Pump up the Volume and Shake at These D.C. Dance Clubs
By Gina Gallucci White
Washington Local Expert
Stressed out over a job? Is a midterm paper due in the next few days? Need some time with friends to just have a good time? Well, put on a fashionable outfit and some comfortable yet stylish shoes and be ready to dance your cares away in Washington, D.C. 10Best has gotten past the bouncers and navigated the dance floors to discovered the best spots to cut loose while visiting the nation's capital. (Really some water and rest is in order now.)
If you enjoy clubs with an exclusive feel with VIP areas, head over to Josephine or Kabin Lounge. The district's premiere gay dance club, Town Danceboutique, not only offers a large dance space but unforgettable shows as well. For those who prefer dancing to live music, U Street Music Hall or the Nightclub 9:30 are your best bets for a good time. Want to dance yet find clubs are not your scene? Try The Jam Cellar which only serves water and teachers beginners to advanced swing and lindy hop routines. Try your moves out on the dance floor to a DJ after you have mastered the moves.
They say that music soothes the soul so a night of dancing is sure to help too in the nation's capital.
Four floors of fun await at Midtown Partyplex. Get started on the Midtown floor serving up a lounge-style atmosphere and semi-private and VIP areas. Take the party on up to The Loft which hosts an entertainment parlor of activities including a raised platform for live music and games to play like pool, shuffleboard and foosball. Continue on Penthouse Midtown which has a lounge feel with an indoor dance floor and an outdoor patio. Make your final stop at the Midtown Rooftop where you can get a view of the area while dancing your cares away. (Sorry no monuments are within site here.) METRO: Dupont Circle or Farragut North (202-681-1219)
The Jam Cellar
If you are looking for a place to cut a rug but not have people bumping and grinding all over you to current music, head over to The Jam Cellar -- a dance hall located inside a 19th century restored mansion. Pop in for lessons in swing and the lindy hop on Tuesday nights. Beginners are welcome along with intermediate and advanced dancers too. The first lesson is absolutely free so why not try it out! If you love it, additional lessons come with a charge. The only drink here is water so be prepared to have sober fun. METRO: U Street or Woodley Park (202-569-8329)
Promising 'grandeur, fun and light-hearted delinquency,' Heist will steal you in to a world of 'sleek. sophistication and cool.' This place really starts to come alive after midnight so be ready to dance when the DJ starts playing Top 40, electronic dance and hip hop hits. You must be 21 to enter and acceptable dress is considered smart and stylish. Gold is the color palette and take note of how many different places you will find it. Check out their drink menu including specialty cocktails like Pretty Boy Floyd, Stopwatch Gang and Parker. Beers, liquors and wines by the glass are also available. METRO: Dupont Circle (202-716-2055)
The official title is Nightclub 9:30 but most know the venue as the 9:30 Club. Some of the most popular names and bands in music perform at this intimate venue. Just scroll through the upcoming shows list and you will be amazed by the talent. While you are enjoying some incredible music, order a tasty dish off their menu which includes vegetarian and vegan friendly items or stop by one of four bars for beer, spirits or non-alcoholic beverages. They even have a coffee bar for those who may want a caffeine boost to take in their favorite performers. METRO: U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo. (202-393-0930)
Pump your fists and get ready to shake your hips at Ultrabar which features five different floors of beat-thumping music and state of the art lighting. Housed in a former bank, the venue kept echoes from its past and incorporated them into its current design. The main floor features a tall ceiling and elegant chandeliers while the basement level still has the original bank safety box boxes. Six full-service bars await your drink orders along with 26 exclusive tables featuring bottle service. Four DJ booths are stationed throughout the club and host a number of national and local talent. METRO: Chinatown/G Street or Metro Center (202-638-4663)
Hope you brought your stylish dancing shoes because Town Danceboutique is all about high-energy dancing and fun. Multiple dance floors and seating areas can be found in the 20,000 square foot space that has two floors to entertain guests. Every Friday and Saturday night showcases a cabaret style Drag Show with a wide range of performance styles. Thier in-house dance troupe performs multiple choreographed numbers and the Go Go Boys strut their stuff on Friday nights. Patrons will be memorized by the large video installation and enjoy the state of the art LED lighting. METRO: African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo ((202) 234-8696)
Once you get inside, which is half the battle, Josephine features a feast for your eyes. Not only are most of the guests beautiful but so is the atmosphere. Plush couches allow club goers to rest their feet after tearing up the dance floor to the mixes put on by well-known international DJs as chandeliers hang from the ceiling to add a posh flair to the establishment. Mirrored columns with LED lights and fireplaces also add to the chic atmosphere. So if you are looking for a place to be seen at, this is the one to hit up. METRO: McPherson Square ((202) 347-8601)
U Street Music Hall
A DJ owned and operated facility, this basement dance club has one of the best sound systems in the district that will get you moving to the music. Featuring two bars and a 1,200 square foot dance floor, this venue hosts both amazing DJs and live concerts. There is no VIP area or bottle service so people just focus on having a good time discovering new talent or cherishing ones they already know. Some shows are for all ages while club nights are for 18 and up only. There is no dress code so wear whatever you want! METRO: U Street/Cardozo (202-588-1889)
18th Street Lounge
Co-owner Farid Nouri wanted to establish a nightlife spot that he would want to go to himself. "Enough energy for a party but a place where people can socialize in an intimate environment." Known as "The Lounge," the club has five areas to mingle including a jazz and deck bar. While DJs lay down the hottest tracks in one room another may feature live music ranging from traditional jazz to reggae to Latin music. Located in Dupont CIrcle, the club may be hard to find if it's your first time because there are no signs to let you know you have arrived but it does make you feel like you are 'in the know' on a private secret when you find the door. METRO: Dupont Circle. (202-466-3922)
Playing the hottest Top 40, hip hop and house music, Kabin Lounge aims to provide guests with a premium clubbing experience. The 3,200 square foot space resembles a posh Aspen mountain cabin and includes 14 VIP Tables with bottle service. The venue does not have a strict dress code but patrons should aim to be trendy or fashionable. Be sure to leave the athletic sneakers, baggy jeans, athletic gear, ripped T-shirts and Timberland boots and hats at home as they will get you turned away at the door. METRO: Dupont Circle (202-810-2770)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
Read more about Gina Gallucci White here.