Boot Scootin’

The days of petticoats and neckerchiefs may have passed, but you’ll find that the cowboys and cowgirls of Jackson Hole still possess the same lively Wyoming spirit that prevailed a century ago. While the famed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar has experienced its fair share of upgrades, it still encapsulates the timeless joy of hunkering down to some great music and swinging your partner around on the dance floor.

The neon lights of the world famous Cowboy Bar illuminate the Jackson Hole boardwalk.

The neon lights of the world famous Cowboy Bar illuminate the Jackson Hole boardwalk.

Jackson often is referred to as “The Last of the Old West”,  a fitting nickname for a modern town still clinging to remnants of the cowboy era. The clunking of boots on the wood-planked sidewalks and the occasional rattle of spurs pale in comparison to the country tunes and clack of billiards balls that will erupt from “the Cowboy” on the weekends.

Stepping through the wooden doors you’ll immediately get a sense of why people have been frequenting the Cowboy since its official opening in 1937. Knobby pine pillars and saddled barstools along with a fair share of taxidermied animals spread throughout the expansive room, each accent luring you back towards the stage and the dance floor.

The sounds classical of Jackson Hole's western heritage wind through a 1950's audio amplifier.

The sounds classical of Jackson Hole’s western heritage wind through a 1950’s audio amplifier.

Now, western swing dancing is a common sight in any Jackson bar featuring live music. You might see some boot-scootin’ at the Silver Dollar Bar on a Tuesday night, but for the real authentic western swing, look no further than the Cowboy. Gentlemen, you might need to stand back and learn from the best, as the old locals scoop up your ladies for a lively two-step. But don’t feel intimidated. One of the town’s old mottos, “Live and Let Live”, counts just as much on the dance floor. You won’t feel any judgmental eyes shooting daggers at you at the Cowboy no matter what moves you fancy.

Unless, of course, you start square dancing…