Dance Your Ass Off At These 11 Killer NYC Parties

We love a good dance fitness workout, but wouldn’t Zumba be a million times better if you could do it with a drink in your hand? Just in time for crop-top season, we’ve rounded up some of NYC’s best ongoing dance parties where you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat.

From bhangra to booty-bass, with healthy helpings of Latin, house, and swing, these New York events are movement-friendly oases in a nightlife scene where bottle service and Wall Street douchebaggery often overshadow any actual dancing. They’re handpicked for having some of the most talented DJs, enthusiastic crowds, and groove-centric dance floors in the city. Some even offer free dance lessons to simply get you in the spirit. With cover charges ranging from free to $20, they’re also among the most affordable — so a night out dancing could end up costing less than your standard SoulCycle session (and include way more soul).

If you’re in search of a cardio workout sans Spandex, pine no further: Just dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to shimmy your way into summer.
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Photo via @thegetdownparty.
The Get Down
Just as the name suggests, The Get Down is a party where you can, well, get down. Although it’s held in trendy nightclub Cielo, the location is the only thing even remotely "Meatpacking District" about it — the party’s known for its diverse crowd, welcoming people of all shapes, sizes, and ages who come to dance their hearts out. Producer and resident DJ Tasha Blank teams up with guest DJs (and the occasional electric violinist) to spin a high-energy, house-heavy mix of blissful beats that will leave you drenched in sweat and smiling ear-to-ear. The party has a loyal following and gets absolutely packed, so make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time and arrive early to catch the dance-floor meditation that kicks it all off.

The best part? The fun is over by 10 p.m., so you can get your groove on and still get up for work the next day.

When: Every other Thursday, 7 – 10 p.m.
Where: Cielo, 18 Little West 12th Street (at Ninth Avenue); 646-543-8556.
Cost: $5-20
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Photo via @bluemountainbel.
No Parking On The Dance Floor
Sick of “dance parties” that are so packed with stiletto-wearing selfie-takers that there’s no room to actually groove? So was longtime DJ and NYC nightlife staple $mall ¢hange — hence the name (and vibe) of No Parking on the Dance Floor.

Held in underground loft spaces across Brooklyn, this bimonthly party keeps it cheap, fun, and real, so expect to see hula hoopers, poi spinners, and other object-manipulators among the enthusiastic dancers. Plus, you can add a few moves to your arsenal with complimentary dance lessons from professional B-boys, house dancers, and flow artists.

Need a break from sweating to house, hip-hop, funk, soul, and rare groove? Make sure you move off the dance floor or risk getting slapped with a “parking citation” from the party’s “undercover dance enforcers.” It’s better motivation to keep moving than your Spin-class instructor could ever dream of.

When: Bimonthly on Thursdays, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Where: The Kymberle Project, 1332 Atlantic Avenue (between Nostrand and New York streets).
Cost: $5
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Photo via @mobilemondays.
Mobile Mondays!
When you’re suffering from a case of the Mondays, there’s no better place to get in the groove — literally. The DJs at Mobile Mondays! play only 45s, spinning thoughtfully curated musical narratives about NYC’s storied history as the dance-party capital of the world. Theme nights bring you back to the eras of funk and soul, disco, hip-hop, house, or new wave, with resident and guest DJs who have a reputation for mixing in rare grooves with classic dance-floor hits.

Push through the crowd of vinyl fanatics and fashion folk at the bar to the curtain in back — behind it you’ll find a packed dance floor where spontaneous dance circles frequently break out and you’re invited (and encouraged!) to shake it till dawn. Mondays have never felt so good.

When: Mondays, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery (at East 2nd Street); 212-228-0228.
Cost: Free
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Photo via @basementbhangra.
Basement Bhangra
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like the star of your own Bollywood musical, Basement Bhangra may be your new jam. The signature style of music and dance originating in Punjab, a region of India, gets a distinctly New York twist at this Thursday-night get-down, where you’re likely to find Indian expats dancing shoulder-to-shoulder with hipsters, Bollywood fans, and anyone who believes that Thursdays are the new Fridays.

Come early for a happy hour that often tag-teams with book parties, record launches, or open mics, then learn the basics of bhangra dance in a free, laid-back lesson that will leave you pumped and ready for more. Once the party gets going, it’s easy to lose yourself in founder and resident DJ Rekha’s unique blend of bhangra, hip-hop, dancehall, and house — and if you devote the night to perfecting your new Bollywood moves, you’re likely to be sore all over (in a good way) the next morning.

When: First Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: Downstairs at (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan streets); 212-505-3474.
Cost: $10 pre-sale; $15 door
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Photo via @gemini_scorpio.
Swing House
Long before laptop DJs and laser displays, our foremothers satisfied their need to dance with jazz and swing. Swing House takes us back to that era, when hot live jazz was the name of the game and a good partner made you feel like your feet never touched the floor. There’s always a live band, DJs remix classic jazz grooves with bass and beats, and the vintage-styled crowd takes occasional breaks from dancing to ogle burlesque performances.

The party kicks off with a dance lesson where you’ll learn classic swing moves. If you’re feeling nervous about trying them out in front of strangers, a menu of meticulously researched, authentic 1920s cocktails helps you shake off the jitters so you can do the jitterbug all night long.

When: Occasional Saturdays, 9 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: Gemini & Scorpio Loft, e-mail for location.
Cost: $20 until 1 a.m., $10 after
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Photo via @jonnygofigure.
Deadly Dragon
When we think of reggae, we imagine lazy afternoons on a tropical beach, Red Stripe in one hand and spliff in the other. Deadly Dragon turns our perceptions on their heads with a bangin’ weekly party devoted to bringing the sounds of Jamaica to NYC each Thursday. Not only is the dance floor packed by around 1 a.m., but it’s full of people moving like their lives depend on it.

The organizers of this vinyl-only event work hard to cultivate a sense of comfort and community, with incense burning on the walls and guest MCs taking the mic alongside spinning Jamaican classics.

When: Thursdays, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: The Delancey, 168 Delancey Street (at Clinton Street); 212-254-9920.
Cost: Free
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Photo via @djchela.
Ecstatic Dance
When you want to dance without pesky distractions like drinking, chatting, or posing for photos, Ecstatic Dance is the way to go. The premise is simple: Come to dance, just dance, and do nothing but dance. Guidelines such as “no talking,” “no booze,” “no photos,” and “no shoes” make for an event that’s single-mindedly about getting your body moving.

With its focus on “creating a safe space for conscious dance,” the event caters to a somewhat crunchy crowd: Expect a strong showing of hippies, yogis, and Burning Man folk. A warm-up at the beginning helps you get into the spirit; once your muscles are loose and your chakras are aligned, stay for three hours of soulful rhythms that will have you sweating your way towards cosmic bliss.

When: Monthly (dates vary; see website for details), 7 – 11 p.m.
Where: Locations vary.
Cost: $20 “energy exchange” at the door
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Photo via @dirtyfinger.
Like your nights out with a lot of crooning and a little bump 'n' grind? Got a soft spot for Boyz II Men, R. Kelly, and Keith Sweat? Sprung combines sped-up remixes of your favorite '90s R&B jams with some of today’s most popular dance tracks, with residents and guests exploring the hidden emotional side of booty-bouncing genres like Jersey club, Miami bass, moombahton, bounce, trap, house, and bass.

Grab a drink (or three) at the bar, then head to the back room where the party’s at. You’ll find enough smoke and lasers to get lost in, plus a tipsy, enthusiastic crowd. Looking to get closer to that special someone? This is where to make it happen. The combination of rump-shaking beats and sweet lyrics will put just about anyone in the mood for love.

When: Fourth Saturdays, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: Tandem, 236 Troutman Street (between Wilson and Knickerbocker avenues), Brooklyn; 718-386-2369.
Cost: Free

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Photo via @quebajo.
Que Bajo
The music at Que Bajo is like summertime coming through a giant set of speakers: a tropical mix of Latin American, Caribbean, and African grooves that’ll make you want to break out your swimsuit in the middle of the city. The range of musical styles is enough to make your head spin, with cumbia, bachata, dancehall, baile funk, merengue, mambo, kuduro, kwaito, funana, and tribal guarachero all coming together in a joyous swirl of sound. Not familiar with all of those? Don’t sweat it: All you need to know is that they’ll make you move.

This rapidly growing party has been underground at various locations around New York, but lately it’s expanded to larger-scale events at major spaces like Verboten, and is even teaming up with the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy Festival to bring its unique blend of musical styles to the world at large. The crowd’s as mixed as the beats, with folks from all backgrounds and boroughs coming together to share a dance floor and a smile.

When: Occasional Saturdays, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: Location varies; check website for details.
Cost: $10 – $25

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Photo via @bmxbeesy1.
What has at least three DJs, a rotating art show, go-go dancers, and a mini skateboard ramp on the stage? It’s Saturdazed, your new favorite event for going ’til the wee hours of the morning on the biggest night out of the week.

This anything goes weekly has a wildly mixed crowd: You’ll find art students, bike messengers, weekend freaks, rocker dudes, club kids, workin' stiffs, skaters, and BMX boys all sweating to hip-hop like Sunday morning is never gonna come. With an unpretentious vibe, drinks that go down easy, and bartenders who feel like true party enablers, you won’t even realize you’re getting a workout until you wake up sore (and oh-so-satisfied) the next day.

When: Saturdays, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: Tender Trap, 66 Greenpoint Avenue (between Franklin and West streets), Brooklyn.
Cost: Free
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Photo via @pvssypowerparty.
Remember those middle school sleepovers where you’d pop in an *NSYNC CD and dance around the room until you collapsed in a heap of sleeping bags and Pixy Stix sugar? PUSSYPOWER is like that, but with booze and better music — your secret, girl-power dance party where chicks rule the night and anything goes.

An all-female (and female-identified) lineup of DJs, hostesses, performers, and vendors showcases the talents of some of NYCs baddest bitches, and a mostly-gals crowd means you can get down without catching any gross guy-cooties. Fun extras like henna, hair-braiding booths, and pop-up vintage emporiums give you something to do with your hands — and you can work off the vegan donuts and free Champagne on the dance floor.

When: Wednesdays, 11 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: The Flat, 308 Hooper Street (between Broadway and South 5th Street), Brooklyn; 718-599-5151.
Cost: $5

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