Country-western dancing is swinging with opportunities for Valley residents looking to visit a local honky-tonk and two-step the night away. We scoured the city to bring you a list of metro Phoenix's 11 best boot-scooting boogies (in no particular order). Included in our list below are details for novice country-western dancing enthusiasts to receive lessons at the local honky-tonks before showing off on the main floor. So grab your boots, because we’re goin’ dancing.
Buffalo Chip Saloon6823 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
Don’t feel bad if you don’t immediately know where to go when visiting Cave Creek’s Buffalo Chip Saloon. It’s an almost estate-style, five-acre restaurant, venue, rodeo arena, and western dance hall with multiple bars, indoor and outdoor seating, and, yes, a big dance floor. The Chip also hosts free dance lessons every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The place has been around since 1951 and was rebuilt after a fire struck the main building in 2015, so you know they know what they’re doing. Buffalo Chip is also an all-ages venue, meaning those younger than 21 can attend dance lessons with a parent or guardian in tow.
Scootin Boots515 North Stapley Drive #103-106, Mesa
Most dance halls and dance nights take place in a saloon, restaurant, or bar with the thought in the back of your mind reminding you people are watching. Scootin’ Boots has the same country energy and welcoming atmosphere without the daunting feeling of the eyes from the bar. Whether you’re light on your cowboy-booted feet or just barely breaking in the leather, Scootin’ Boots has all kinds of country dances for different expert levels. From Texas two-step to line dancing to some waltzes and cha-chas, everyone is welcome to break in their boots on the dance floor. Each day has a different theme night for lessons, with open dance at the end to practice your newfound dance moves.
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row640 South Mill Avenue, #120, Tempe
Bourbon Jack’s11 West Boston Street, Chandler
Need a regular country-western dance outing? Look into the East Valley Kickers. Founded in 2009, the EVK has grown to include thousands of
Harold’s Cave Creek Corral6895 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
To really dive into the Old West ambiance, visit the rustic town of Cave Creek – where horseback riders aren’t out of place and boots and cowboy hats are the norm. The must-visit country dancing hot spot for Cave Creek is Harold’s Corral every Friday night. After wrapping up the weekly fish fry, tables are cleared from the dance floor, and free lessons begin at 8 p.m. Live entertainment follows from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and patrons are encouraged to grab a partner and cut loose in the western dancing environment. An elevated stage typically hosts local country musicians, though touring acts come through occasionally.
The Duce525 South Central Avenue
Housed in a vintage, upscale warehouse with rustic wood paneling and backyard string lights, The Duce creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere for all. With their open dance floor and rustic decor, slap your boots and hats on every Wednesday for Urban Cowboy Night for a little piece of country in the city. Along with drink specials and music, instructor Drew Mitchell will give lessons at 8 p.m. followed by
Handlebar J116 East Becker Lane, Scottsdale
As unchanged as the rocky Arizona landscape, there are few better places to celebrate the timelessness of country-western dancing than Handlebar J. Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame inductees The Herndon Brothers act as the live entertainment, bringing country music and dancing in spades to locals and tourists. While HBJ offers live music every night, be sure to check out “Back to Mr. Lucky’s Night” on Wednesdays. It's the marquee centerpiece of saloon operations. The night re-creates the atmosphere of the now-extinct, longtime Arizona country hot-spot, Mr. Lucky’s, by putting The Herndon Brothers Band on stage alongside the HBJ Horns and local Valley country stalwart J. David Sloan. Music and dancing kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Rusty Spur Saloon7245 East Main Street, Scottsdale
The Rusty Spur Saloon has been a go-to spot for authentic country-western atmosphere and
Stinger’s Saloon & Sports Bar10040 North 43rd Avenue, Glendale
Stinger’s is best known as a massive pool hall, but those looking for a quick game on a Tuesday or Sunday night might be surprised to find a gathering of cowboy-clothed dancers trying the Arizona two-step. Stinger’s
Denim & Diamonds7336 East Main Street, Mesa
When making rounds in Mesa, be sure to check out the honky-tonk staple Denim & Diamonds and the large floor that plays host to a bevy of country dancing hotshots. Saturday night brings a knock-out playlist of today’s top country music hits tailored to the lively dancing and smooth flowing libations. Brush up on an array of moves, from two-stepping to swing dancing, by arriving at 6:30 p.m. for an hour of free dance lessons before the night gets underway. Bonus Night: Wednesday night is Ladies Night at Denim & Diamonds. Free dance lessons are offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Cash Nightclub & Lounge2140 East McDowell Road
It’s always ladies’ night at the Cash Nightclub & Lounge – formerly known as Cash Inn Country. Which means this lesbian-centric country bar comes alive each night with drink specials, darts and poker, and on Tuesday nights, line dancing and two-stepping. Dance lessons with Chandelle happen every Tuesday night, beginning with the two-step at 7:30, followed by line dancing at 8:30 p.m. What follows is a free-for-all night of drink specials with DJ Molly at the helm.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in May 2016. Lauren Cusimano, Caleb Haley, and Sara Edwards contributed to this article.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.