While it’s arguably the hippest, most stylish city in the whole country, going dancing in New York can be a challenge. If you take a quick look around at a lot of the bars in the city, you’ll notice that a lot of them don’t have dance floors and that they often prohibit dancing in their establishments. It’s weird, but it all has to do with a nearly 90-year-old law that states that New York bars and pubs cannot allow dancing unless they have what’s called a cabaret license.
Now that you know the strange political trivia behind why so many bars and nightclubs discourage dancing in the Big Apple, we have some good news for you. Fortunately, a lot of bar and nightclub owners have either ponied up the cash for a cabaret license or are ignoring the potential fines altogether. So there’s definitely some dancing to be done in New York – you just have to know where to find it.
The Rub at The Bell House
The Bell House in Brooklyn has one of the most popular and fun monthly dance parties in all of the five boroughs. You can expect to hear everything from classic R&B and hip-hop to reggae, house, and rock, all in one night of incredibly fun dancing. It only happens once a month, though, so you’ll have to plan for this one because you definitely don’t want to miss it.
The Get Down
Meanwhile, every other week at 18 Little W 12th Street in Manhattan, you can take part in one of the strangest and most adventurous dance parties around. The Get Down is dedicated to exploring all that dance music can be and do, and no two parties are exactly alike. You might expect to have a giant group meditation on the dance floor before the party, or you could get something entirely different. This dance party sells out fast, though, so you’ll want to get your tickets in advance.
This ‘70s-themed bar on the Lower East Side was once a massage parlor (hence, its name). Since recently reopening, it’s become one of the hottest spots in downtown to go dancing on the weekends.
Up & Down
Want a chance to spot some models and fashion designers out on the town? Check out Up & Down (formerly known as The Darby). The upper-level features hip-hop beats and bottle service, while downstairs you can relax, grab a drink, shoot pool, and dance in a slightly more laid back atmosphere. The mirrored stairwell is a favorite for selfies.
Want to get an incredible view of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline while you dance the night away? Head to Le Bain on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel, Highline. Not only can you get hot and sweaty on the dance floor, but you can also take a late-night dip in the Jacuzzi, too!
Mister Sunday at Industry City
Finally, if you’re looking for a great dance party on a Sunday night, head to Industry City in Brooklyn. The Mister Sunday dance party has a few rules that might seem kind of strict but actually help keep the party fun for everyone. If you’re on the dance floor, you have to dance. There’s no smoking allowed. Don’t bother the DJ with song requests. And no pictures. While you can’t take a selfie on the dance floor, you’re sure to stay in the moment and really enjoy the dancing even more without all the distractions.
Are you ready to go dancing in NYC? Try out one or all of these great spots to get your groove on!