We Love Cajun and Zydeco Music As Much As You!

THE BON TEMPS SOCIAL CLUB OF SAN DIEGO was established with its first dance on Valentine's Day in 1991 by Peter Oliver and Maryann Blinkhorn to spread their love of Louisiana Cajun dancing to the San Diego community. Since that time the music has changed to include Creole zydeco in its various forms, and San Diego has embraced the Louisiana music and culture wholeheartedly. The Bon Temps Social Club of San Diego was incorporated as a California Public Benefit Corporation in April 2001. It is recognized by the IRS as a 501c(3) not for profit organization. It is a member organization of the International Dance Association (IDA) of San Diego County.

Other popular San Diego dance events have been spawned by the Bon Temps Social Club. One dance a month was not enough to satisfy San Diego's zydeco dance fanatics, so in 2000 BTSC member Greg Benusa set out to host weekly dances at a local bar. More than ten years later, Greg continues to host weekly dances which include one or two dance lessons followed by two hours of open dancing in the bar at Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant off Morena Blvd. in San Diego. He sometimes features live bands. In 2001 members of the BTSC led by Peter Oliver, Catherine Miller and Maryann Blinkhorn produced the first "Gator By The Bay Cajun-Zydeco Music & Food Festival," as the event was billed. Gator By the Bay has since been an annual festival which has grown in popularity each year and evolved to include blues, country and many ethnic musical genres. It attracts more than 20,000 people, many from the far reaches of the United States, each year on Mother's Day weekend. It also involves the volunteer efforts of a couple hundred Bon Temps regulars to put on such a massive event. The calendar pages of this Website lists events including all of Greg's dances, Gator By The Bay Cajun-Zydeco, Blues and Crawfish Festival, local public concerts featuring local Cajun-zydeco bands, as well as regional and national Cajun-zydeco dance events. Check out our Links page to further explore many organizations, bands, and venues which sustain the Louisiana-style music scene and culture.

Monthly dances of the Bon Temps Social Club feature Louisiana-style live music with a dance lesson for beginners before the dance. They are usually held on the second Saturday evening of the month at the War Memorial Building in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park. The free-with-admission dance lesson begins at 6:20 p.m., and the open dancing to live music is 7:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The philosophy of the club is "If you're smiling you're doing it right" --- which is another way of saying everyone at any age or skill level is welcome at our dances. We certainly hope you will choose to join us at one of our dances, and discover for yourself how much fun dancing to Louisiana-style music can be. The cost of attending our monthly dances is $10.  (By the way, if you've never been to one of our dances before, your admission to your first dance is just $5.)

Please feel free to contact BTSC President Al Gardner (al4video@gmail.com) with questions, concerns and ideas relating to our club and our monthly dance events.

To receive our free email newsletter updates which keep our members informed of last-minute dance opportunities and other news, contact Jan Maxted at jemaxted@yahoo.com.


Bon Temps Social Club Board of "Doers"

President: Al Gardner (al4video@gmail.com)

1st Vice President: Garry Todd (garrytodd@gmail.com)

2nd Vice President: Steve Petty (socalzydeco@aol.com)

Membership: Carole O. (carole.os@gmail.com)

Treasurer: Margaret S.

Secretaries: Jan M. and Barbara D.

Event Coordination: Bill C., Renee F., Greg B., Carole O.

Band Coordination: Steve Petty (socalzydeco@aol.com)


Doers Emeritus:

Peter O., Maryann B., Tom W.


Other Volunteers Extraordinaire include:

Ron T., Andrea P., Joann S., Pat M.




Bon Temps Social Club of San Diego | Hosted by Jim Hance