It used to be that we had this thing called a cabaret law that, in a nutshell, stank. It prevented dancing in bars. Long gone, we can now dance across many a bar floor and sweaty basement. Here's where to get your alcohol-fueled exercise.
I stumbled into Bembe on accident one night. Behind the door curtain was a packed bar full of salsaing couples, and the night was a whirlwind. You should definitely go here to dance salsa.
These days, Marquee is spicing things up with nightlife impresario Susanne Bartsch's wild Catwalk Thursdays. The usual round of house dj's fill out Fridays and Saturdays. Bring your credit card and be prepared to spend.
You can dance the hours away at this Bulgarian-themed bar to ridiculously fun klezmer and Romani music, and sometimes even end up drinking vodka with the owner or making new friends.
Go before midnight to avoid a line at favorite LES soul dancing cellar Home Sweet Home. Once ubercool, the floor now gets packed after midnight with a yuppie crowd, but there's still dancing to be had, shadowed by taxidermy and a disco ball. Go for any Jonathan Toubin party.
Brooklyn Bowl has great fried chicken courtesy of Blue Ribbon, but my favorite part of it is certainly a dance party called Soul Clap dj'ed by Jonathan Toubin. Bowling is on the expensive side, but I've seen many great concerts, free and ticketed, here, from Talib Kweli and Jean Grae to Das Racist.
Tandem is one of those places I end up at after I said I was going to go home two hours ago. The tiny back room is a fun dancefloor for a young, hip crowd that just wants to sweat and dance, and the front room is great for drinking, mingling and brunch.
This nightclub with a jacuzzi is still going strong, with interesting dj's that span the gamut from up-and-coming to near-blockbuster. Get towel service rather than bottle service as you jump out of the jacuzzi to shake the drops off on the dancefloor.
Chantelle is like the most popular girl you just can't hate. She's got it all -- lovely rooftop, fun French Mediterranean menu, very hip crowd, hot servers, jazz brunches with Dandy Wellington, and Friday night burlesque with Calamity Chang. Snuggle up on those red leather banquettes with your honey and get an eyeful of New York sexiness.
The cocktails and the music are the draw at Bossa Nova, where serious dj's come to spin over a small dance floor perfect for a Bushwick crowd.