By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
At about 6:45, the regulars start filtering in. Before it gets too packed, Hank gives me a tour of the building. He tells me that the main part of the building, where the veterans hang out, was built in 1921, and it used to be a cathouse. The VFW hall in the front, where everybody's dancing, was built in 1975. "We get all kinds of people coming here for the dance, from millionaires to janitors," Hank says. "Barry Goldwater used to come in here and dance all the time."
By 7:30, I see what Hank means. The ballroom is full, and there's an eclectic mix of folks on the floor, from attractive young women in heels and leopard-print outfits to senior citizens in sleek black suits. Oddly enough, it's the older women doing the sexier dancing and making supermodel faces, while the young'uns look unsure of their steps. The music is surprising, too while this is West Coast Swing, which I expect to be set to old-school swing music by people like the Dorsey Brothers and Glenn Miller, the soundtrack consists of everything from Santana to Etta James.
I didn't feel like dancing much (probably because I didn't drink any alcohol), but I did get asked by a way cute college kid with a blond goatee and bright blue eyes, which was nice. It felt like my seventh-grade dance all over again, with me standing off in a corner nursing a soda, and some nice young man coming over to introduce himself. Except that this nice young man doesn't have a mullet, and the song that's playing isn't Mötley Crüe's "Dr. Feelgood."
I was having more fun just watching people, especially the hot chicks. Too bad there's a whole "Jack and Jill" standard in swing dance, 'cause I'm really more of a Joey.