Big Band dancing

Nashville’s Dancin’ to Big Bands and More this Summer

It’s time to put on your dancing shoes, grab a partner and dance the night away in Nashville!

Dancers in motion

Under starry summer nights, what better way to celebrate life than swaying to the Big Band music of a full orchestra in sight of the floodlit Parthenon, or listening to premier artists on stage at Riverfront Park. Live music’s what Nashville’s known for and this summer boasts an impressive collection of tuneful talent.

Big Band drummerThe Big Band Dances in Centennial Park are so much fun, even if you don’t have a partner. Every Saturday night, 7-10 p.m. from now until August, a different 10-22 piece Big Band plays for nearly three hours. The atmosphere is electric, charged with the energy and diversity of the crowd who pack the dance floor, eager to relive the music of one of the world’s greatest dance eras.

Come and dance or join the throngs camped on blankets and lawn chairs around the outskirts of the dance pavilion, simply people watching and enjoying the music.

couples closeupdance fun for all agesThis is the best free entertainment imaginable, popular with all ages, and a perfect date night or place to go with a group of friends.

I’m amazed at the number of college students shimmying alongside seniors who’ve been dancing for a lifetime. If you come just one time, you’ll find yourself eager to return. I only regret that my husband and I had not discovered this fun venue years ago.

Big Band Dances are celebrating their 30th anniversary in Nashville and they’ve been held at Centennial Park for the past twelve. Promoted by Metro Parks in partnership with radio WAMB, the Tennessee Arts Commission and Dance World, the event has become a popular summertime tradition.

Big Band tromboneEvery Saturday evening, Dance World teaches a different dance in its 7-7:30 p.m. and 8:30-8:50 p.m. instruction time slots. It may be tango or waltz, salsa, foxtrot or swing. If you’re single or unattached, this is the perfect time to join in. After guys and gals are split into sides on the dance floor to learn the steps, everyone is encouraged to randomly find a dance partner and then the band strikes up.

Back in the heart of downtown Nashville on the shores of the Cumberland River, the party kicks into gear every Thursday night from June – August 1. Nashville Dancin’ takes center stage at Riverfront Park with a mix of big named stars and local musicians playing every genre from hip-hop to hard rock. Music at Nashville Dancin - Royal Southern Brotherhood and Britt Ronstadt 2This free weekly event is great for the whole family. Add to that the bonus of free parking at LP Field and a free shuttle to Riverfront Park, and Nashville’s summer outdoor concert series is a winner. You may enjoy walking across our lovely pedestrian bridge rather than taking the shuttle.

Nashville Dancin' crowdIlluminated riverboats cruising past paint a romantic backdrop to a night of music under the stars. The doors open at 5 p.m. for Happy Hour and the music begins at 6 p.m. A fleet of Nashville’s finest food trucks offer a wide swath of specialties to satisfy your culinary cravings.

Nashville Dancin’, presented by Dollar General, TomKats Inc., and Kaleidescope Media, is the revitalized version of the much beloved Dancin’ in the District that was familiar to a whole generation of Nashvillians. It helped bring new life to lower Broadway with some of the best live music in downtown Nashville.

Nashville Dancin on the riverfront 2This is the first exciting summer of Nashville Dancin’ and it’s sure to make for a great night out for downtown professionals, tourists, families and anyone who loves music. Start your weekend early every Thursday night and you’ll be primed and ready to discover all Nashville has to offer.

Your dance card really could be full every night!

Tell us your favorite dance spot in Nashville in the comments section below.

Looking for more great summer trip ideas? Visit our Summer in Tennessee site and enter our #MakeSummerLast sweepstakes for a chance to win a Tennessee vacation for 4 to Chattanooga!

Hi! I’m Dayle Fergusson. As a transplanted Aussie living in Middle Tennessee since 1986, I have been a freelance travel...Read on

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