Slip out of your hiking boots or Birks and step into your dancing shoes. Which may very well just be your Birks. Hey, it’s Boulder. The fashion police fell asleep by the creek.
A Boulder-style date has to be more than just sitting across the table from each other in a restaurant or next to each other in a movie theater. Boulder is curious, active and always learning. So it’s no surprise that Boulder offers a ton of ways to get down and boogie every night of the week.
If you’re looking for a memorable, active, social and educational date night, invite your partner to a social salsa night, a free dancing date at the bandshell at the park or to join you for some quirky folk dancing (a hipster’s paradise).
Here’s where to go dancing with your date every night of the week. Pick your day, time or style and shake it off.
Bandshell Boogie: On Mondays from 7:30-9 p.m. throughout the summer, Central Park (1739 Broadway) is home to a free, public dance party in the park. The Bandshell Boogie is casual and upbeat and set to a live DJ. Bring your kids if you can’t find a sitter. Anyone is welcome.
Argentine Tango: Feeling sexy? The Boulder Tango Studio offers tango “practica” every Monday from 7 to 10 p.m. This drop-in dance scene is $5 at the door. And really, what’s more sensual than the tango? Nothing. That’s what.
Swing dance: Monday nights are swingin’ with Boulder Swing Dance at Kake’s Studio, 2115 Pearl St. in Boulder. Arrive at 7 p.m. for lessons. The DJ starts at 9 p.m. and the party runs until 10:30. Lessons cost $15 and the social dance is $5. Also ask about beginner classes, taught at Kake’s and also at the Skeye Brewery in Longmont. Now that’s a fun way to dance.
Scandinavian social dance: Here’s something a little unique: Monday night Scandinavian social dances at the Avalon Ballroom in Boulder. Learn about the traditional dance styles of Sweden and Norway starting at 7:30 p.m. Open dancing runs 8:30-10 p.m. to live music. It’s just $7 a person. Tip: Wear hard-soled shoes if possible.
Ecstatic Dance: Coming in the fall, awaken your body at Movement Monday’s Ecstatic Dance party at Free Motion Movement Center, 2126 Pearl St. in Boulder from 7-9 (or 10) p.m. every Monday. The event starts with stretching and an “opening circle” and then moves into free dancing to a live, club-style DJ. Music spans various genres and tempos. The party is $12 or $10 for students and seniors. No drugs or alcohol allowed.
Folk Dancing on the Plaza: The big dance event on Tuesdays is folk dancing on the plaza next to the Dushanbe Teahouse, 1770 13th St., across from Central Park in Boulder. These free, public, participatory dances from 7-10 p.m. You’ll learn and see dance styles from all kinds of countries around the world.
Tap Dancing: This isn’t just your ordinary dance class. Learn tap dancing from renowned and charismatic dancer David Sharp every Wednesday from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. (He also teaches on Mondays.) Classes are super fun and held at Viriditas Studio, 4939 N. Broadway, Suite 65. The $20 price tag is well worth the entertainment. Making this especially great for a date night: Sharp teaches with his wife, Jeannine Goode-Allen.
Waltz Etcetera/Ballroom dance: Learn how to dance like royalty on the second, fourth and fifth Wednesday of every month at the Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Road. Lessons are at 7 p.m., followed by dancing until 10:15 p.m. You’ll experience the waltz, cross-step waltz, foxtrot, swing, blues, tango, hambo and more. You will switch partners, but couples can also choose to stay together if you prefer. Lessons plus refreshments are just $7. On the fifth Wednesday of the month (if there is one), the classes have special themes, often with costumes, dance performances and live music.
Salsa/Bachata/West Coast Swing Social: Every Thursday at the Avalon Ballroom, find a fun social dance party that brings together salsa, bachata and West Coast swing. You’ll find 11 instructors teaching all levels in two different rooms of lessons and dancing from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Lessons plus the social dance cost $9, or just $7 if you just want to head straight to the dance floor. This is the place to be if you like to dance.
Folk dancing: Every Friday from 7:30-11 p.m. at the Avalon’s Sodal Hall is a folk dancing paradise. Experience folk dancing from around the world. Lessons from 7:30-8:30 p.m., followed by open dancing. Try it out your first time for free. After that, it’s only $5.
Boulder Waltz Night: On the fifth Friday of the month, you’ll find Boulder Waltz Night from 8-11 p.m. at the Avalon Ballroom. (Join the free 7 p.m. lesson if you need a refresher.) Waltz to live, traditional music played by local ensembles. These social dances cost $5-10. Tip: Some people dress vintage or fancy for these parties. If you’re feeling fun, whip out your oldest gown or dress to impress.
Dance club: Boulder doesn’t have much in the ways of a good dance club, but the Tahona Tequila Bar, 1035 Pearl St., is a hoppin’ place on Friday nights. DJs start mixing around 10 p.m. and the dance floor fills up. The good news is, if you don’t feel like dancing, it’s fun to sit, sip margs and watch. Tahona is part bar, part dance floor, part indoors, part outdoors. It’s our favorite place in Boulder to get down.
Floor dancing: Here’s a different experience to share with your partner: Vertical Fusion’s drop-in, co-ed Embrace the Floor class. The whole class is done low and on the floor. It’s a great workout while being meditative and even a little sensual, making it a great date. Class is at 12:15 p.m.
Aerial hammock: Craving the air instead of the floor? Vertical Fusion offers a co-ed aerial dance drop-in class later in the day. In aerial hammock, learn how to move in this circusy fabric hanging from the ceiling. Class is at 3:45 p.m.
Square dancing: Head to Lyons on Saturday to join the Red Rock Ramblers’ square dancing group. From 7:30-10:30 p.m. every Saturday in the summer, Lyons Elementary School’s gym transforms into a square dance hot spot. Tickets are $8-$16.
Forro (Brazilian Couples Dance): Forro is perfect for a date. This Brazilian couples dance takes to the Avalon’s North Lobby every Saturday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Learn more about the popular, hip-swiveling Forro dance style here. Bonus: Forro is considered one of the easiest partner dances to master. Win.
Dance Nia: Nia is a free-form, creative style of dance that can help open up your body and get your heart pumping, both qualities of a great date. Experience Nia 11 a.m. Sundays at the Longmont Rec Center, 310 Quail Road.
Other dance opportunities: Sundays at the Avalon in Boulder are also for: