Starlight Blues

Blues Dancing Under the Stars in Pittsburgh

Typically Saturday late-nights (early Sunday) starting at about 12:20am, weather permitting. Grandview Overlook, opposite Saint Mary of the Mount Church (403 Grand­view Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15211).

Why do we do this? We love to dance! Many of us head up to the over­look on Mt. Wash­ing­ton for free DJed music follow­ing Swing City in Squir­rel Hill because three hours of dancing is not enough. Want to be sure never to miss a dance? See below — Face­book is not a re­liable way to hear about these late nights.

Being outdoors in public at a popular viewpoint (part of Pittsburgh's Eme­rald View Park), we see all kinds of inter­est­ing people come by: hula-hoop­ers, fire-spin­ners, bach­elor­ette par­ties, formal wed­ding photo­graphy shoots, and more. Some even join in the dancing!

When Is a Dance Ann­ounc­ed?

Since this is an outdoor dance, the de­cis­ion whe­ther to actually hold it is based on the weath­er fore­cast for Mount Wash­ing­ton as of the morn­ing before the dance (gen­er­ally: at least 60°F and less than 20% chance of pre­cip­ita­tion). We'll then up­date the status of a plan­ned dance from "ten­tative" to either "con­firmed" or "cancelled".

Getting Notifications:

  1. You can ask to be added to the mail­ing list by send­ing email to .
    You will receive an email the morn­ing of a plan­ned dance if it has been confirmed.
  2. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your fav­orite news reader.
  3. You can add the to your own Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Outlook, or other iCal-compat­ible cal­endar by past­ing the follow­ing cal­endar address into the appro­priate "sub­scribe to cal­endar", "add other cal­endars", or "Other Calendars: Add by URL" (Google) form:
  4. Or, you can return to this page and check the agenda (click on an event to toggle details).

Do not rely on Facebook to be notified of dances! Only about a third of them wind up being listed on the HMB or Swing City pages.

Weather Radar

Getting There

From Swing City: Take Murray Ave­nue down the hill. Get on I-376 West and follow signs to the Liberty Bridge. Cross the bridge, and turn right at the sig­nal on the far side (don't enter the tun­nel). At the top of Mount Wash­ing­ton, PJ Mc­Ardle Road­way makes a sharp left to an inter­sect­ion. Turn left at the inter­sect­ion and go 1.5 blocks. If you reach the stop sign, you overshot by 50 feet.

From Absolute Ball­room: Take Fifth Avenue to Oak­land. Past the Cathe­dral of Learn­ing, fol­low the signs for I-579 to get on Boule­vard of the Allies, then fol­low the signs to the Liberty Bridge and con­tinue as above. (Fol­low the signs to I-376 West instead if the Liberty Bridge is closed.)

If the Liberty Bridge is closed: Take I-376 West to the Grant Street exit. Turn left onto Fort Pitt Blvd at the first light, then turn left onto Smith­field Street at the fol­low­ing traf­fic light. Continue as below.

From Downtown: Cross the Smith­field Street Bridge to­ward Sta­tion Sq­uare. Turn left onto Car­son Street at the traf­fic light, then turn right at the fol­low­ing light and turn right again just after the under­pass. Take East Syc­amore Street up the side of Mount Wash­ing­ton and turn right at the inter­sect­ion (you'll be fac­ing a Do Not Enter sign). Fol­low the street around the 90-degree left bend to the brightly lit church.

From Elsewhere: Click "View larger map" to access Google's directions.

Note that the Thomas J. Gallagher Overlook (its official name, after a former mayor) is just a con­crete platform — it has no facili­ties of any kind, nor are there any nearby. Please pre­pare acc­ord­ingly.

What is Blues Dancing?

Contemporary Blues dance has roots in African tribal rhythms, combined with modern tech­niques. "Blues-idiom" dancing is a family of dances and move­ments done to blues music which share common features of

Blues styles include "Jookin'" (Juke Joint Blues), "Ballroomin'" ([Harlem] Ballroom Blues), "Struttin'", "Slow Drag", "Drag Blues", and more.

For more Blues dancing, come to Peter's Pub in Oakland for Hot Metal Blues every Tuesday. No cover, free lesson from 8-9pm.


Latest: August 18th, September 16th.

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