Dancing at Non-Dance Venues

Every now and then I forget that not everybody in world dances non-stop, all the time. I know, it’s hard to believe. This thought usually comes to me when I stumble upon an awesome venue with a kickin’ band that is not a place where dancers go at all. Dancing at non-dance venues in the swing community is often referred to as “lindy-bombing”, but in reality that word lindy can be substituted for any dance style.

This Wednesday, after some lindy-hop jamming at the University of Toronto, we decided to head out to Grossman’s Tavern to check out a funk/soul/blues band called Chloe Watkinson & the Crossroads. Grossman’s Tavern is billed as the “Home of the Blues” in Toronto and the venue is what one would expect from a blues bar: non-existent dance floor, cheap (relatively speaking) drinks, and questionable characters in attendance. Chloe Watkinson is an amazing singer with a great stage personality and the Crossroads provided funky beats in every song.

What I love about dancing at non-dance venues is that total strangers just walk up to you and enquire about the type of dance you are doing and where they could learn as well. I love talking to those people because you know they are going to tell their friends all about it and maybe even search for dance video clips when they get home. Sometimes people will mentioned that there is no way they can do that because they have never danced in their life. This is the part when I tell them the story of how I learned to dance with no prior artistic background whatsoever and with two left feet. The most I could do prior to four years ago in terms of dance is the shopping cart move. I mean it is still a move to be feared when pulled out at the appropriate time but I have definitely learned a few tricks since then. If I can learn some dance steps, anyone can.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own little dance world which focuses so much on technique that I forget what it is like to be around people who are not consumed with the dance bug. It takes dancing at places like Grossman’s to bring me back to reality and just experience dancing for what it is – the pure joy of moving your body to music.

I will definitely be heading back to Grossman’s on the first Wednesday of next month.


For more videos, please check out our Live Music album in the Hamfats Vimeo site: http://vimeo.com/album/63046


  1. Very inspiring, Randy. I definitely want to get my bf into dancing. My dream is to waltz with him He’s constantly pulling the “I couldn’t never do that, I’m just too clumsy and shy”.

    You still kind of didn’t share exactly *how* you came into the world of dancing, though. I would love to hear that story.

  2. Maria

    Hi Randy,

    Could definitely relate to that. No person is ever too late to learn how to dance. :-)

    Great website and concept you and Tien have going here. Looking forward to seeing it evolve.


  3. Hey – if you liked that, check out Joe Mamas on a Friday or Saturday night.

    There’s no cover, but drinks are expensive and it’s a little upscale. (read: less questionable characters) The live band is awesome and they’ve got what appears to be a Hammond organ. :-)

  4. @Muran – I started dancing in SFU Surrey, you know that :)

    @Maria – Thanks for the comment! I heard that you were getting into WCS!

    @Kevin – I love dingy dance venues though :) Where is Joe Mamas?

  5. Alisha

    I agree, Randy – I think it’s really really important to do this to share the joy and remember it!!

  6. @Alisha – You definitely have to come with us next month! People love watching you dance :)

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