Posts filed under ‘Music’

Country Western Swing Dance Lessons in Jackson Hole

Two years ago I was elbow deep in preparation for my August wedding, reading the Knot blog posts and perusing Pinterest boards for inspiration when I came across a post about preparing for your first dance.54113_637296061575_1650376246_o My then fiance, Jared, would regularly joke about how I had an allotted number of times I could get him out on the dance floor each year. Every time I would drag him out on the dance floor at a friends wedding he would remind me “you are using up one of your dances tonight!” In our early years when I frequented the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson for Disco Night, or Ladies Night as it’s also referred to, on Thursday nights I invited him the first few times. After politely declining every time I came to realization that Thursday nights at “the Coach” were always going to be a true ladies night for me.

So when I came across the article about our first dance a little bit of panic set in. We definitely didn’t have much practice dancing as a couple and I was having a western wedding, complete with the cowboy boots under my dress, so how could I not throw in some country western dance moves for our first dance? I immediately turned to my best friend, Google, and asked it where I could find country western dance lessons in Jackson Hole. It generated one solid lead – Dancer’s Workshop offered country western dance lessons at the Center for the Arts. Yahtzee!

I pulled up the schedule and my enthusiasm rapidly waned as I realized that the only lesson available before our wedding was an advanced lesson. Jared and I didn’t even know what foot to start with, let alone how to do a turn. I called up the Workshop and asked if the lesson was suitable for beginners. They said that it may be a little advance but we should be fine. So we each donned our cowboy boots, paid our $20 fee and entered the dance studio, where the lesson was held. Within the first 5 minutes we knew that we were in over our head. They were teaching complex, old school country western dance moves, such as “the window”. One of the instructors noticed us flailing in the corner and came over and gave us some basic maneuvers to work on. We had a good time but knew that we probably should have started with a class for beginners. So, when last week I saw an ad for free country western dance lessons at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar on Thursday night, I told Jared that we should attend.

We showed up at 7:30PM, grabbed a drink from the bar and headed to the dance floor. There were three instructors – one old school cowboy and two ladies with flowing skirts. We started by learning the steps, one foot in, one foot planted in the back – lean in, lean out, lean in, lean out. Once we had that sorted we moved on to a girl turn, then a guy turn. As we progressed through the lesson we realized that we knew a lot more about country western dancing than we gave ourselves credit. There were a few couples who had clearly never danced before, dancing like puppies whose paws are too big for their body, clumsy and flailing. They watched us with awe, as if we were Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk for the first time. However, I’m pretty sure that we looked like bumbling idiots, just less so than them.

We were taught the cuddle and how to do a behind the back boy turn. Then we learned the two step, which while it is important to the history of country western dancing, I have yet to really see it being done on the dance floors in Jackson Hole. After the lesson we tipped our instructors and then the band started. We grabbed a beer and headed out onto the dance floor to try our new moves. We had an absolute blast! And I think that we even got a whoop or two from the crowd – though I could have completely been imagining that. If you are interested in learning how to dance, or even just to experience some true western culture, I would highly recommend attending the country western dance lessons at the Cowboy Bar. The lessons occur every Thursday from 7:30PM to 9PM. Make sure to bring a partner because when we went there were a lot more girls than guys so they didn’t end up doing the lesson. So grab your partner, don your cowboy boots and head down to the Cowboy for some good old fashion dance lessons!

**Note – the Dancer’s Workshop offers Country Western Dance Lessons on occasion. They currently do not have any lessons scheduled**

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June 17, 2015 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Nightlife in Jackson Hole – The Silver Dollar Bar

Every Tuesday there is a bar in downtown Jackson that is packed with flannel and dusty cowboy boots and the plucking of a mandolin. 10423979_859876080692208_3949536324939462243_nYoung and old flock to the Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort Hotel every Tuesday night for bluegrass night. Packed tight like sardines, ski bums and cowboys alike crowd the small round tables, tapping their feet to the music. The dance floor, like the bar, is packed to the gills with swing dancers, twirling and dipping.

The Wort is a beautiful historic hotel located in downtown Jackson. The Silver Dollar Bar is located inside the hotel and it boasts an elaborate bar top with 2,032 uncirculated 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars inlaid in it. The bar is decorated with western oil paintings and western themed bronze statues. The bar is filled with small round tables which makes it the ideal place to gather with friends or significant other for an intimate drink.

The live music, including bluegrass on Tuesdays, always starts at 7:30PM. The nice thing about the Silver Dollar Bar is that they never charge a cover. Additionally, on Tuesday nights the bar is 21+ only. Bluegrass night is always popular so if you are hoping to get a table I would advise arriving early (around 7PM) to secure a spot. There isn’t much, if any, standing room available in the bar so arriving early and getting a table means that you will be able to enjoy your night without having to worry about being in the way of the waitress or other patrons.

The bar does have a bar menu so you can have dinner or snacks in the bar if you Silver Dollar Bar's Bartender's Margaritawant to go before dinner to secure your table. They also concoct a  delicious bartender’s Margarita. As well as being a fully stocked bar, they have an array of local and domestic beers on draft and glasses of wine on the menu. If you are in town on a Tuesday definitely make a point to stop by the Silver Dollar Bar for Bluegrass Tuesday. You won’t regret it!

December 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Mountainfest, PPP & Gaper Day 2012

This weekend is going to be packed with live music, incredible athletes and tons of neon and rear entry boots. Why do I say that? Because this weekend Jackson Hole Mountain Resort hosts their Mountainfest, the Jackson Hole Ski Club puts on their Pole Peddle Paddle event, and the Jackson locals dress up as gapers.

Mountain Festival occurs every spring at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Each year the resort brings in a new performer for a live concert in the main parking lot. Previous artists include Katchafire and Grace Potter. This year’s performer is G Love and Special Sauce. They are known for their unique, “sloppy”, and “laid back” blues sound that encompasses classic R&B. Ski all day or watch the Pole, Pedal, Paddle (PPP) and then enjoy music under the tram (Lazy Eyes) starting at 3pm followed by Elk Attack, opening for G. Love and Special Sauce at 5:30pm on the main stage in the parking lot. There will also be a fireworks display following the concert. There will be plenty of START buses on hand, as well cops looking to hand out DUIs, so just a friendly reminder, if you drink, whatever you do, don’t drive.

You may be wondering what the Pole, Pedal, Paddle (PPP) is. This annual event, started 37 years ago, encompasses an alpine and nordic ski race, boating section and bike race and allows the well rounded athletes of Jackson Hole to shine. You may complete the race as an individual or as a team. Many take the race seriously, but there are awards in a family class and fun class. In the family class the team members must be immediately related. The fun class is not judged on time, but rather on how much fun the team seems to be having. In the past, one team made a barge with a grill, DJ and dance floor and took it down the boating section. The race is entertaining to watch and will have an award ceremony at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort at 4pm.

On Sunday, come ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and watch the locals dress up as gapers and play around on April (Gaper) Fools Day. What is a gaper you may ask? Visit my post on the closing of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort from last year to find out. Just expect a lot of neon, one pieces, skate skis, fanny packs, headbands and of course, tom foolery. It is one of the most fun days at the ski resort, where it isn’t about the skiing, but rather entertaining each other. For a show, make sure to ride the Thunder lift and check out the Thunder bump run, where the locals will be trying to one up each other with daffy’s and spread eagles. So dust that one piece off, break out your neon headband and join all the locals on the slopes on April 1. This weekend is bound to be action packed and full of good times. See you on the hill!

March 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

St. Patty’s Day in Jackson Hole

Like the majority of Americans, I am a mutt: a combination of multiple ethnicities that leaves me questioning why my last name is Russian when I have more German blood in me. However, one day of the year, the miniscule (or large) Irish part of everyone in the US shines. Boston born and bred, I was under the assumption growing up that St. Patty’s Day was a large holiday, such as the Fourth of July, only bigger. The celebrations are so large that when I studied abroad I went to Dublin for St. Patty’s Day expecting an even larger party. To my dismay, there was hardly a celebration at all, just a family friendly parade through the downtown. When I moved to Jackson I had no idea how big the celebration would be. Would I be in for a surprise!

There is no doubt that Jackson Hole knows how to party, and Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception. The party starts in Teton Village. After a day on the slopes head down to the base area where the local band One Ton Pig will be kicking off the festivities at 3pm under the tram. Make sure you wear your green so that you can get $6 Irish Car Bombs in Wool & Whiskey.

If you are looking for something to do that it is family friendly, head over to Snow King Resort. Snow King’s annual pond skim starts at noon on Saturday. There will be food and a cash bar. The pond skim is always a great time – dress up in your greens or get creative with a costume if you want to participate. Prepare to get wet if you stand near the pond – some contestants aim to spray the crowd with icy water as they attempt to ski or snowboard across the pond.

If you are in town, make sure that you head over to the Snake River Brew Pub. Starting at 11:30am the Brew Pub will be offering liter steins which you may purchase and use for the remainder of your time at the Brew Pub. There will be authentic Irish cuisine and what St. Patty’s Day is complete without green beer? No Car Bombs here – the Brew Pub only serves wine and beer.  At 10pm DJ Vert One will drop some beats so make sure to wear your (green) party pants.

Wherever in Jackson you may be, Saturday night is bound to be a lively night. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band is playing at the Town Square Tavern starting at 8pm, Cherry Royale is playing at the Stagecoach in Wilson starting at 10pm ($10 cover) and as always, happy hour at the Cadillac Grille is from 4 to 6 and 10 to midnight. The Cadillac is closing for good on April 1, 2012, so make sure you make it to one last happy hour before then! So start getting your greens together and get ready to celebrate this Saint Patty’s Day with us in the Hole this Saturday.

March 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Spring Après Ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

As temperatures have begun to approach 50 degrees and the sunshine remains bright late into the day, après ski at Jackson Hole evolves. No longer forced to move into a bar to keep warm after you come off the slopes, during the weekends the area under the tram becomes a full on Spring Break party.

This weekend marks the beginning of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Music Under the Tram series. Every Saturday (starting this Saturday, March 10) until closing weekend, there will be a live band at the base of the tram dock. The band, which changes each week, starts at 3:30pm. Nick Wilson’s has built a snow bar so that you may have easy access to those well earned beers while dancing in your ski boots. Local’s tip: the base area is actually on overlapping private properties. All of the properties have their own liquor licenses so you may bring your own beer and save some cash. There are two liquor stores at the ski resort: there is one in the basement of the Mangy Moose called the Mangy Moose Cellars & Grocery and the second is the Teton Village Market, located across the main parking lot with an attached gas station. To save the most money, buy your booze in town, the liquor stores in Teton Village mark up the goods.

While waiting for the day to wind down and the music to start up at the base, head over to Casper Restaurant. This on-mountain restaurant has a deck as well as many outdoor picnic tables, arranged to perfect your goggle tan. The deck gets plenty of sun and the view of the rest of the mountain is rather easy on the eyes. Casper has a semi-full bar with a few beers on tap and your basic hard alcohols. They have a variety of specialty drinks that hit the spot. The Bloody Mary is a local favorite. New this year, Casper offers a variety of Jello shots. From Rum and Coke, Washington Apple to Lemon Meringue and Key Lime Pie these Jello shots are a work of art! The shots are 1 for $2 or 3 for $5. Clearly buying in bulk is the way to go. Just make sure that you don’t drink too much, it is an on-mountain restaurant after all, so you must ski down after imbibing.

I suggest that you take advantage of the sunshine and warm weather while you can. As the snow softens, the skiing gets more leisurely, no longer having to battle long lift lines for fresh powder. It’s a nice shift and the weather provides a glimpse of the summer to come after a long winter.

March 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2011 in Jackson

As the last day of 2011 approaches and the peer pressure surrounding your NYE plans bear down on you, breathe easy. Here are some great ways to spend New Years Eve.

For those with kids:

If you have active kiddos, head up to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. Kids can participate in a Glow Worm Parade on Teewinot – meet at 4:50pm at the Kids Ranch. Teewinot is the learning center, so even your little ones can participate. The Glow Worm parade starts at 5:30pm. Afterwards, watch the torchlight parade at 6:00pm as resort employees ski down Apres Vous.  Fireworks will follow the torchlight parade.

If you want to stay in town for the night, Snow King has a torchlight parade and fireworks that begin at 6:15pm. Head to the base of the mountain to see the show. You may see the fireworks from anywhere in the downtown area.

For Adults:

The Silver Dollar Bar & Grill

For those who are looking to have a swinging new years, The Silver Dollar Bar & Grill at the Wort Hotel has live music by Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers.  If you are looking to enjoy the night and not be around a bunch of hooligans this is a good option. And as a bonus, there is no cover.

The Couloir

Unfortunately, the tickets for New Year’s Eve at the Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are already sold out.

For those looking for a rip roaring good time:

The Town Square Tavern

By far the best place in town to have a rowdy New Year’s Eve, the Tavern boasts live music by Soul Impressions, who will be playing funk, soul and rock & roll. The band starts at 9:00pm and tickets are $10. Party favors and a free champagne toast at midnight is included in the ticket price.

The Q Roadhouse

If you are looking for a night filled with dancing, drinking and good times, the Q, located on Teton Village Road, is the place to be. With 4 DJ’s spinning tunes throughout the night, there will be some guaranteed booty shaking. Discofari, 11OOLA, Mr. Whipple and Cut la Whut will be working the crowd all night. The tickets are sold out online but there will be 50 tickets first come first serve at the door on the night of the 31st. Tickets are $20. For more information on New Year’s Eve at the Q Roadhouse click here.

The Stagecoach

Affectionately known as “The Coach” by the locals, I rang in 2011 at The Coach last year. Located in Wilson, Wyoming at the foot of Teton Pass, this bar has a great party atmosphere. Known for it’s Disco Night (ladies night) on every Thursday night, the dance floor is often covered in beer and is often filled with sweaty dancing coeds. This year the Coach is boasting a live band, Whiskey Morning, and a champagne toast at midnight. There is a cover charge of $5 at the door.

The Mangy Moose

If you are looking to rock out in Teton Village, the Mangy Moose has the Hell’s Belles returning to the stage for a NYE appearance.  This all female AC/DC cover band is known to rock the house. Tickets are $30 at the door, though they can also be bought online.

Planning to have a New Year’s Party of your own? The Liquor Store is having a New Year’s Eve Tasting on Friday, December 30th and Saturday, December 31st from noon until 7pm. Try 8 different bottles of sparkling wine before buying them for your party.

Wherever you happen to be on New Year’s Eve, just keep this one piece of advice in mind: if you drink, don’t drive. Honestly, it isn’t worth it. You will be caught, you will be put in jail for the night and you will have to pay a hefty fine. Our police are notorious for catching drunk drivers. Just call a cab.  For a list of taxi services click here. The rates on the list are incorrect as they are from Jackson Hole airport, but the taxis can pick you up and transport you from wherever you are. Also, remember that before 11:30pm the START Bus is also a great option.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2012 and I hope that you join us in ringing in the new year in style!

December 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

Music of the West

If you think that the time when the cowboys would sing ballads about their long lost loves or their herd of cows is a thing of the past, you are wrong. There are plenty of places in Jackson to listen to cowboys and locals alike strumming their guitars and singing everything from old western songs to bluegrass and country.

This past Monday night I experienced my first night at the Hootennany, held every Monday at Dornan’s in Moose, Wilson (by the south entrance to Grand Teton National Park). The Hootenanny is essentially an open mic night for the local musicians. However, it is not your typical open mic night, filled with pop hits and recognizable songs. Instead, the MC of the night, Bill Briggs, sets the tone for a night full of western folk songs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the valley icon, he is known as the first person to ski Grand Teton in 1971 and the father of extreme skiing. He plays a harpsichord and tells tales of the day when the west was wild with adventure.

Some of the musicians have been participating in the hootenanny ever since it was started. Bill will introduce them by saying: “This next singer has never missed a show. This is is 165th hootenanny, please welcome to the stage…” Most strum a guitar and sing. Others bring guest stars up for a song or two; inviting a bass, banjo or ukulele player to share the stage with them. Men in cowboy hats, bandannas and vests sing folk song, others sing original songs that they have written about Jackson. The hootenanny kicks off at 6, but if you want a seat, I’d suggest that you get there before 5:30. They have great pizza and beer, so I’d plan on having dinner there too!

On Sunday nights at the Stagecoach, located at the base of the Teton Pass in Wilson, Bill Brigg’s band takes the stage. Plenty of cowboys and girls alike come out and swing dance the night away to old country favorites. If you enjoy bluegrass I would suggest that you head over to the Wort’s Silver Dollar Bar on Tuesday nights around 7 to listen to music and swing dance. A 6 piece band gets the crowd up and out of their seats, dancing the night away. Yet again, if you plan to get a seat, I would recommend that you get there around 6:30 or so. All of the music that I have talked about so far is free of charge.

Lastly, if you are not here during Sunday through Tuesday and want to experience a true western supper and show I suggest that you get tickets to Bar J Chuckwagon or Bar T 5 Chuckwagon Supper. Bar T 5 takes you for a ride in a covered wagon out to a tented campsite where you are served dinner and then serenaded by cowboys and girls. Bar J Chuckwagon serves you a chuckwagon supper under the cover of their barn. After dinner the famous Bar J Wranglers take the stage and sing about life on the farm and the old wild west. Both are family friendly venues and equally entertaining. Experiencing the wild west is not just about seeing the sites, but rather experiencing the culture of the old west through music and story telling. I hope that you have a chance to attend one of the fabulous shows that I have listed above while you are visiting.

June 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment


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