Places to go Dancing in the Upper Valley


Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Katie Donovan

When Electra Night Club closed, I wondered where I'd go dancing again.  Here are some places to try:

With a DJ 

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Club 101 - Claremont, NH

Cover: Depends on the event, 21+

Dancing Starts: 9 pm to 1 am Friday and Saturday

Music Style: Mix of 80s to today and live music

Environment: Looks like a good crowd, enough for space to dance and not be too crowdy, but enough people for energy in the place.  The ladies doing tricks with lighted hula hoops are cool to watch.  You can find videos of the atmosphere on their Facbook page in the link above.

Location: 101 Mulberry Street in the same building as the Time Out Grill

Highlights: Free pool, beer pong tables, no cover, frequent special themed events: Back to the 90s, Back to the 80s, etc.  

Copperhead Line Dancing - Claremont, NH

Cover: $10 per person, 12 and under free

Dancing Starts: Thursdays at 7 pm

Music Style: Mix of 80s through today and country music (see videos here: Click on Thursday Nights at Fusion)

Environment: A family friendly event that's well attended

Location: 101 Mulberry Street in the same building as the Time Out Grill

Highlights: A regular event so if you can't make one, you have plenty of opportunities for fun.  You can also find Conrad Farnham's lessons and line dancing fun at Wagoon Wheel in Chelsea and VFW in White River. Find out where he'll be having an event and learn some dances on his website here.

Live Music

Salt Hill Pub- Lebanon, NH

Cover: None, 21+

Dancing Starts: 8-9 pm depending on the event

Music Style: Rock, today's hits

Environment: A pub with lots of seating, good food and drinks.  Music is in the front and there's a space for people to get up and dance. 

Location: 2 West Park Street, on the Green in Lebanon

Highlights:   People say this is the place to be for great live music and energy.  I'd say Salt Hill is the venue for the widest audience.  I think the video below says it all.  You can see more of the Conniption Fits here.


You can also see the Conniption Fits at the Wagon Wheel Bar and Grill in Chelsea, VT, which offers live music and a dj for you to dance your heart out to. 

VFW Post 2571– White River Junction, VT

Cover: Yes, under $10

Dancing Starts: 8 pm

Music Style: Country/Rock - new and old

Location: 92 S. Main St.

Highlights: The VFW hosts weekly dances.  You get to support an organization that brings veterans together!  

Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland 

Cover: No

Dancing Starts: Wednesday and Friday, starting at either 8 or 9 depending on the event.

Music Stye: Rock, folk, anything awesome!

Highlights: People love the Skunk Hollow Tavern for its live music and good food.  Looks like a fun atmosphere too to spend time with friends.  

Environment: There are lots of videos of people performing Skunk Hollow online, but I liked the sound of Still Hill the best because I love folk music that sounds like it came from the mountains back when and they really got the crowd going.  You can also check out Carlos Ocasio, who also performed there and sings Carribean Quattro, Delta Slide Blues, gospel and soul.

Skinny Pancake

Cover: Depends on the event, if so it's around $10-12

Dancing Starts: 12-3 pm on Sunday Brunch Bluegrass and usually around 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays

Environment: Lots of energy and a great crowd, as the video below shows.

Highlights: Skinny Pancake offers a variety of bands to entertain you each weekend.  Take the family on Sundays for the Bluegrass Brunch and dance around with your kiddos.  Music and crepes.  I'll definitely be adding Skinny Pancake to my to-go list for a special treat sometime along.


Engine Room - White River Junction, VT

Cover: none

Dancing Starts: Usually 9 pm 

Music Style: Rock

Environment: Open space with a bar, pool tables, and more.  

Location:  188 S. Main Street in the Freight House / Engine Room 

Highlights:  Will be going through rennovations under new ownership in Feb. so there will be new offerings for the Engine room soon like catering and large group gathering options.  This venue has lots of special events.  They also host live music too like this great band: Woodsmith and Hersch.

Ballroom/Swing Dances and Lessons

Newport Ballroom Dances

Sign up for the newsletter to know about upcoming special events or public dances.  You can also take classes.  I've watched the owner, Natalie, perform with her husband at Dancing with the Stars Newport.  It's just beautiful to watch and each year I’d look forward to seeing her perform with her husband at the finale.

I’ve been hoping to go to one of the lessons, but unfortunately I don’t have a partner.  So it makes it a bit tricky. 

Here's a video of Natalie performing years ago; she's still just as amazing now and you can learn how to dance from her!

Ballroom Nights

Ballroom Nights offers social dances and lessons for all ages and abilities.  No partner is required!

Swing Jamie 

Swing Jamie teaches dances around the Upper Valley and often to Dartmouth students.  Jamie teaches in the Alumni Gym Poolview Room most Tuesdays & Thursdays during the school year. These classes are open to students and the community.  Line Dancing every Wednesday afternoon at  the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Jct. is open to all ages. You can see where social dances and lessons are around the Upper Valley in his monthly newsletter.  Here's March's. The Upper Valley Dance Club has a dance on the 4th Saturday of every month at the Richard Black Center in Hanover.

Shall We Dance 

Shalle We Dance in Brattleboro also offers social dances and lessons for all ages and abilities.  Singles and beginners welcome: no partner needed!  Dances are most Friday nights and once a month a dance on Saturday, usually around 7-10 pm.

Traditional Folk & Irish and Non-Traditional

Norwich Contra Dances

I've been to one of these dances and they're a lot of fun.  No partner required!  Dances are at the Tracy Town Hall and start at 8 pm.  I felt like I was stepping back in time as the band played and the caller called out the steps. You can find out about their upcoming events on their Facebook link above.


David Mills

Locations vary.  Try a pot luck and dancing, English Country Dance in Norwich, or learn Irish Set Dancing at Salt Hill.  Dances are on the weekends, usually Contra Dances on Saturday from 6-9/10 pm or Sundays from 3-6 pm, and lessons are on Tuesdays from 5:30 -6:30 pm.  Often no partner is necessary, which is right up my alley.  

Ecstatic Upper Valley

This is perfect for people who are afraid to dance or just want a relaxing and welcoming place to groove however they want.  Each Sunday from 6:30 to 8 at the Strong House Spa in Quechee people come to just dance.  The music is invigorating and fun.  The cost $10-15 at the door.  Try it out and I bet you'll surprise yourself at how much fun you'll have just letting all your stress melt away through unstructured dance.  Don't want to go alone? Bring a friend.  To get a feel for the music listen to the track below.

Lessons:

Have to Dance is an excellent resource of all things ballroom dance in the area and beyond – lessons and places to dance. 

The River Valley Club occasionally offers ballroom dance lessons as a 4 week series.  They also regularly offer cardio dance which incorporates hip hop, Broadway, Latin, and country dancing as an aerobic workout for all ages and abilities.  You don't have to be a member to participate. Sounds like fun. 

You could also try belly dancing.  Gina Capossela teaches belly dancing in multiple towns in the Upper Valley. So you can find a place nearby to try it out, 4 days a week.  Try it out for free and then sign up for a class series and see yourself grow as a dancer.  Learn more here.

Where have you enjoyed going dancing in the Upper Valley? 

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