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Nightlife

Kickin’ it country: the dancefloor still rules at Stoney’s

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Even if you’ve never line danced, Stoney’s will help you get in the groove.
Photo: Bill Hughes

Stoney’s Rockin’ Country saloon during National Finals Rodeo week—you can’t get more country than that. Not in Vegas, at least.

My girlfriend and I planned to arrive at the new Town Square location at 7:30 p.m. for the free line dance lesson. But when we finally got into the car at 10, I realized, unless they played the “Cha Cha Slide,” we were out of luck.

The Details

Stoney’s Rockin’ Country
6611 Las Vegas Blvd. S. #160, 435-2855.

Swear to God: The second song they played after we arrived was “Cha Cha Slide.”

After Mr. C went out (y’all), we stepped off the dancefloor and took in the sights. Signed guitars on the wall, mounted TVs playing country music videos, a chandelier made of beer bottles. The new Stoney’s is smaller than the old one—“more intimate” in PR-speak—but it’s also more polished. Now, the dancefloor is in the middle, so if you’re not dancing, you’re watching the dancing. You’re watching the twirling two-steppers and the go-gos in cutoffs. (Poor things, trying to line dance on those three-by-three-foot podiums.)

The DJ got on the mic and congratulated a newly married couple. He said that they requested a swing song, and then he played the countriest swing song I’ve ever heard. I don’t imagine the couple minded. After all, you don’t come to Stoney’s the night of your wedding and then object that the music is too country.

Next the DJ played Tracy Byrd’s “Watermelon Crawl”—another song with its own line dance. As the hatted men and sparkly butted girls moved to the dancefloor, I saw something I’ve never seen at Stoney’s before: mistakes. At the old location, the line dancers moved like Philippine inmates dancing to “Thriller”—everyone perfectly in step. But here, the dancers were human, so my girl and I felt comfortable joining them, hoping to figure out the dance as we went along. I got 95 percent of the sequence, but couldn’t figure out which way to turn at the end. I finally got it … right as the song finished.

Walking off the dancefloor, a bouncer grabbed my shoulder and asked, “Is this your hat?” It was big and it was black and it looked good. But before I could say anything, the hat’s owner stepped forward to claim it. If I had said “yes,” it might have led to a fight (i.e., a much better story), but in saying no, I lived to dance another night.

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Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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