Teragram Ballroom is a key part of the downtown Los Angeles dance scene, giving music-loving Angelenos an intimate venue to see live acts. This DTLA concert space is on 7th Street, just blocks from Staples Center and the Microsoft Theater, located in a renovated, century-old theater that was once a Hollywood movie palace. But unlike those two massive venues, the Teragram Ballroom only holds 600 people and is a standing-room-only venue. The 9,000 square-foot theater offers special features for both artists and audiences: three dressing rooms, dedicated loading dock, spacious backstage, state-of-the-art sound system, three bars and a restaurant with plenty of space throughout to make the experience one of fun, rather than that of sweaty bodies jammed into a too-small space, all fighting to get the attention of a bartender. Instead, this well-thought-out venue makes one feel as if this is a perfectly planned dance party venue.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: L.A.'s popular live-music dance venue, there's not a chair in sight in the main theater, so dance you must when the bands are playing.
Jenny's expert tip: The venue isn't open every night, so check the website for shows before you go.
Transforming the old Key Club space on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, 1OAK LA has brought serious sophistication to that formerly slightly seedy space. Now leather banquettes open to a dance floor and massive Brazilian-wood bar, stocked with top-shelf libations. DJs spin everything from EDM to funk and hip hop; plus, they control a serious light show that creates an exciting vibe. The club draws some of the biggest names in entertainment, from Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio to Rihanna, Jared Leto and DJ Paris Hilton. You never know who will turn up next at this dance club that is open Thursday through Saturday nights. Reservations are key to getting in the door.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: 1OAK LA brought its "One of a Kind" New York vibe to the Sunset Strip in 2014 and quickly became the L.A. place to be.
Jenny's expert tip: Keep your eyes open at this red-hot party place, if celebrity sighting is on your L.A. bucket list of adventures.
Only being open on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights helps make Bootsy Bellows a must-visit kind of Sunset Strip spot; it also helps that people like Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and plenty of co-owner David Arquette's pals love to drop in. And why not, when the place features puppet shows, DJ sets, live music, and, of course, burlesque acts. The space evokes a whacked-out 1960s vibe and fills up fast, making dancing to the music more of a stand-and-sway experience, but if you can get into the special "friends and family" VIP backroom, you'll have more space for revelry. Not to mention the possibility of taking a selfie with a superstar.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: David Arquette co-owns this wacky homage to his mother, whose burlesque act was known as Bootsy Bellows, which means plenty of star sightings.
Jenny's expert tip: Go on Tuesday night, when the crowds are less intense than on the weekends; otherwise, spring for bottle service to be sure to have your own space.
Located in West Hollywood, the center of L.A.'s gay community, the Abbey Food & Bar is a fixture in that neighborhood that's also known as "Boys' Town." The club is famous for its big martinis, sexy go-go dancers and slightly decadent vibe â" with four dance floors pulsating all night long, it's no surprise that there's often a line out the door. But the Abbey is more than a meat market, as owner David Cooley uses his famous club as a forum for advocating equal rights for the entire LGBT community. Don't miss his annual fundraising Oscar party, for you're sure to see some famous Hollywood faces in that crowd â" and most other nights, in fact.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Enjoy live music on Mondays and Saturdays in the heart of Hollywood.
Jenny's expert tip: The Abbey's annual Oscar party is one of the hottest tickets in town, so be sure to reserve a table early for that one.
The Conga Room is a convivial place located in the heart of L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles. A fixture in the nightlife scene, the club is owned by some famous names, including Jennifer Lopez, Will.i.am of the Black-Eyed Peas and Jimmy Smits. The owners are an eclectic group, which means that the club books plenty of different musical talent, from Latino greats like Willie Colon to the hottest DJs around. And every so often, superstars like Drake, Justin Timberlake or Kendrick Lamar turn up to play. And don't miss trying the Pan-Latin fare at BOCA, the restaurant incorporated into the club, which on ly serves when the club is open.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The large happy hour menu is available on the patio and the dancing is outside.
Jenny's expert tip: Check The Conga Room's website to see who's playing on the nights the club is open, Friday and Saturday nights.
Small, dark, and handsome, Harvelle's is one of L.A.'s favorites for live blues, rock and alternative music. In business since 1931, this Santa Monica landmark used to be a dark, smoke-filled dive, but nowadays it has gone sophisticated. The striking black-and-white decor gives the place a retro cool vibe, with the stage set off by its deep-red curtain backdrop. When popular bands come to play, the place gets jammed to the rafters, so you may want to arrive early to secure a seat. Whether you prefer the cutting-edge sounds of new rock artists or more traditional riffs from some of the greatest blues musicians alive today, you're sure to hear something terrific at Harvelle's.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Open since 1931, Harvelle's is one of L.A.'s classic live-music joints.
Jenny's expert tip: Get there early to grab one of the seats closest to the dance floor and bandstand, for they disappear fast.
The Granada has something for everyone with a wide range of classes and styles, with a special focus on Latin dancing. Be transported back in time with their 1930s style decor and sign up for classes given every night of the week. Check out Salsa & Latin Nights on Tuesday (DJ), Bachata Nights on Thursday (with some Hip Hop thrown in by the DJ, too) and Salsa on the main dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights with live bands keeping the beat going. There's Ballroom Night on Sunday, too. Find the full list of classes, events and bands on the Granada website. They teach all types of dance, with group and private lessons available all week long. Note that there is a dress code; no hoodies, flip flops and generally crummy looking clothes here, please.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Three levels of entertainment space, with some of the largest dance floors in all of Southern California.
Jenny's expert tip: Dance classes are held every night at The Granada; kids can even join in to the early evening sessions.
Next Door Lounge is a classic Hollywood speakeasy, hearkening back to the Roaring Twenties when booze was illegal and drinking was just a bit sinful. There's a doorman on duty, so whisper a secret password (don't worry, he'll tell you what it is) and you'll be admitted to this cozy spot that's stocked with 1920s-era cocktails and barrel-aged spirits. Sip on those specialty drinks and order up one of the place's legendary beef sliders if you're feeling a bit peckish. There's steak, seafood and flatbreads, too. Later on, the dancing starts, on Fridays with a burlesque show first; Saturdays feature a live band that does two sets, then DJs spin until the wee hours. Next Door Lounge is only open on the weekends, with special events now and then, and reservations are key.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Different music styles on different nights mean Zanzibar has something for everyone; there's always salsa on Mondays.
Jenny's expert tip: Don't show up here in shorts, flip flops, babby pants or baseball caps, as they are serious about their have-a-little-class dress code.
One of L.A.'s classic clubs, The Mint is a little place with a big sound. The music-filled venue has packed them in since 1937, with just a small stage, minute dance floor and long, convivial bar and booths. You can grab a bite to eat in the back, but why not join the crowd right up front as you boogie down to bands ranging from New Orleans favorites like Trombone Shorty, Marcia Ball and Rebirth Brass Band to brand-new up-and-coming groups. Plus, you never know who might turn up on stage here; everyone from Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake to Bonnie Raitt and Tom Jones have graced this classic joint. And it is real music in this club, no canned electronics â" everyone is actually playing instruments and singing here!
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: A staple of live music since 1937, The Mint is always jammin' with rock, funk and alternative bands, seven nights a week.
Jenny's expert tip: Reserve tickets ahead of time online for your favorite live acts, as The Mint is a small venue that regularly sells out.
Academy has risen from the ashes of Create Nightclub, opening in January of 2018 in the same large Hollywood space. It remains the place that packs in the high-intensity crowds that love EDM and other DJ-created sounds. Expect capacity crowds in this space designed for musical and visual experimentation. Laser and LED lights explode around the partygoers, confetti flies down on the dancers and arctic blasts cool things off when the joint gets really jumping. Head out to the patio to escape the madness for a moment. For a space of your own, book a VIP table and bottle service; otherwise, jump in and revel in the Electronic Dance Music rave going off all around you. Currently only open on Friday and Saturday nights, so check the club's online calendar for up-to-date info.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Create is the Hollywood hotspot for Electronic Dance Music, packing in 1500 people who are all there for one reason â" to dance, dance, dance!
Jenny's expert tip: Arriving fashionably late may mean that the L.A. fire marshals have already closed off admissions, so arrive on time to be sure to get in.