7 Insanely Good Dance Parties In D.C.

The summer-to-fall transition is never without a little angst — it's so hard to say goodbye to those carefree months. But if there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that a good dance party can cure any seasonal blues. To get you in a steady groove, we've compiled a guide to the best dance parties in the District. From classic hip-hop to garage-funk to dubstep, we've covered all the musical bases. Hey, if bumping to reggae-disco in a basement dancehall 'til dawn doesn't bring back summer vibes, we don't know what will.
SlideOnePhotos: Courtesy of LIV; Tropicalia; Crank Party/Kill The Light; Flash.
Jungle Fever at Tropicalia
When: First Thursday of every month.
The scoop: Jungle Fever is a monthly dance party featuring local cult-faves DJs Mista Selecta and Mane Squeeze spinning reggae, trap, soul, funk, disco, go-go, and more inside Tropicalia's psychedelic space. As the name implies, Tropicalia was pretty much made for jungle-themed, exotic dance sounds, and these talented spin masters always deliver.
Where: Tropicalia, 2001 14th Street NW; 202-629-4535.
Crank Party at Liv
When: Fourth Saturday of every other month.
The scoop: Something you need to know about Crank Party? The production's mascot is a flying basking shark named "Crankshark," who makes the rounds at each event and might end up dancing next to you depending on "how hard you party." Yep, it's an epic, sweaty, rager of a dance party that's not for the faint of heart. Put on by producers and DJs Rex Riot and Basscamp, the night promises to deliver all the EDM, moombahton, and house music your body can handle. Keep an eye out for details on the next Crank Party here, and be sure to snag tickets early, because they sell out fast.
Where: Liv Nightclub, 2001 11th Street NW; 202-299-0800.
Body Jam at Looking Glass Lounge
When: First Friday of every month.
The scoop: When D.C.'s legendary Fatback dance parties ended back in February, funk lovers in the District were collectively bummed. But lucky for Fatback devotees (and general fans of dancing), two of the Fatback DJs — Michael T. Miller and Sean Peoples, otherwise known as Mike T. and Sean P. — started a spinoff party called Body Jam. The two play funk, disco, R&B, and other majorly danceable genres for a cardio-filled event billed as "the best of Aquacise, Jazzercise, Zumba, and Shakeweight." You can think of it as the real-life version of every awesome party scene from your favorite '80s movies.
Where: The Looking Glass Lounge, 3634 Georgia Avenue NW; 202-722-7669.
Becky Party at Rock & Roll Hotel
When: Last Friday of every month.
The scoop: Music blog sensations and local DJs Stereo Faith and Trevor Martin are known for spinning the best in hip-hop and electro-indie rock. But once a month at Rock & Roll Hotel, they're at your Top 40 beck and call. The parties are supposed to be nothing less than "ragers," and whether you want to hear Taylor Swift, Eddie Murphy, Drake, or Carly Rae Jepsen, there's no shame — just fun. Bonus: No cover!
Where: Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street NE; 202-388-7625.
Axel F
When: Monthly; watch the website for details.
The scoop: DJ'd by Adrian Loving, DJ Stylus, and Jamil Hamilton (aka Jahsonic), Axel F is an old-school party featuring the "illest Jheri-curl funk, champagne soul, and lazer boogie cuts from 1977 to 1987." (Think: the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop.) The overall philosophy behind the party is the funkier, synth-ier, and crazier, the better, and we couldn't agree more.
Where: The party moves locations each month; past locations have included Howard Theatre and Liv Nightclub. Details are announced via the website.
Closed Sessions at Flash
When: Monthly.
The scoop: Closed Sessions is a buzzy new monthly party at Flash featuring local and visiting DJs, plus unique cocktails designed to accompany the music for the night. On September 19, you can catch local duo Nacey and Steve Starks.
Where: Flash, 645 Florida Avenue NW; 202-827-8791.
Big Bad City Party at Velvet Lounge
When: First Saturday of every month.
The scoop: When your DJ name is SoulCall Paul, you likely know a thing or two about the funkiest old-school soul music. This insanely fun monthly party at Velvet Lounge is pretty much the reigning soul party in the city, and for good reason. Featuring only the "sweatiest, rawest '60s soul cuts ever pressed on vinyl," DJ SoulCall Paul puts on a groove-fest for the record books. Expect to sweat.
Where: Velvet Lounge, 915 U Street NW; 202-462-3213.

More from Washington, D.C.

R29 Original Series