! Here’s a listing of all of the ones that I know about.
Do Something Blue’s Costume and Pajama Party (Friday, October 24)
Kicking off the festivities is Do Something Blue, with their annual Costume and Pajama party on Friday, October 24th. Strictly speaking, this is not a Swing dance event, but a Blues dance event, but a lot of Swing dancers go. There will be a costume contest with prizes!
Do Something Blue is located at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Pasadena (same place as Ben and Sheri’s Third Saturday Swing). Blues lesson is at 9PM. Dance starts at 10PM and goes to 2AM. Cost is only $8.
Fourth Saturday Swing’s Zombie Attack! (Friday, October 24)
Here is something interesting. Alice Pye’s Fourth Saturday Swing is having a ZOMBIE ATTACK! night to go along with the Long Beach Zombie Walk on Saturday, October 25th. The idea is, do the zombie walk first, then go Swing dancing, all in zombie mode! Alice says that “zombie attire is mandatory – those with no costume will get sprayed with (fake) blood!” Sounds like it will be a blast!
There will be a Swing class from 8-9PM with the dance from 9-midnight. Fourth Saturday Swing is located at Psalm 30:11 Dance Studio, 530 E 4th St, Long Beach. Cover is $8.
The Set Shop’s Annual Halloween Dance (Sunday, October 26)
In what is becoming an annual tradition, The Set Shop will be featuring Jonathan Stout and his Swing Orchestra starting at 7:30PM on Sunday, October 26th. The theme is “Gentlemen and Gangsters Masquerade Ball”. This is probably the most unique Halloween Swing event, in that it is held in a working set shop (they make sets for TV shows and movies). This means it has lots of cool props and stuff to explore, not to mention a great band!
Of course, there will be a costume contest with prizes and treats. Cost is $20 at the door. The Set Shop is located at 428 Colyton St. near downtown Los Angeles.
Atomic Ballroom’s Swing Spooktacular (Tuesday, October 28)
On Tuesday October 28th, Atomic Ballroom will have their Swing Spooktacular. There will be a costume contest. The festivities start at 8PM. Cover is $8.
Atomic Ballroom is located at 17961 Sky Park Cir, Irvine, CA.
Joe’s Bar featuring the Big Butter Jazz Band (Tuesday, October 28)
For L.A. folks on Tuesday, October 28th, check out the awesome Big Butter Jazz Band at Joe’s Bar, playing dancer-friendly tunes from the 20’s and 30’s. Judging by the event Facebook page, the event should have a great turnout of fantastic dancers. Highly recommended!
Band starts at 9PM. No cover, but $6 minimum purchase required, plus donation recommended. Joe’s Great American Bar and Grill is located at 4311 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank.
Rusty’s Rhythm Club Halloween Party (Wednesday, October 29)
The Wednesday before Halloween, Rusty’s Rhythm Club will be having their Halloween Party featuring the Fabulous Esquires. This is a dress-up dance, so wear your costume!
There are lessons at 7:30PM with the dancing starting at 8PM and going to 11:30PM. Cover is $15. Rusty’s Rhythm Club is held at The Elks Lodge 8025 W. Manchester Avenue, Playa Del Rey.
Strutter’s Ball Halloween Eve Party (Wednesday, October 29) – NEW!
This popular OC Swing venue will be featuring a costume contest and rate-your-partner Jack and Jill contest in costume. “Prizes will be awarded to: Scariest Costume, Most Complex, Overall Best Costume, Best Group Costume, and any other categories we can think of :)”. Cover is just $8!
Strutter’s Ball is located at 733 Dunn Way, Placentia, California 92870.
LindyGroove’s Haunted Halloween Ball (Thursday, October 30) – LA LINDY HOP PICK!
If you only go to one Halloween Swing event, make it the LindyGroove Haunted Halloween Ball on Thursday, October 30th. I think it’s safe to say this is the biggest and most impressive Halloween Swing event in Southern California (or the western U.S.? or the entire U.S?)
The decor and costumes at this event are just amazing. People have undoubtedly started working on their costumes now. Every year, the costumes seem to top the previous year’s, which seems impossible!
There’s a $400 costume contest, a $75 Jack O’lantern contest and a candy mountain! Cover is $12 with costume or pajamas and $15 without (but do go in costume!)
Also, don’t forget to go early at 7:30PM for Ben Yau’s Thriller Shim Sham lesson, which will be performed later in the night. I recommend it, because it looks like fun. Here’s Ben giving a demo:
If you want to learn this before the dance, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the dance from the choreographer himself!
There is also the regular beginner Swing dance lesson at 7:30PM. Cover is $12 with costume or $15 without. Everyone will be dressed up, so go in costume!!
LindyGroove is located at the Pasadena Masonic Temple at 200 S. Euclid Ave., Pasadena. There is validated parking at the structure at 400 E Green St Pasadena 91101.
Cicada Club’s Haunted Orchestra Halloween Party (Friday, October 31)
If you want to celebrate in style, go to Maxwell de Mille’s Cicada Club for Dean Mora and his Haunted Orchestra Halloween Party on Friday, October 31st, Halloween night. The opulent Cicada Club will host a vintage Halloween party and costume ball while the band plays “spooky tunes” (undoubtedly danceable) from the 20’s and 30’s. There is also supposed to be a conga line.
Cost is $25 in advance or $40 at the door, so get your tickets early!
Atomic Ballroom’s Night of the Living Lindy Hop (Friday, October 31)
Also on that Friday, in Orange County, Atomic Ballroom will be having their “Night of the Living Lindy Hop” where Michael Jackson’s Thriller routine will be performed. There will be a costume contest. Cover is $10.
Atomic Ballroom is located at 17961 Sky Park Cir, Irvine, CA. Typically, they have classes at 7PM, with the dance starting at 8:30PM.
Professor Watson’s Spookeasy Halloween Masquerade at Pour Vous (Friday, October 31) – NEW!
This is a bit more eclectic Halloween event, not strictly playing Swing music but rather a “mix of vintage swing/retro pop/Electro Swing/Halloween classic”, in the words of promoter Marshall Watson. There is no cover but costume or mask are required!
Pour Vous is one of the coolest bars in Los Angeles, in my opinion. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into 1930’s Paris when you go in. Out back there is a real de-commissioned trolley car where you can cool off (if you don’t mind the smokers). I highly recommend checking out this venue some time!
Pour Vous is located at 5574 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California 90038.
PBDA’s Halloween Dance (Saturday, November 1)
On Saturday, November 1st, Halloween ain’t over yet! You have one last chance to show off your costume at the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association’s Halloween Dance featuring the Ladd McIntosh Full Swing Orchestra. There will be a costume contest and snacks of course! Lots of people dress up for this, so go in costume.
PBDA is located at Grace Hall, 73 N. Hill Ave. in Pasadena, behind the church. There is a beginner Swing lesson at 7:30PM, with the dance starting at 8PM. Admission is $20.
Day of the Dead Dance at Rugcutter Saturdays (Saturday, November 1)
Also on the Saturday after Halloween, November 1st, is Alicia Milo’s Day of the Dead Dance at Rugcutter Saturdays. There will be a dessert contest as well as a dance contest where dancers must incorporate three moves from Michael Jackson’s Thriller (even more reason to learn the Thriller Shim Sham).
The festivities start at 8PM at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 1368N Lake Avenue, Pasadena.
What Did I Miss?
I’m sure there are some great events that I missed. Please let me know of any other good Halloween Swing dance events and I’ll add them to this article! Check back for updates!
Oh, and start working on your costume now! – Brian