Glen Echo's Spanish Ballroom "dominates the local swing scene." We couldn't agree more. Add the contra scene, the waltz scene, the blues dancing scene .... well, you get the idea, it sets an example to other North American communities to follow.
Glen Echo Park offers regular social dance events and classes in waltz, swing, contra, salsa, and more. Dances take place in the historic Spanish Ballroom, the Bumper Car Pavilion, and the recently-renovated, climate-controlled Ballroom Back Room. The renovation of the Spanish Ballroom in 2003 brought it back to its original splendor, and it remains the premiere site for dancing in the Washington DC area.
All social dances are open to the public, for all ages, with no prior experience or partner required. All dances offer an introductory lesson before the dance begins and most include live music. Tickets are $5 - $20, depending on the dance, and are sold at the door. Tickets generally cannot be purchased in advance. Alcohol is prohibited on park grounds, and smoking is prohibited in all buildings. Dress is casual, and layers are recommended, because the dance halls (with the exception of the Ballroom Back Room) are neither heated nor air-conditioned. A thousand bodies will do the job.
Social Dance Presenters
• Occasional Sunday afternoon ballroom dances are presented by Mike's Ballroom Blast, featuring live music by Mike Surratt & The ECB.
• Once a month Balboa Dance to DJ music presented by American Swing.
• Weekly Thursday night Blues DJ dances and various special Blues weekends are produced by Capitol Blues Band.
• A variety of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dances with live music are presented by Dancing by the Bayou.
Contra & Square Dance
• Weekly Friday night Contra & Square dances are produced by Friday Night Dancers.
• Weekly Sunday night Contra & Square dances are produced by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.
• During the summer, a monthly Sunday afternoon Family Dance is produced by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.
• Weekly Sunday evening Milongas are produced by Tango Brillante DC, usually in the Ballroom Annex, and occasionally in the Spanish Ballroom. Check out Tango Brillante DC on Facebook.
• An annual Salsa Showcase and monthly Friday night Salsa DJ dances are produced by High Energy Productions.
• The following organizations produce Swing dances on Saturday evenings and occasionally on other days and nights:
DC Lindy Exchange
Flying Feet Enterprises
The Jam Cellar
Tom Cunningham Orchestra
• Twice a month Sunday afternoon Waltz dances and the Annual Viennese Waltz Ball are produced by Waltz Time.