Some of you may know the story, some may not…

Fade back a few years. The social dancing scene in Vancouver is okay, but pales in comparison to a big city like Portland, which is booming with venues that feature a wide selection of dance styles (did you know Portland is one of the top destinations in the US for Argentine Tango?). For those that live in the ‘Couv’, going dancing in Portland can be an adventure. Traffic, finding the venue, then parking are all obstacles to overcome, taking time away from the dance floor. Oh! And did I mention the traffic?

Once you make it to the dance floor, it’s easy to see that dancing is truly an amazing hobby. Your body gets to work, your brain gets to work and your social muscles get to work- sometimes all at the same time. Dancing also helps facilitate meeting new people; in fact, that’s how VanCity started. A group of strangers found out they were old friends that hadn’t met yet (podagra!).


The friends were taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray and started hanging out after class at Applebees. One night, after they had proven their mental prowess by winning multiple rounds of trivia (told you dancing works your brain), they started talking about how most of the best social dancing venues were in Portland, how they had to sit in traffic to get there and how much “fun” it was to find parking. Inspiration struck and they wrote some notes down on a napkin. You all know that napkins are the essential ingredient for starting things.

The magical napkin sat dormant for a few months, while the friends went about their lives- chit chatting here and there about VanCity (at the time the working name was Vancouver Dance Society… Do you have VDS?), when one of the friends decided to take action by finding a building, gathering some music and setting an open date (who remembers the thousands of metal chairs when VanCity first opened?).

There you have it! VanCity was born and, as they say, the rest is history.

But what exactly is VanCity? The music? The dance board? The potlucks? The instructors? Nope… Each person who goes to VanCity to dance becomes a part of our dance family. VanCity Ballroom is a community of folks who come out each Saturday to have a good time learning to dance and who love dancing with other folks in the comfort of their own backyard… in the ‘Couv.

by Michael Beavers
Published 09/01/18


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