It's been a while since I've been out to dance at Glen Echo, but dancing at the Dulles Hilton Friday night was a lot more fun, because…
It was a "pajama party" (literally), however and thank goodness, I didn't get the message and didn't show up in my night clothes, but had I gotten the message, I would not have shown up in my night clothes. Egad. The instructors wore full-length Superman and Batman p.js. with capes and danced in bunny slippers which are good for sliding around. Gotta Swing is the Friday night host.
You know about dancing's benefits, right? The physical, emotional, and mental exercise is terrific, and I've never been disappointed in the bands at either of these dance halls.
Bad Influence played, and they were spot-on! Bluesy, jazzy and fast, just what I needed and like. Sadly (yes, Virginia, there is a "sadly,") I missed the 30-minute lesson which precedes the dance. I always have a better time when I arrive in time for the lesson for the fellas get to know you a little bit.
Anyway, why dancing at the Dulles Hilton is better:
1. The ratio of men to women at the Hilton was smaller than Glen Echo's, according to my unscientific survey (4 to 5 at Dulles vs. 2.5 to 4 at Glen Echo, more or less) which means we women get to dance a lot more at the Hilton.
2. For Northern Virginia residents, the Dulles Hilton is closer and does not require driving on the Beltway. The Hilton has great directions, too, right here, including routes which bypass the pricey Dulles toll road.
3. The Hilton's parking is closer to the entrance, better lighted, and more secure.
4. The Hilton's dance floor is smaller, about half or less than Glen Echo's, and is divided up into three dance floors, making for a more intimate experience.
5. The dancers seemed more serious about the purpose.
6. Hilton participants seemed happier, smiled more, and, on the whole, were more relaxed (in their p.js.) and a lot older (generally speaking) than the Glen Echo crowd (or, at least, the last time I was there when a marriage proposal of sorts was extended). (On the other hand, the Hilton event was more like a club for most of the participants knew each other, and newcomers can feel like intruders unless you force yourself to engage.)
7. The Hilton has a bar.
8. The cost is about the same ($15) for both places.
But, the number one reason Dulles is better:
1. The Hilton's ballroom is heated. (Does Glen Echo got heat now?)
But who needs heat anyway when you're dancing? There's enough of it on the floor. Several fans at the Hilton helped keep us cool, but we're all cool enough anyway, natch.
Stay tuned for a Glen Echo update. Or, how do you think they compare?
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Who: Click here for bands
What: Swing dancing
When: Friday nights from 9 - 12 p.m. with a class at 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Dulles Hilton, 13869 Park Center Road, Herndon, VA 20171, ph. 703-478-2900
How much: $15
For more information: debra@gottaswing. com, ph. 703-359-9882
Metro station: One of these days