Kickin’ It to Live Country Western Music

Ranch resident and Western dancer Dianne Johns won the door prize at the July 2023 Western dance featuring live music by Wild Ride. (Photo by Bob Authur)

Janelle Authur

Ranch Western dancers enjoyed two more boot-scootin’, heel stompin’ Western dance parties on July 14 and Aug. 4 in the Sol Ballroom at the Ranch House. Tucson-area band Wild Ride provided the live music in July and Patrick Rayl and the .357 Band did the honors in August.

Recognizing the popularity of Western dancing in Tucson, the SBR Social Dance Club held its first monthly Western dance in September 2021. September and October 2021 dances were “No Frills, Boom Box” dances, with Ranch resident Bob Authur as DJ. In November 2021, the club sponsored its first live-at-the-Ranch Western band, Wild Ride, and hasn’t looked back since, bringing some of the best-known and respected Tucson-area Country Western bands to the Sol Ballroom.

In July, more than 80 Western dancers put on their Wranglers and boots and took to the dance floor. In August, 68 dancers enjoyed the music and original songs of Patrick Rayl and the .357 Band.

All the monthly Western dances feature a door prize, with entry requirements that change each month—such as cowboy boots or hats, or, in July “wearing a bandana” and in August “something plaid.” July dancers tied bandanas of all colors and styles on hats, wrists, ankles, and as neckwear to meet the entry requirements. The July winner, Dianne Johns, won two tickets to the August dance. August winner Phyllis Pettijohn won a four-pack of Ranch House beer.

All levels of dancers are welcome at the dances and newer dancers are encouraged to “come on down” and practice their newly acquired skills. The bands play a wide variety of Country Western music, including two-step, waltzes, swing, partner pattern, and a few Western line dances. Given the size of the dance floor, registration is limited to 90 dancers.

At the upcoming Sept. 8 dance, the club will celebrate two years of monthly Western dances at the Ranch, recognizing the support of club members and Western dancers with reduced admission. The Anthony Taylor Jr. Band with their “long live the steel guitar” motto will be the featured band, playing at the Ranch for the first time. Most recently, the Anthony Taylor Jr. Band was a headliner for the annual Barn Dance at the 2023 Tucson Rodeo.

Clear Country returns on Friday, Oct. 13, with Patrick Rayl and the .357 Band bringing their music on Thursday, Nov. 9. Whiskey Riverdogs rounds out the dance year playing on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Western dance lessons include the two-step, Western waltz, swing, and partner pattern dances.  Beginning Arizona two-step and Western waltz lessons resume on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

For details on dances and lessons in 2023 and/or to register, go to the club’s website at

Information on the dances and lessons is emailed directly to club members and those on the club’s mailing list. Details are also included on the club’s website, the Ranch Reminder, and the Ranch Events weekly newsletters.