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Washington Grange Saturday Dance on Pumpkin Ridge

August 22, 2010

There really is only one dance in the whole Tualatin Valley. Funny, I wonder where all the Intel/Tektronics people go on a Saturday night? They probably can afford to fly to Hawaii to go dancing. . .

So I went out to the Washington Grange in the Tualatin Valley. There is a Saturday dance that has been going on there since 1953, one year after the Grange was built. This is before most people reading this blog were born.


I danced with a lady that has been coming there since 1960, so I believe the band leader when she told me it was 1953. The floor was one of the nicest dance floors I’ve seen in a while, made from Pecan wood. I don’t know much about dance floors except that they need to be smooth and consistent so you can scoot around without hurting your knees.

The crowd was mainly older dancers, but the dances where easy and this location is a great recommendation if you are just starting ballroom dancing or if you are jaded with the thousands of dollars you have spent on lessons and got nowhere and just want to scoot around. Some people were there because they were intrigued by the dance styles and choices. You don’t see these much anymore. What is “Drag” dance style? Or “Chair Drag”? Essentially everyone was just scooting around with a Cajun/Foxtrot like hippie shuffle (well, I call it the Hippie Shuffle) but they have been doing for years so it looks much more complex to the casual viewer. step step step tap one way step step step tap the other way. Or trade the tap for a pause. Or count it quick quick slow tap. (sound anything like Zydeco? . . . maaaayyybeeee). Only a few actual steps make up almost all of the social dancing styles.

They had a 3 piece with a piano and accordion and a huge heavy metal thunder drum set. Don’t go here if you are expecting virtuosity by the musicians. They do one thing good, and for me that is the only thing these days, and that is put out good dance songs. The ones your parents or grandparents would have loved. If you just wanna dance, this is the place for you.

The drummer would get up occasionally and change the “dance board”, something I don’t see much of anymore. Heel & Toe was interesting.

So. . . .if you have nothing to do and want to go on a killer date for only $2, head out to the Washington Grange on Pumpkin Ridge Road. Sunset Highway way, turn right at North Plains, follow Glencoe Rd until you hit NW Pumpkin Ridge Road. It’s a bunch of miles on your right, you can’t miss it.
washingtongrange_inside The stage looked more like New Year’s Eve party, but who am I to judge an event that has been around longer than most people reading this blog. . . . .


From → Just Wanna Dance

One Comment
  1. Gerri Berger permalink

    I danced there about 18 years ago and loved it! “Old time Country Dancing”, Pattern Waltzs, (Swedish, Spanish, etc.), Polkas, Schottische, Varsouvienne,…….all the old great dances. Best dance floor anywhere! I plan to take my group out there sometime soon on a Saturday night. Need directions from Vancouver WA and a phone number to call for time. Thanks

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