Crystal Ballroom in Portland

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Have you ever wanted to walk on air while dancing to 80’s music surrounded by the likes of Gary Numan, Pat Benatar, Madonna, Robert Palmer, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Rick Astley, and Corey Hart?

If the answer to any of the questions above is yes, then you need to Walk Like an Egyptian over to the Crystal Ballroom at 13th and Burnside in downtown Portland.

Unless there is a concert, every Friday night the Crystal Ballroom hosts a costumed 80’s dance party. Here, in the heart of downtown Portland, more than twenty years after the conclusion of the decade of new wave, pastels, Miami Vice, and the single earring look, you can relive those times dancing to the high fashion, pomp and circumstance of 1980’s music videos while dancing on a ball bearing floor which makes you feel like you’re literally dancing on air.

The Crystal Ballroom, owned by the McMenamin’s family, is just another example of the lengths McMenamin’s will go to offer unique entertainment. The floor was trucked into Portland, piece by piece from a condemned club in New York and patched together in the huge upper floor, next to the Crystal Hotel and above a McMenamin’s bar (which means easy access to such wonderful brewers concoctions as the Terminator Stout and the Ruby).

Concerts are a staple here, with medium-sized bands including Death Cab for Cutie, Sunny Day Real Estate, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and others blasting music through these halls. When live music isn’t happening, however, the 80’s dance parties take center stage, complete with glow sticks, leg warmers, slap bracelets, stone washed jeans, sunglasses at night, and enough Aqua Net hairspray to rip a hole in the Ozone Layer.

So if you’re looking for a place to dance and get physical, you should walk, drive, or bus down to Burnside and hit the Crystal Ballroom with your best shot.  You can always make a night of it and enjoy some European style hotel visits at the Crystal Hotel without even having to re-park your car.

For a totally radical experience, put on your finest white jacket, your best pair of leg warmers, some Keds, anything neon and come dance with my wife and I (or just dance with yourself, if that’s your thing). The Crystal Ballroom 80’s dance parties will, in the words of Rick Astley, never let you down.

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