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Where Greenbelters Go Dancing

NOTE: For the most up-to-date information, click here for the 2017 edition.

Here’s a round-up of social-dancing opportunities IN Greenbelt and where Greenbelters regularly go dancing nearby.  This list doesn’t include jazzercize, zumba, or other workout-focused solo dancing.  Leave a comment if I left anything out or if you spot an error; let’s keep this up to date.

Goddard Dance Club
The folks on the left – Sidney Kirschner & Lynne Masterson – are also regular patrons of the New Deal Cafe.


Goddard Dance Club: is perhaps the largest dance event IN Greenbelt, and it happens every week and offers primarily ballroom dancing. Nonemployees need a NASA employee to sponsor them (to sign a form for them).  Dance lessons also available. The space includes a huge wooden dance floor.

Tea Dance at Beltville’s Studio Gemini:  1 – 3 pm every Tuesday afternoon. Admission $10, with complimentary dancing tips for beginners thru intermediate. 10800 Rhode Island Ave, Ste E, Beltsville, MD 20705   Ample parking. Hosted by Steve Antoniak, antoniak1@verizon.net 301-927-6796.


Blob's Park Social Dance Clu
Dancers at the Blob’s Park Social Dance Club event in July.



Blob's Park Social Dance Club

Blob’s Park Social Dance Club The beloved Blob’s Park, formerly in Jessup, MD, may have closed but the dancers haven’t stopped.  They’ve moved to College Park! Coming up – country, swing/oldies, rockability, cajun/zydeco.  Follow them on Facebook, or get info from their website. The location is the American Legion Post #217, 9218 Baltimore Avenue (Route #1) College Park, MD  20740-1316. For carpooling to the Friends of Blobs Park dances, contact lore@simplicity-matters.org.

Salsa night at the Hollywood Ballroom.
Salsa night at the Hollywood Ballroom.


Hollywood Ballroom in Silver Spring, about 10 miles away, holds dances four times a week, usually preceded by lessons.  Types of dancing include: West Coast swing on Fridays, social ballroom on Wednesdays and Sundays, Afternoon Tea on Thursdays, and on Saturdays – sometimes Latin, sometimes ballroom.  It’s dressy by Greenbelt standards, and the level of dancing is moderate to advanced, in my opinion. The cost ranges from $15 to 20 and the age range is wide, though mostly 4o and up. Thursday afternoon tea dances (12:30 – 3:30 pm) cost just $6.

LA Dance in Bowie

LA (Love Again) Singles, in Bowie is a dance event for singles over 40. Location: Knights of Columbus, 6111 Columbian Way, Bowie MD 20715 

International Folk Dancing is held every Friday at the Greenbelt Community Center. Line, Circle, and Couple Dancing from the Balkans, Europe, Scandinavia & other places.  Just $7 most weeks; $12 when there’s live music (once a month).  To learn more and see tons of great photos, here’s Eric Zhang’s blog post about the dance, from 2012.  Eric found out that this dance event started in the ’50s at All Souls Church in DC and has been held in Greenbelt since 1997.

Contra Dancing is extremely popular in the DC area, and lots of Greenbelters travel regularly to Glen Echo for dances on Fridays and Sundays, then even farther on other nights and for whole weekends of contra dancing.  And the good news is that Greenbelt contra dancers are bringing it home! Here’s a blog story about that, with video.


Contra dancing in Greenbelt Community Center


Starting in February of 2015, the plan is to have the dance the first Saturday of every month. Live music! And I believe it costs just $12.

To find out more about contra dancing in our region, join and/or follow the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, which sponsors these types of dances: contra, squares, family, English country, and International Folk.

Waltzing in Greenbelt
Waltz Practicum info, with Lindsey and Elliott dressed for Halloween.
Waltz. Greenbelter Lindsey Dodson, with partner Elliott Drabek (shown above in a nonwaltzing costume), run a Waltz Practicum on the second Sunday of each month from 2-4pm in the Dance Studio at the Greenbelt Community Center. $5 suggested donation. Lindsey says, “Waltz lovers, please join us for an open practicum. The format is very simple: there’s a dance floor and there’s waltz music playing on the stereo. The rest is up to you. We play mid-tempo waltzes, generally between 108 and 162 bpm, with occasional excursions out of that range. All waltz styles are welcome. You may notice a kinship with Waltz Time, Mostly Waltz, or the world of contra dance. Eclecticism and fusion are highly encouraged. Please bring dance shoes as the dance studio does not allow street shoes. For more information or to receive announcements, email Elliott Drabek: elliott.drabek@gmail.com.

Blues Music and Dancing.  I know several Greenbelters who follow the DC Blues Society for news of music and dancing, and I’ve joined their email list myself.  They’re also on Facebook.

Hand-Dancing?  Lore Rosenthal tells me that some Greenbelters plan to go hand dancing soon. One venue for it that she mentioned is the Riverdale Elks Lodge, where the DC Hand Dance Club holds Hand Dances on Saturday nights.

Want still more dancing info? DC Jam Productions  sends out e-news.
And for Swing Dancing, follow DC GottaSwing.
Check all the above locations for classes, often given just before a dance.
College Park Arts Exchange is offering dance classes in the new  year – Hand Dancing, taught by Jerry Hart, will cost $30 per person (only $6 per class) including admission to a dance on Valentine’s Day, which will be open to the public. Classes will be on Saturdays, 10-11:30am, on Jan 10, 24, 31 and Feb 7 and 14, at the Old Parish House, 4711 Knox Road in College Park. Melissa Sites (a Greenbelter) is the director of CPAE, and can be contacted at info@cpae.org
Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV.

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