Forget Troubles, Let The Music Move You At Top D.C. Dance Clubs

Stressed out over a job? Is a midterm paper due in the next few days? Need some time with friends to just let go? 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 discover the best spots to cut loose while visiting the nation's capital. (Really some water and rest are in order now.)

If you enjoy clubs with an exclusive feel with VIP areas, head over to Kabin Lounge or Heist. For those who prefer dancing to live music, U Street Music Hall or Tropicalia are your best bets for a good time. Want to dance yet find clubs are not your scene? Try New Columbia Swing which only serves water and teaches 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.






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

Photo courtesy of Tropicalia

Tired of listening to the same electronic music? Head to this underground venue which features a heavy AfroHouse music presence. Known as a 'dance club for grown-ups,' Tropicalia has live bands and well-known DJs to get you moving your body to huge beats. We know you are there to dance but be sure to admire the beauty in several pieces of surrealist art that adorn the walls. The mosaic sign features hand-painted tiles from Mexico City. Unlike other clubs, this one is open seven days a week but times vary. METRO: U Street

Photo courtesy of Flash

Opened in June 2013, this venue brings in nationally and internationally known house music DJs every Friday and Saturday night. But if you don't like this genre, be sure to check other nights for different music beats. Ready for your close up? Flash has a photo booth where you can take goofy pictures to remember the night long after last call has been announced. Both floors feature dance floors and fully stocked bars ready to serve hand-crafted cocktails or your favorite liquor. If you are looking for the best sound system and lighting, head straight to the second floor. METRO: Shaw/Howard University

Soundcheck DC
Photo courtesy of Soundcheck DC

Many people think of a soundcheck as the time when a performer gets their voice and/or instrument ready in the hours or minutes before a concert. District residents may have to expand that definition to include Soundcheck DC, a nightclub on K Street where the music is ready to be heard. Opened in August 2015, the venue features a top-of-the-line sound system, lasers, two disco balls and LED screens. And more than that, the club brings in local and nationally known DJs to spin the best in hip hop, house and Latin music. METRO: McPherson Square

Photo courtesy of Heist

Promising 'grandeur, fun and light-hearted delinquency,' Heist will take you into 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, so 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

New Columbia Swing
Photo courtesy of 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 New Columbia Swing, a dance hall located inside a 19th century restored mansion. The hall was the former home of The Jam Cellar from 2007 to 2018 and the new occupants' name comes the nation's capital's bid to become the 51st state. 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 if you sign up their newsletter so why not try it out! If you love it, additional lessons come with a charge. METRO: U Street or Woodley Park

Living Room
Photo courtesy of Living Room

With quirky décor, large couches and curtains throughout, this event space does live up to its name even though it's probably unlike most living rooms you have been in. Located in Logan Circle, this club and event space offers a place for District residents to forget their troubles and worries for a night in a relaxing yet stylish setting with only the best dance music. If you are coming with a group, you might want to book table reservations early. Also, they have an event space with more than 5,000 square feet so let them host your birthday or bachelorette party. METRO: McPherson Square

U Street Music Hall
Photo courtesy of U Street

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

Kabin Lounge
Photo courtesy of Kabin

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. Coat check is available during those terribly cold winter months. METRO: Dupont Circle

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.


Meet 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...  More About Gina