Best Dance Clubs in Memphis

Find Your Groove at Memphis' Best Dance Clubs

Everyone knows Memphis is way into the live music scene, but finding true dance clubs in the city is a bit like the proverbial needle in the haystack. While folks have been known to get up and dance at places like B. B. King's or Rum Boogie Cafe, most spots on Beale Street are live music, not dance, clubs.

Fear not, however; plenty of the clubs on Beale and throughout the city offer dancing - but aren't strictly dance clubs.

Downtown is the best for club-hopping to find your groove, with a number of clubs centered on or around Beale Street. Alfred's is a favorite, thanks to the cover band that's as good as any DJ for a mix of dance tunes. Club 152 is basically three separate dance clubs in one, with crunk and hip hop, techno/electric and top 40 DJs spinning into the wee hours on three separate floors. Just off Beale, the Silly Goose is a ultra-swank lunge with a gorgeous crowd, and is an after-party spot for the young and beautiful.

Out in the suburbs, the Electric Cowboy is where the country boys and girls come to two-step and line dance, boots 'n all.

There's always a place to move to the Memphis beat; your job is to decide just what that beat is - and will hook you up with the perfect spot.


The Silly Goose is really more of a hip bar with late night dancing Thursday - Saturday nights, and the occasional themed parties, but definitely worth the visit regardless of what's happening. With its dark, chic interior - think men's club meets upscale bar - the space transforms from an after-work drinks and appetizers hangout for young professionals into a late-night dance fest on the weekends. By the way - weekends do include Thursday as far as we're concerned. Just sayin'. ]On Thursday nights during the summer, the Goose tends to be the after-party spot following the Peabody rooftop party.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The off-Beale location makes it a respite from the madness that can be Beale Street, especially on weekends.

Sally's expert tip: When things heat up, cool off on the outdoor patio, which is open most of the year thanks to the city's moderate weather.

Read more about The Silly Goose Spirit Lounge →

When they say food / spirits on the Mollie Fontaine Web site, spirits has a double meaning - as in, the kind your drink and the kind who haunt old, Victorian homes. Mollie Fontaine is housed in a gorgeous Victorian mansion, stuffed with a combination of retro and vintage-y chic decor - overstuffed loungers, funky little chairs, and super-cool lighting, from chandeliers to multi-hued, single Edison bulbs. Sometimes, a pro sits at the old piano in the first floor front parlor - sometimes a customer jumps on - not always a good thing - and sometimes there's a DJ mixing it up. There's a full bar, and very often anything wet and cold comes straight out of a cooler tucked behind the bar. Since the lounge is owned by Karen Carrier of The Beauty Shop fame, the small plates served up are always something scrumptious - Fontaine sliders with arugula and gruyere, crispy duck rice rolls, and avocado tempura are all part of the inventive fare, and there's always a creme brulee of the day to tempt the sweet tooth.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Mollie Fontaine isn't a dance club per se - but when there are certain bands playing, then this is a great spot to throw down.

Sally's expert tip: Parking's tricky on Adams - there are plenty of 'no parking from here to there' signs, so double check your space before you lock up.

Read more about Mollie Fontaine Lounge →

Located in the heart of Memphis's nightlife scene (the corner of Third and Beale), Alfred's is one of those places that you need to stop in if you plan on telling people you visited Memphis. Known for its live music, Alfred's offers one of the best cover bands you can dance to on Friday & Saturday nights; Kevin and Bethany Paige serve up a little bit of everything in their performances, and they perform from 10 pm - 2 am. Then, it's time for DJ J2, who mixes dance beats until 5 am. Weather permitting, the upstairs outdoor patio is a bit mellower prior to the dance club scene, with acoustic guitarist Jim Wilson usually setting up in one corner on weekend nights.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Alfred's always has great DJs, and their live cover bands will have you on your feet.

Sally's expert tip: Alfred's offers the only roof-top patio on Beale, and it is a great place to hold court for the evening. Arrive around 8 and you can lurk in the background for a table opening.

Read more about Alfred's On Beale →


This gritty club, a former bordello and hotel, is the local go-to for late night drinks and an alcohol-absorbing Soul Burger, a tasty concoction of greasy burger with onions that helps one regain one's sobriety at the end of the evening. Whenever there is a celeb in town - quite often, actually- E&H is always on the list, which makes for fun people watching. And people watching is fun regardless, with an always-evolving mix of young hipsters, East Memphis socialites, and young med students. The two-story club offers a small dance floor / space for the bad, counter seating and a scattering of tables on the first floor, with the second floor rooms being a darker, funkier place to hang � but conversation can flow easier upstairs.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: So E&H is more of a bar than a dance club, but it's one of our favorite spots in town to get down.

Sally's expert tip: Drop some money in the jukebox - it offers the best selection in Memphis.

Read more about Earnestine & Hazel's →

Think Urban Cowboy, but with laser lights and bikini contests...although you'll still find plenty of tight jeans, cowboy hats and tooled belts at this country music-themed bar, part of a small chain with outlets around the South. The crowd here is definitely country and not blues; this is one of the few dance clubs in Memphis where the clientele is not a mix of races. There's plenty of two-stepping and line dancing here, and if you're unsure of the moves, never fear: Lessons and instruction are offered in both, nightly. Of course, that's part of the best way to meet people - fake like you don't know how to two-step.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: It's really the only country / western dance bar in town.

Sally's expert tip: Those hoping for a more grown-up club experience will want to avoid Thursdays, when the club is open to those as young as 18 for college night.

Read more about Electric Cowboy →


Purple Haze is one block south of Beale Street, in what was once a celebrity-owned blues club across from the Gibson Guitar Factory. The 5,000- s.f. club isn't huge, as dance clubs go, but there's lots of flashy lighting and an amped-up sound system that makes the club rock. Purple Haze is one of the few bars off Beale Street that stays open until 5:00 a.m.; the kitchen stays open until 4:30 and serves up typical bar food. DJs play everything from old school dance to electro. The club has an unusual dress code – hats are okay, but no white t-shirts or head scarves.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Purple Haze has DJs most nights, and the occasional live band to mix it up.

Sally's expert tip: The club is open every night, and has super-convenient parking as it is the ground floor of a parking structure.

Read more about Purple Haze →

If there's a must-experience dance club in Memphis, Club 152 may just be it. With three floors of dance space, each with its own vibe, there's virtually something for every dance taste. The first floor offers either live music or DJs spinning true dance tracks from the 70's through today; depending on the night, live music starts the evening and then the DJ steps in for the late night crowd. The first floor is open nightly, while the other two floors are open on Friday and Saturday nights only. Floor two focuses on mainstream hip hop and old school jams, and later in the evening is truly crunk; the vibe is dark, hip lounge with an all-female staff. Floor three is funk-a-licious, no-holds-barred fun, with giant video screens and mirrored walls, and this is where inhibitions (and sometimes jaws) drop.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Club 152 is the city's best-known - and infamous - dance club.

Sally's expert tip: Think late, late night for the best crowd - don't even bother showing up until 1 a.m.

Read more about Club 152 →

With a menu of soul food and 40-ounce beers (or set-ups), Wild Bill's holds sway as the quintessential juke joint in Memphis. But what one needs to grasp here is that Wild Bill's is truly a juke joint – and that means folks sit together at tables, you better be sociable, and you are in Memphis, so that means a mostly African American crowd that's there to listen to great music and relax. This isn't a prettied-up version of a juke joint on Beale, this is the real deal. Those 40-ounce beers come with a couple of plastic cups on top, so you can share. The house band is the Memphis Soul Survivors, and they play most Friday and Saturday nights, so you know the music is always solid. The dance floor - and we hesitate to call it that, it's really tiny - gets crowded fast; don't be surprised if you're dancing with strangers more than you are your friends. It's simply that kind of place.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Wild Bill's is simply one of those bucket list experiences you'll never forget, dance bar or no.

Sally's expert tip: For the true experience, don't even think of coming before 11:00, and keep an open mind as you never know who you'll be sitting next to.

Read more about Wild Bill's →

The first salsa club in the city, Rumba Room is a little bit of a love letter to Latin culture. There's a swanky bar area, a colorful mural, a menu full of Cuban and Latin-inspired appetizers, and a large dance area that pulses with a salsa beat. Primarily a DJ-driven dance club, the Rumba Room offers salsa music every Friday and Saturday night, with an occasional live band featured. Free salsa lessons are offered both evenings starting at 9:30. On Friday nights starting at 7 p.m. until salsa time and on the third Saturday of the month, the vibe changes to West Coast swing. Thursday night features a mix of hip hop, R & B and old school jams mixed by a DJ. There's no cover on Thursday nights, when the minimum age is 21; entry for salsa nights is 18 and up; ladies over 21 are free until 10 p.m., and there's a $10 cover for all others.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Rumba Room is a go-to for every age and income group, so it's always a fun mixed bag of people.

Sally's expert tip: Call ahead to reserve a booth or table for parties of four or more - you'll be glad you did.

Read more about Rumba Room →

This is one of those spots your mom warned you about - and is, as we say in the South, a hot mess. And that's why we love it so much! For years, Hollywood Raiford entertained Memphians in a huge old building on Vance, just south of the central business district downtown. A light-up dance floor, a la 'Saturday Night Fever' was the main attraction, after Raiford himself. Fast forward a few years, and the club has re-opened in a two-story space on S. Second, with the same fog machine and disco ball, but with Robert Raiford's daughter, Paula, taking up the reins after her dad's death in 2017. The crowd is a perfect mix of Memphis every night, with urbanites and suburbanites, hipsters, medical students, a few well-heeled Memphians crowding the dance floor. The beers still come in a bucket, and cash is king here.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Mirrors, mirrors, everywhere - walls, disco ball, you get the drift.

Sally's expert tip: It's only open two nights a week, so if your time in Memphis is short, then be at the doors Friday or Saturday night at 10.

Read more about Paula & Raiford's Disco →


Meet Sally Walker Davies

Sally Walker Davies is enchanted by Memphis' music, history, and characters. From the artsy South Main Historic District to the grittiness of her favorite live music clubs to the sophisticated...  More About Sally