imageNot living on the West Coast, it has taken me a while to become familiar with the wildly popular Hot Flash Dances for women. I was drawn to the name, wondering about any intended double meaning.

Olivia Travel just sponsored one in San Francisco with a Bollywood theme. Intrigued and curious, I looked into this six-year-old party circuit for women.

Hot Flash Dances (photos) are parties designed to cater to seasoned women who are too old for the 20s scene and too young to stop dancing. They feature an eclectic mix of dance tunes from the ‘60s to today. The Hot Flash is held earlier in the evening so you can either continue club hopping or make it bed by a decent hour.

imageOut west, the events draw hundreds of women out for a relaxed, fun, dance-filled evening. Music ranges from 1960s Motown and ‘70s disco to ‘80s new wave. It appeals to women from their 30s to late 60s. Hot Flash Dances were Voted “Best Women’s Dance Regardless of Sexual Orientation” in Best of Seattle 2008 Magazine.

Pauline Miriam started Hot Flash in Portland, Oregon, in 2004. She found herself single after age 50 and refused to settle for community potlucks and the young bar scene to meet women.

As they age or enter a relationship, lesbians tend to stop supporting bars and clubs in favor of socializing at home. There are fewer dances and events that cater to them, and Hot Flash Dances fill the void. Couples and singles are welcome, and newbies are introduced to regulars more like a party and less like a club.

“What we find is that the women who come, being a little older, are much friendlier,” says Miriam, who met her partner at one of the dances. “Women find connections that are romantic, political, social and professional.”

Miriam keeps adding more cities to the circuit that includes Eugene, Oregon, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, Olympia, Wash., and San Diego. Great news: Atlanta has one in the works.

imageHere is my suggestion for your winter getaway. Pick one of the cities hosting a Saturday Hot Flash on the Hot Flash Calendar Map, and make a weekend out of it. All of the cities are beautiful travel destinations with lots to see and do.

For a longer trip, take Amtrak and enjoy the scenery between the cities. The dances happen every weekend.

The most popular is in Seattle, held every other week. The party draws from 300-500 women. Hot Flash Seattle also sponsors a softball team. Air from Atlanta to Seattle is running $340 (subject to change).

Held at Neighbors Nightclub, Hot Flash Seattle is near Cal Anderson Park and close to many LGBT-friendly hotels. See TAG Approved for reliable suggestions.

imageJo Giraudo, owner of Insider Traveler, is a Certified Cruise Consultant working in metro Atlanta. For the latest travel trends and hot insider tips, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).