Want to go swing dancing on New Year’s Eve? Me too. Here is a rundown of all of the New Year’s Eve swing dance events in Los Angeles and Orange County that I know about. Leave a message below if I’ve missed anything!
My Top Pick for Hard-Core Swing Dancers
My sources say that a lot of the swing dance regulars and elite are driving up to Santa Barbara this year for second annual Santa Swing 2012. This is an all-weekend event that culminates in a New Year’s Eve dance featuring Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five. With a great band, there will definitely be a lot of really good dancers here (if you don’t believe me, check their Facebook page). Cost is $65 for the Monday night dance. No partner needed for this, but it’s somewhat of a big commitment, so it wouldn’t hurt to bring your crew along to share the car ride and hotel. In any case, this is probably the best event if you want to do some quality swing dancing!
New Year’s Events Where You Don’t Need a Partner
If you don’t want to drive that far but still want some good dancing, check out Memories in Orange County or Joe’s Bar in Burbank. Memories will be having a Balboa workshop with a dance afterwards. Cost is $25 at the door or $15 in advance. Unfortunately, their website has no info on the event. Joe’s Bar will feature Phil Alvin (rockabilly / blues / western / country), Petunia & the Vipers (western swing). Tickets are $25 before December 28th, then $35 after that or at the door. Check their Facebook Page to see who is going. There should be ample swing dancers at these events, so no need to bring your own partner.
If you are on a budget and don’t mind the crowds, check out Stompy Jones at Downtown Disney. It will probably be insanely crowded, but it’s completely free other than parking. Actually, I’ve done New Year’s Eve at Disneyland on New Year’s Eve and it was crowded but not ridiculous. Swing dancing as undergone a renaissance at Disneyland ever since it moved from Carnation Plaza to Downtown Disney. There should be people to dance with (although many will be beginners).
If you are into rockabilly music, another budget alternative is Reverend Martini’s Masquerade Ball at Viva Cantina. There is no cover charge but there is a two drink minimum. If you want to do Lindy, you might need to bring your own partner, but there probably will be East Coast dancers there. This is a masquerade, so dress up (there will be a costume contest).
Swing Peedro is having a New Year’s Eve event in San Pedro, but I know little about it other than what it says on their site. Cost is $25 in advance or $35 at the door, with a dance lesson at 8PM. Leave a comment below if you know anything more about this event.
Options for Couples or Groups
The events below are more traditional New Year’s Eve events that happen to feature swing bands. I wouldn’t go to these without a date or a group of friends to dance with (if you want to swing dance). The nice thing is that you’ll probably be the best swing dancers there, so you can show off!
My Top Pick for an Elegant New Year’s Eve
The Park Plaza Hotel in downtown L.A. is having its 1940’s-themed Golden Stag New Year’s Eve party featuring the Elliot Deutsch Big Band and various other performances throughout the night. The excellent Hollywood Hotshots dancers will be among them. The dance will be in the the exquisite “USO Grand Ballroom”. Tickets are $75, which actually is not too bad considering that this was named the #1 choice for NYE in Los Angeles by L.A. Weekly. It looks fun, but bring a partner!
Other Traditional New Year’s Eve Events
Near Beverly Hills, Chaya Brasserie is featuring their Hollywood Babylon New Year’s Eve party with the Crown City Bombers. Here are some details. There are two dinner seatings. The second gets you admission to the show. You can also skip dinner and purchase pre-sale admission tickets to the dance and show. Cost is $65 beforehand or $75 at the door.
Finally, I hear that Jumpin’ Joz will be playing at the Red Chair Lounge at the Huntington Beach Hyatt with no cover. They’ll start playing at 9PM and they assure us there will be a dance floor. There’s no website for this, so call 714-698-1234 to confirm all of this!
Do you know of any other swing New Year’s Eve events? Please leave a comment! – Brian