This is part of the Dance Spot series highlighting different places to go dancing in SF Bay Area.

Dance Spot: Castle House Vintage Dance
Price: $10 / $8 student
Time: 3rd Sunday of every month 4:00-6:30pm with lessons 3:00-3:45pm on odd numbered months
Location: upstairs of Palo Alto Masonic Center, 461 Florence Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301

A friend invited me to Castle House Vintage Dance. Although typically $10, this particular day was free because one dancer was treating everyone for her birthday. The event description says we can dress casually, dressy, or wear vintage attire. Although I enjoy seeing people wear vintage attire, I prefer casual clothes especially since I go dancing inbetween other events. This time, I dragged my husband along.

IMAG8348 (2)The dance was at a very convenient location in Downtown Palo Alto, next to a parking lot and near the Apple Store. My husband and I arrived 15 min late and easily spotted the lesson as we walked up the stairs. They were teaching two couples Two-Step. As we and another couple joined the group, the instructors welcomingly gave us a quick review of what was covered. I quickly realized that Two-Step is not to be confused with Nightclub Two-Step or Country Two-Step, but instead resembles Polka without the hopping/jumping. Two-step is easy and laid-back so we quickly learned enough variations to make a whole song interesting.

Our lesson ended around 3:45pm as Paul Price’s Society Orchestra gets ready on the stage to start playing at 4:00pm. I found the playlist posted by the entrance with music from 1886 to 2006. As music began, many dancers smiled at me as I took their pictures.

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Everyone was very friendly, and one of the instructors even went up to my husband and taught him Foxtrot when she found out he didn’t know this dance.

When the band got to the fifth song, the host announced this was a song for everyone. It’s a follow-the-leader dance. So everyone got up, found a partner, and formed a line of couples. We then marched through the dancefloor in different formations to the beat of the music. Sometimes splitting off into two lines, sometimes combining multiple couples into a row, and later on forming a single file line as we weaved around the dancefloor like the cell phone game snake. I was so busy having fun I forgot to take pictures of this dance.

My husband and I had a ton of fun at this event. It made dancing feel so simple, like walking to music. While dancing here wouldn’t be a workout as Lindy Hop or Ceili would, it would be a really easy start for people new and intimidated by dancing.