The Ultimate NYC Dance Guide

Untz, untz, untz, untz…you hear that? It's the mega mix. And you feel that? It's your leg starting to shake a little. What's this? It's your hips getting in on the action. And there goes your shoulder, swaying back and forth. Yep, you're officially dancing. It's undeniable that a good song gets you in the mood to groove, and we've narrowed down the best NYC spots to hear those good vibrations on the reg.
Whether you're looking to mosh, booty-pop, or reminisce about the good ol' days (when you could actually understand the words to the songs), our two nightlife experts—DJ and DFA Records exec Nancy Whang (formerly of LCD Soundsystem) and downtown designer and restauranteur James Cruickshank—are about to let you in on the hottest places to dance in NYC. Now all you've got to do is put on those shimmy shoes and shake it like no one's watching. Trust us, you look good out there.
Advertisement
Disclaimer: If you have a history of epilepsy or seizures, we recommend that you avoid looking directly at the animated GIFs.
90sSlide
'80s & '90s
James:
Blind Barber — For mellow afternoon/early evening drinking, this is a great neighborhood spot. Adam Kirsch, who owns the bar, always has an old school mix running. It's chill and feels very private.
Blind Barber, 339 East 10th Street (between Avenue A and Avenue B); 212-228-2123.
Nancy:
Union Pool — Once a month on Fridays, artist J Penry and comedian/Violent Bullshit frontman Jay Green throw down for "Cheap Shots," with every party hit you'd ever hope to hear at your prom or wedding. As they say, "Don't worry about making any requests, we have all your favorite songs." Not to mention there's always cheap shots of fruity mystery booze.
Union Pool, 484 Union Avenue (at North 8th Street); 718-609-0484.
Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFAnyc.com
Electro
Electro
James:
Santos Party House — For Electro, go see Johnny Misheff at his Friday night party called "Spencer's Gifs." It takes place downstairs at Santos — the sound system is amazing and perfect for electronic music.
Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street (between Walker and White streets); 212-584-5492.
Nancy:
Tropical Ice Cream — This party goes down on the last Saturday of the month, when Midnight Magic's Andrew Raposo and Morgan Wiley and Matt Thornley of LCD Soundsystem/Crystal Ark take you on a cosmic journey through a tropical paradise. Next up is this Saturday, July 28, with the singular Gavin Russom.
70 North 6th Street (between Wythe and Kent avenues); Brooklyn; no phone.
Advertisement
HipHop_2
Hip-Hop
James:
The Jane Hotel — Tuesdays are the hotel's "School Nights" party, where Director Austin Peters and Designer PJ Monte spin early aughts hip-hop. The crowd is a good mix that makes for a great "school night."
The Jane Hotel, 113 Jane Street (between Washington and West streets); 212-924-6700.
Nancy:
Donna — This beautiful new bar in South Williamsburg whips up great cocktails all week, and vintage soul and R&B on the weekends. But the highlight event happens every other Thursday night with Guy Greenberg and Joshua Wiles, when you can really get up and dance.
Donna, 27 Broadway (between Wythe and Kent avenues); no phone.
Pop
Pop
James:
The Westway — Every Thursday Simonez Wolf curates a guest chef and a guest DJ to spin for his "Chef Sez Party." The food and dancing make for the best party of the week, with an eclectic mix of New York City's cool creative kids. It's like a downtown wedding!
The Westway, 75 Clarkson Street (between Washington and West streets); 212-620-0101.
Nancy:
Bellweather — They have one of the best sound systems in the city, with classic jams in the back, plus classy dining in the front. They also throw daytime hangover helpers and special holiday parties.
Bellweather, 594 Union Avenue (at Richardson Street); 347-529-4921.
Punk
Punk
James:
Lit Lounge — London's own Ben Rayner spins a consistently great punk set every Wednesday. Lit is an East Village institution, and a go-to spot for rowdy late nights.
Lit Lounge, 93 Second Avenue (between 5th and 6th streets); 212-777-7987.
Advertisement
Nancy:
The Dream Downtown — On Tuesday nights, Justine D. and Nick Marc host "Electric Room," playing a solid night heavy on the rock and punk, with some other genres thrown in for good measure.
The Dream Downtown, 355 West 16th Street (between Eighth and Ninth avenues); 212-229-2559.
Rock
Rock
James:
The Grey Lady — EB Sollis spins the best rock mixes nightly. Come on the early side for this spot — they also have bangin' oysters and lobster rolls!
The Grey Lady, 77 Delancey Street (at Allen Street); 646-580-5239.
Nancy:
Le Baron — Saturdays here are like a secret underground party in a dark, smoky opium den (although it's not really all that much of a secret). If you could see through the haze, you'd find foxy people (not least of whom being the handsome DJs Nick and Alex of Holy Ghost!) in a frenzy of dancing into the wee A.M. hours. And, the red lighting makes everyone look good.
Le Baron, 32 Mulberry Street (between Bayard and Worth streets); no phone.
Advertisement