Swing and Ballroom Dance
in Fairbanks

Bring your swing and ballroom dance shoes when you visit Fairbanks! Dance opportunities are all over the place. Below you'll see some of dance venues that friendly Fairbanks dancers frequent for fun dancing!

Swing and Ballroom Saturday at the Silver Spur

A Fairbanks entertainment institution, this fun night of swing and ballroom and rock and roll dancing has been going on every Saturday for almost a decade! Big dance floor, great sound equipment, full bar, and best of all, fun and friendly people! Must be at least 21 years old to attend. No cover charge until 8:30 pm, when the music and dancing switches over to Country Western. There is seldom a huge crowd this early in the evening. Plenty of room to play on the dace floor.

Two or three times a year, Swing Saturday is bumped by other special events at the Silver Spur. So it is a good idea to call to make sure the dance is happening. 907-456-6300.

What kind of music?About half of the music covers different kinds of swing, including West Coast, East Coast, and Lindy swing, and hustle. The other half of the music is for nightclub 2-step, foxtrot, American/Viennese/Cajun waltzes, cha cha, rumba, salsa, meringue, American and Argentine tango, slow dances, and even an occasional polka.

Dress Code? This is Fairbanks! Dress is casual. For guys, the fun-loving mostly Baby Boomer crowd (but all ages attend, from 21 to 81) gets into wearing loud Hawaiian shirts, and jeans or casual slacks. The swing kittens tend toward kicky skirts and fun dresses, or jeans or comfortable slacks.

For photos of swing and ballroom dance action at this swing/ballroom dance chance, visit http://www.ballroomfairbanks.org/SilverSpur/index.htm

Phone: 907-456-6300
Address: 285 Old Richardson Highway
Directions: Located on the Old Richardson Highway near the intersection of South Cushman Street and the Mitchell Expressway (The Mitchell E-Way changes its name to the Old Richardson Highway at this intersection.)
Other Contact: bluefox@acsalaska.net

The Ballroom Dance Club of Fairbanks:

"A Certifiably Fun Place to Dance!" Really! This is an all volunteer dance club whose sole purpose is to promote the fun of social dance in Fairbanks Alaska! And we do it right... dance classes nearly every night of the week, Social dances twice a month, free dance practices every Saturday afternoon, and regular formal events.

We are non-profit and do everything possible to help make our dance experience fun! That means that dancers of all skill levels are welcome ... and you don't need a partner most of the time. Our dancers have discovered the fun of dancing with a variety of people. We get especially excited at the chance to dance with visitors to Fairbanks!

What kind of music? Depends on whether you are at a dance lesson or practice, or at a social dance. If you are taking one of the dozen different kinds of dance classes we offer, you'll dance to recorded music that goes with the dance! If you are taking a cha-cha, then cha-cha music... West Coast Swing, then blues, slinky rock or funk music ... Tango, American or Argentine Tango music. You get the picture. Same holds true at Saturday Dance Practice.

Sometimes a live band plays at the Social Dances (augmented with recorded music at breaks), sometimes its all recorded. Always with variety in mind. We really do offer nearly a dozen different kinds of swing, ballroom and latin dance classes, so the music is varied enough that everyone gets to dance the kinds of dances they are learning.

Dress Code? You can dress up a bit for the Social Dances if you like. But jeans are fine too. Just be sure to bring clean shoes. We are very proud and protective of our wonderful dance floor. Sometimes there is a theme, such as Golden Days or Hawaiian night, and you can usually get in free if you dress to the theme, but it is fine to come as you are. We are a friendly group of dancers!

Check out the website for more details on lessons, practices, special events, how to get there, and lots of great photos of Fairbanks dancers having fun! www.ballroomfairbanks.org

Swing Dance Wednesdays at the Howling Dog
The Fartherest North Rock'n Roll and Blues

Talk about eclectic Fairbanksans! At the Howling Dog, you may see Harley bikers (including an occasional Hell's Angel), tourists, gold miners, university students and faculty, local professionals and blue collar workers, military ... well, you get the idea. Late night on any given summer evening, be prepared for a rowdy crowd ... they'll be dancing (swing dancing, hip hopping, belly dancing, you NAME IT!), drinking, and playing volleyball or pool.

Closed through winters, the Dawg's eagerly awaited annual awakening in early May gets the Fairbanks summer entertainment season going in true Alaska style (maybe "Alaska style" is an oxymoron). The Howling Dog is a place where you can check your inhibitions at the door ~ to borrow from Vegas, what happens at the Dawg, stays at the Dawg.

There is deck out back, a sawdust volleyball court, and horseshoe pitching. Food's available inside, and there are no-frills cabins to rent if you don't want to drive after a night of partying.

What kind of Music? Wednesday night is Blues Jam Night: great Swing Dance music! featuring The Mighty Untouchables with Larry "Rain Dog" Raines on lead guitar and vocals, Rif Rafson on bass guitar, and Lewis Holdaway on drums. Larry Cantil often joins the guys, blowin' his blues harp, and often the Rain Dog's brother, Lindy, takes the stage on guitar.

Alaska's most venerable blues band, the Mighty Untouchables remain true to the blues, covering classics from the likes of Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Jimmy Rogers, BB King, and their icon, John Lee Hooker.

Other weeknights and on weekends, the Howling Dog features various rock and blues bands—roots rock, classic rock, bluegrass, and some Alaska originals. Occasionally Ralph, the owner, brings in an outside "name" act, but it's usually local/Alaska bands on stage.

Dress Code? This is jeans and tee shirt/shorts and sandals kind of place, but anything goes, as always in Alaska.

There is room for dancing on the well-worn plank floor early on Wednesdays (between 9 and 11 pm), but it's not the place for women to try to dance in high heels ~ but that's not to say it's not done by brave souls who take their chances getting heels caught between floor planks. Athletic shoes, sandals, cowboy boots—any flat-soled shoes—tend to be the better choices in foot gear. Some bare-footin' goes on, too.

How to get there? Phone: 907-465-4695 or 907-457-4697
Address: 2160 Old Steese Highway
Directions: Take the Steese Expressway north out of Fairbanks about 13 miles to Fox. The Dawg is located at the intersection of the Steese Expressway and the Old Steese Highway. Its parking lot is contiguous with the parking lot to the Fox gas station/store.

Go to http://www.howlingdogsaloon.com/ for details about how to reserve a cabin so you don't need a designated driver, and what coming attractions and special event are scheduled.

Sunday Evening Dancing at the Chatanika Lodge

Every Sunday evening, you can dance at the beautiful and ever-fascinating Chatanika Lodge (where it's a rustic roadhouse Christmasall year-round). There is no cover charge, good food served family-style, a full bar, and a decent little wood dance floor. All ages are welcome and it is such pretty 23 mile drive. Be sure you call

What kind of music? Theresa Bauer, fondly named "the Chatanika Nightengale" by some Fairbanksans, performs great country, blues, and rock classics with guitar, keyboard, and voice. Request "Chatanika Attitude" a great West Coast swing tune written by Theresa herself; but be prepared for barstools to be slammed to the floor on cue during the song. Theresa's rendition of Riki Lee Jones' signature tune makes for a fine West Coast swing, too. And don't forget Theresa's GREAT version of the classic foxtrot, "Mack The Knife."

Shirley, the lady who owns the place, said to call and let them know you are comin' they'll be sure to have Teresa play for dancin; 389-2164

Dress Code? This is Fairbanks! well... it's Chatanika, so it's even more laid back! If it is winter, you may have snow machine or x-country ski gear on. And if it is summer, you may have been fishing or floating on the Chatanika River. Wear what works for you! Just be sure to bring shoes you can dance in.