Feeling nostalgic for days gone by? Public Bar in Dupont now offers Throwback Thursdays, decades themed parties on the rooftop. And if you’re stuck in the 80s, keep an eye on 80s Dance Party DC on Facebook – although not on a regularly scheduled night, they offer epic themed holiday parties and surprise gigs. COLORS DC: R&B Only is exactly what the name says: a regular dance night at Howard Theater with its fair share of classic R&B. The vibe is high energy and fun, but don’t expect the party to start before 11 p.m. . If you can make it, you might be rewarded with a surprise appearance; Mýa recently performed for the partygoers.
Soul is a favorite on the dance scene in DC, with a lot of local spots offering new and classic soul on a regular basis. Head to Bloomingdale’s Showtime for guest DJs and sets from owner SoulCall Paul, with some boogie thrown in for good measure. Haydee’s in Mount Pleasant has a bit of everything, but their TNT DJ nights feature some of the best soul, reggae and funk for late night partying. Monthly Fatback at Liv in the U Street Corridor is another destination for a great night of fun soul tunes.
If samba or salsa is more your beat, we’ve got a few places you can get your dancing itch scratched. Cafe Citron in Dupont Circle has a bit of everything, including classes and dance nights for fans of Bachata, Kizomba and Cuban tunes among others. U Street’s basement hangout Tropicalia is a popular spot for Latin, soul and Afropop. The most unexpected, perhaps, is Lucky Strike Bowling at Gallery Place, where Sundays are salsa night. Warm up with a few games of bowling for your evening of late night dancing.
Most venues in DC don’t stick tightly to one genre or another, although a lot of them have a specialty or two. If you’re looking for a venue with a lot to offer throughout the year, we’ve got those, too. The Black Cat on 14th St. NW is a perfect example — what don’t they do? It’s a dancing smorgasbord, with regular DJ nights, local punk bands and themed parties for everything from decades to holidays. If you like it, chances are the Black Cat has it. If being on the cutting edge is of interest, Liberation Dance Party at DC9 can help you get the skinny on the next big thing. This regular party has been held for over 12 years, highlighting up-and-coming local bands. Velvet Lounge in U Street has a dive vibe complete with cheap drinks and a bathroom decked out in band stickers, but you’ll find everything from niche themed nights to emerging bands at their late night dance parties. Newcomer Songbyrd Cafe & Music House is an Adams Morgan hot spot for DJ nights and live shows. Although some have a cover (and VIP ticket option), others are free.