Get Ready to Kick Up Your Heels in Dallas
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
Texans love to have a good time, and Dallas is a hot spot for many types of dance clubs. Whether you're young and trendy and looking for someplace to dance until dawn, or you prefer a laid-back atmosphere where you can listen to old favorites, Dallas has it all. And, of course, no list of Dallas dance clubs would be complete without a few country-and-western clubs, and Dallas even has gay-friendly ones.
There are dance clubs in Downtown Dallas, Uptown Dallas, North Dallas and the suburban areas, so you can find the perfect spot to burn off some calories no matter where you're staying. Some Dallas dance clubs have nightly drink specials, while others are posh and exclusive, so you won't even get a table to rest your weary feet unless you order bottle service.
If you're in the mood for a true Texan - i.e. country and western dancing - evening out on the town, some of the best spots for that include Red River and Gilley's Dallas. If you're an electronic music/DJ kind of dancer, you'll love Lizard Lounge, a popular Dallas dance club that's found a way to stay relevant and cool to bring in new generations of clientele over several decades.
Check our list of favorite spots to find the best Dallas dance club to fit your own personal tastes and style.
Hip, popular Sambuca pulls in lots of business, thanks to its lively ambience and fun-loving clientele. A supper-club feel means that you'll be comfortable nibbling and drinking, listening to live music, showing off your style on the dance floor, or just relaxing with friends while jazz suffuses the place. Among the dishes you'll want to try are miso-glazed sea bass, Asian-style shrimp fettucine, and Jamaican pork tenderloin. Most evenings feature live bands - some that play jazz, while others play Latin ballroom music, so check the schedule to find out what kind of dancing you'll be doing! This is great date spot. (214-744-0820)
Red Light Lounge
Deep Ellum offers plenty of places to listen to music, but this two-level dance palace is one of the only places in the neighborhood dedicated solely for dancing to it. And there's plenty of area to do just that. Here, you'll find a lower level complete with two bars, a cozy lounge, a dance floor and some of the city's top DJs spinning everything from'80s hits to EDM. When you feel like coming up for air, take the back stairway to the rooftop terrace where you can enjoy more music, more libations and prime views of Deep Ellum. ((214) 826-4769)
Billy Bob's Texas
While Billy Bob's Texas is actually in Ft. Worth, we couldn't leave it off the list of Dallas (area) country western dance clubs. Billy Bob's Texas is near the Ft. Worth Stockyards and it's where Dallasites bring their out-of-town visitors to see the real "Texas"! This fun venue is the largest honky tonk in the world, and it has a wide variety of activities, including an onsite rodeo, a mechanical bull, pool tables, an arcade, a huge dance floor and a concert hall - all of country western's favorite activities. People even bring their kids to this honky tonk, as it is a Texan legend. (817-624-7117)
Two-stepping, tight denim, and 10-gallon hats attract Big D's best-looking cowboys to this country-western bar, which caters to a mostly gay clientele, as it is located in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. Chipping in on the joint's popularity are great drink specials (Margarita Madness on Mondays, 22-oz. drafts for three bucks - every day - and a calendar full of fun weekly activities like karaoke, line dancing (lessons are free), and Friday and Saturday's Howdy Hour. Of course, the top crowd pleasers are "duded-up" events like Miss Gay Round Up, Miss Cinco de Mayo, and the Switch-Hitters Ball. If you're looking for a spot where you can kick up your heels country-western style, this is a great place. (214-522-9611)
This famous country western honky tonk in Dallas, TX, built on Urban Cowboy fame, is actually four venues in one. There's even a mechanical bull at Gilley's! Jack Daniel's Saloon is the place for live, local country music every Friday and Saturday night. The concerts are always free, and a big dance floor and cold beer encourage folks to dance. The South Side Music Hall and the Loft, also on-site, feature live music throughout the week. The Palladium Ballroom features 23,000 sq. feet of event space, complete with a stage and large dance floor. You can buy cowboy boots and take country music dance lessons at Gilley's Dallas, as well. (214-421-2021, 888-445-5397)
This Uptown-neighborhood lounge is a favorite spot for trendy locals and their out-of-town guests. The typical crowd at this popular dance club is made up of twenty-something young professionals, and the place is usually packed. While there's no cover charge, the line to get into the dance club is usually pretty long, as Avenu brings in international DJs. As common with many Dallas nightclubs, shorts, hats and tennis shoes are not allowed. This is a dress-to-impress kind of scene, so keep that in mind when getting ready to go out to this Dallas night club. Club goers must be 21 and up only. ((888) 369-1411)
Sons of Hermann Hall
Laid-back and plenty of fun, this lodge is operated by the Sons of Hermann Association. It books an eclectic mix of entertainment so that on Wednesday nights, you'll find swing dancing (and swing dancing classes), while Thursdays showcase acoustic jam sessions, and happy hours (5pm-8pm) draw big crowds on weekends. The place has been around since 1911 and has hosted a variety of bands, from big names to promising local talents. When no groups perform, DJs mix it up and pack the dance floor with willing patrons. The place itself is worth a trip. It is said that the upstairs ballroom and converted bowling alley are haunted. (214-747-4422)
Cowboys Red River
This Dallas country bar's main draw is the huge horse rink dance floor, highlighted by the saddle/disco ball hanging in the center. If you're in the mood for country and western dancing with the younger crowd, this is the spot to go! Live bands and a DJ provide solid country music throughout the night, and if you get there early for line dancing lessons, you'll be ready to jump right in when the band starts. Five total bars give you plenty of ways to wet your whistle before braving a ride on the mechanical bull. This dance club also features a fun billiards area. (214-352-1796)
Despite the name, you won't find lounge lizards holed up at this eclectic, high-energy club, where the weekend calendar depends on who's manning the DJ booth. One Friday, urban and hip-hop may hold sway over dance-floor denizens; the following Friday, the lounge may host a fetish ball. Indeed, all genres of music get the limelight. Goth, classic industrial, R&B, rock -- if you're into it, Lizard Lounge is the place for you! And if the action inside gets too heavy, a rooftop deck is perfect for catching a quick breath. On Sundays, Lizard Lounge is transformed into The Church, a Goth club featuring industrial 80s music. (214-826-4768, 214-826-4769)
Formerly known as Village Station, Station 4 is one of Dallas' premier dance clubs. It is situated in the heart of the city's gay neighborhood along Cedar Springs Rd in Oak Lawn. It covers more than 24,000 sq. feet and features many unique areas, including the Rose Room Theatre and Lounge (complete with nightly drag shows), a huge outdoor patio perfect for mingling, an upstairs bar and a moving light show. Eighteen and up guests are welcome on Thursdays and Sundays, but club goers must be 21 and up on Fridays and Saturdays. Cover charges vary from night to night. ((214) 526-7171)
About Denise Brandenberg
Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years. Denise started her career as an advertising agency copywriter, recruiter, and manager of online forums for an international meeting planning association. She ventured off on her own a few years ago, to start an adventurous career as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Denise’s other work can be found at Global Road Warrior, USA Today, Chron.com, The Motley Fool, LovetoKnow, The Meeting Professional, and several other online publications.
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