Whether you’re into dancing with your friends at dance clubs, testing your skills on a salsa dance floor, showing off the intricate moves of ballroom, taking tap lessons, or taking fitness-focused dance classes that get the heart pumping, there’s a little something for every dance fan in the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods. If you’re looking for a new go-to hangout, or simply interested in finding out where you can try a new dance style, it’s time you checked out some of these local dance staples.
Mt. Pleasant-area Dance Clubs
A nightclub that’s been in operation for 38 years, Club Heaven & Hell offers two floors of live music, a full bar with specialty drinks, pool tables and billiards on its lower level, a food menu, a wide range of hookah flavors, nightly specials, and a VIP-style atmosphere. It’s well-known for its premier location, “unique floor plan, avant-garde décor, and eclectic selection of music,” making it a great place to enjoy some downtime with other young professionals.
This DJ-owned and operated basement dance club and live music venue features a 500-person capacity, the city’s best sound systems, 1,200 square feet of cork dance floor, and a schedule of both live and DJed music to ensure there’s always a great dance beat. When asked if the sound system really was that good, the owner affirmed it with a confident, “Yes.”
The only authentic Caribbean nightclub in the area, Club Timehri has been D.C.’s place to celebrate authentic Caribbean music, drinks, and dancing since it opened in 1999. Its weekly schedule of events includes both DJs and live music acts as well as drink specials, and it recently underwent extensive renovations.
You might have to travel a little bit to get to this Washington, D.C. institution, but Little Miss Whiskey’s is home to a monthly 80s night, old school funk, soul, R&B, oldies, disco, boogaloo, throwback dance parties, and plenty of DJs to keep the party going almost every night of the week. There’s an extensive food and beer menu, too.
Local Must-Go Salsa Spots
If you’re into salsa, this Brazilian restaurant and dance floor is for you. Bossa Bistro & Lounge features live music, Brazilian tapas, art and spoken word events, cocktails, two stories of candlelit nooks for lounging and enjoying time with friends, large dance floors, and more. It hosts nightly live music shows that span every genre — jazz, rock, world music, and more — and a packed schedule filled with exciting acts to ensure there’s always something to dance to.
This “Cuban oasis” is located in Adams Morgan, right on the edge of the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights areas, and offers DC locals a chance to get a true taste of Cuba. Its mission is “for all our [guests to] have an unforgettable experience,” offering dance lessons, live and DJed music sets, parties, events, private lessons, dinners, and more.
Located in the “cultural crossroads” of northwest 14th and U Streets, Tropicalia is a global dancehall focused on promoting acts from around the world. It’s known as “Washington D.C.’s finest underground concert venue,” decorated with vibrant mural art, and hosts a long list of local live bands and established DJs. Tropicalia also features music workshops, dancing, and more.
Ballroom, Tap and Other Lessons
Everyone’s seen ballroom dancing in movies and on television shows, but they probably haven’t thought about trying it for themselves. Arlington Ballroom offers both group and private lessons, helping its students learn all levels of ballroom in whichever setting makes them most comfortable.
Offering dance instruction for every style of “social dance” — including salsa, first dance lessons for weddings, Brazilian Zouk, swing dancing, and more — the DanceSport at DuPont Circle studio is proud to offer superior lessons, classes, private coaching, and dance events. All are welcome there, and courses are also provided for the sight and hearing impaired.
If you’ve ever been interested in learning how to dance in the salsa style, Salsa with Silvia’s top priority is to create an excellent experience for its students. Its owner, Silvia Alexiev, began dancing at age 6 and has been experimenting with multiple styles for years. She’s teaching all ages now, from kids all the way up to adults, and she and her team of instructors are excited to spread their wealth of dance knowledge with each of their students.
For a more classical dance experience, check out the Dance Institute of Washington (DIW) and its numerous offerings for adults. These include — but are not limited to — Afro-Fit dance fitness class, all levels of ballet, all levels of hip-hop, Zumba, contemporary African dance, and contemporary jazz, among other offerings. The DIW also hosts dance workshops, community events, and more.
Fitness and Athletic Dance Centers
If dancing for a good cardio workout is more your thing, 305 Fitness is home to a long list of classes that might be perfect for you. Each features music by a live DJ, a light show, and high energy to create a fun and exciting dance class event. The team guarantees both a great experience and a great workout. Just make sure you sign up in advance to secure your spot!
Named “Best Dance Company” and “Best Dance Class” by the Washington City Paper’s Reader’s Poll, Jordin’s Paradise is a go-to for dance lessons in burlesque, belly dancing, cardio kickboxing, hip-hop, pole dancing, tango, twerking, and more. The studio offers classes for all ability levels, beginners through advanced, and provides unlimited memberships that will enable fitness dance lovers to try several different styles.