A Country-Western and Swing Dancer’s Travel Guide

A Country-Western and Swing Dancer’s Travel Guide / Places to Dance and Dance Groups Around the World For Lesbian and Gay Dancers and Their Friends

Jim Drew, currently of Seattle, WA.  I do rely on the input of people from around the world to keep the information current; Kinko’s prints and assembles the printed guides; Century Graphics prints the t-shirts; and Earthlink is my webhost provider.  But all the gathering of information, graphic design (logo, print, and web), data entry, updating, and such is just me, plus a cat constantly pestering me to play with her.

How long have you been doing this?

The first printed version of the Travel Guide was released in September, 1996, at the IAGLCWDC Convention in Los Angeles.  Two versions are released each year, so twelve print editions have been released through the end of 2001.  The earliest version of the website was done in May, 1997, but it was never made public.  The first public version of the web site was begun in October, 1998 (as pages were added to this version, they were frozen in the old one, beginning in December 2001).

Is the printed version really free?

This is my way of “giving back” to the community.    The cost per copy for the current versions is about $1.75 apiece, including folding and stapling.  (I estimate that I’ve spent over $3000 on this to date.  No grants, no payments.  No ad revenue thus far.  That sum will increase more now that I have a domain name to support.)

If you request a printed version by mail, I charge a little to help cover the printing and postage (but even then, I don’t cover all the costs, intentionally).

How many copies do you print?

I produce an updated edition for each of the IAGLCWDC’s two annual conventions (200-250 copies for the larger summer convention, about 150 copies for the smaller one which occurs usually in the fall or spring).  I usually have 10-20 copies left which I take with me in handfuls when I travel out of state, leaving them in other cities.  (Such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Springs, and my other typical ports of call.)

How can I get a copy?

The best way, of course, is to come to an IAGLCWDC convention, or some other dance event I’ll be at.  If you’re in Seattle, send me e-mail: we’ll go out dancing, and I’ll get you a copy personally.  But if that won’t work, see that button labelled “Merchandise”, up and to the left?  Click on it.

Why isn’t this available in PDF?  For Palm Pilots?  Microsoft Reader?  With dancing hamsters and music?

PDF: Actually, it is.  Click here to download a copy.  (You’ll need Acrobat 4.0 or higher to read the file.)  The current version is fropm July 2002.

Palm Pilot: This is in the works.  Getting the new web version going has been more important.

Microsoft Reader (or other eBook formats): See the Palm Pilot answer.

Dancing Hamsters and Music: Don’t make me come over there and hit you.

What is the IAGLCWDC?  The IAGSDC?  The IGRA?

IAGLCWDC: International Association of Gay/Lesbian Country Western Dance Clubs.  Find out more here.

IAGSDC: International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs (A Lesbian and Gay Organization).  Find out more here.

IGRA: International Gay Rodeo Association.  Find out more here.

Why isn’t my favorite bar listed?  Why isn’t my group listed?

The most likely reason is because I don’t know about it!  (It’s also possible that someone told me that country-western dancing was no longer done there, so I removed it.  I trust people to be accurate at least to that degree.)  So please send me the information I need to include it: click here.

Some of your info is pretty old, don’t you think?

It sure is.  Some of the oldest information is stuff I gathered from other sources which may themselves have been out of date at the time.  But I don’t want to delete something until I have confirmation that the venue or group actually is defunct.  So with this version of the Travel Guide, look for the “Confirmed On:” information, which will tell you how long it has been since I have had any current information on the venue or group.  The older the listing is, the more likely it is to be out of date, and the more I encourage you to call the place first.  (And then let me know what you find out!)

The owner of Bar XYZ is a real assh*le.  Why isn’t that in the review notes?

I’m sure he is, or at least I’m sure you’ve run into him on a bad day.  To other people, he might be a bundle of joy; and not to put you down, but his reaction to you might be your own fault.  (I’ve seen it happen.)  In many cases, bar owners who are bad are bad to certain regulars, while visitors and locals whom the owner doesn’t interact with never see that side of his personality.

I want to put forward gay and lesbian country-western’s best foot.  (And selfishly, I don't want to be sued for libel.)  For the first five years of doing the Travel Guide, I refused to do any reviews, and the print version will never carry them.  So the reviews on this site will tend to downplay (but not totally ignore) the bad side of things.  My site, my choice.

Cool fonts.  Which ones are they?

The bouncy, blocky font used for the title of the site and the navigation buttons is Chilada ICG Uno.  The thin-lined font used for city names and a few other places is ITC Tempus Sans.  The boots in the DANCE! logo are from Giddyup Thangs, and the letters are Rachel New92 (got this from a CD with 1000 fonts on it, I think, so it's probably a rip-off from something else).

Nifty logo.  Can I get it on a t-shirt or a baseball cap?

T-shirts are the only logo merchandise so far.  Click here.

What can I do to help?

The absolute best thing you can do is to seek out and send me current information on dance venues and dance groups where you are and wherever you travel to.  Even if it’s just “I heard there's a place in Tulsa on Tuesday nights,” that’s information I can use, since people going to Tulsa can then know to check out the bars there on Tuesday rather than Thursday.

If you notice any problems with links on this site, please e-mail me.  If you have requests or suggestions for how I can improve things, they are welcome.  And if you spot any typos, let me know!

If you want to make a cash contribution, those are always welcome, too.  You can send them to the address listed here.