Orlando's Best Dance Clubs: Dress Down or Dress to Impress, Just Dance

A.D. Thompson

By , Local Expert, Orlando
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Ah, to dance is to be free, yes? Few pursuits tap into the primal pleasures of nightlife and release that built up tension more than moving your body to the rhythm. Ready to release, are you? Then by all means, peruse our selection of Orlando’s finest. And since tastes vary, we’ve submitted a range of establishments for your consideration. Parliament House caters to the gay community (though everyone is welcome, to be sure); it’s a veritable historic landmark in gay tourism – and a hell of a place to dance. Vixen, with its exposed brick and sexy art, offers a laid-back, urban oasis in which to give over to the house beats....  Read more »

  • 1

    Independent Bar

    The Independent places "10Best" in multiple categories because it hits that sweet spot where you just want to dance and don't care who's watching.

    Local Expert Tip: "Grits & Gravy, a night mixing 50s, 60s, soul, funk, Motown and disco, is -- much like its name -- as delicious as it sounds. "

     
  • 2

    Sound Bar

    Sound Bar's purpose-built, intimate space proves bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to dance clubs.

    Local Expert Tip: "Closer confines make Sound Bar a nice option for a more "romantic" dance-infused date night. "

     
  • 3

    Eye Spy

    • Type: Bar
    • Neighborhood: Downtown

    Eye Spy is one of those fun, come-as-you-are kinda places that merges dance club with dive bar. Spy-themed nooks and surprises are an added cache.

    Local Expert Tip: "Enjoy the photo booth, but remember: this joint is spy-themed. Your activity may not be as surreptitious as you'd like to think. Wink-wink. "

     
  • 4

    Sky Sixty

    With a beautiful view, solid beats and the versatility of moving from bar to bar, Sky Sixty offers club-goers three evenings in one.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you like Sky Sixty, but want to explore its sister establishments as well, dress for the rooftop, where the codes are more upscale, rather than street level."

     
  • 5

    Parliament House

    Parliament House could be declared a National Historic Gay Landmark (if such a thing officially existed). It's worth a visit just for that.

    Local Expert Tip: "PH is not merely very gay-friendly, it's very gay AND friendly, which means as long as you're comfortable amid the culture (which can get a little raucous) come on in."

     
  • 6

    Backbooth

    Two words: Midnight Mass. Backbooth's Saturday-night dance party, featuring indie, hip hop, electronic and pop is among Orlando's hottest.

    Local Expert Tip: "Feeling nostalgic for a simpler, more Hughesian time in your life? (Or perhaps you're a youngun with a fixation for the Top 40 of your birth year?) Visit Backbooth for Footloose Fridays, when 80s music reigns supreme at midnight."

     
  • 7

    Vanity

    Versatile settings make chic Vanity a near-customizable dance club experience. Balcony and fresh air an undeniable plus.

    Local Expert Tip: "Visit Vanity's website to reserve VIP services. A handy floor plan lets you stake out the best real estate. "

     
  • 8

    Vixen

    Vixen is chill, mellow, local and lacks attitude. Plus it's open every night save Sunday.

    Local Expert Tip: "Thursdays are for Ladies Night at Vixen; ladies drink free martinis all night long. Bottoms up!"

     
  • 9

    Cowboys Orlando

    If you like your music country, space to roam and your dancing in a nice, orderly line, Cowboys might be your kinda place.

    Local Expert Tip: "The lot here is free and patrolled regularly. Park fearlessly and party on!"

     
  • 10

    Blue Martini

    People who aren't 23 anymore still like to go dancing. Blue Martini's upscale environs (and solid pours) give them a place to feel welcome.

    Local Expert Tip: "Blue Martini's happy hour goes long, 4-8 p.m., which is nice if you can't make it out of the office at 5. Dress codes here are enforced. No flip flops. No T-shirts. Look sharp."

     

 

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