Dance clubs in LA: The best places to dance every night of the week

We've tapped into the best dance clubs in LA at which to get your groove on every night of the week.

Salsa Tuesdays at Wokcano

When you want to do some serious business on the dance floor, it's best to eschew behemoth, glam-tastic nightclubs in favor of smaller, no-frills spots and classic dancehalls where the grooves are infectuous and busting a move is the main event. Our picks for the best dance clubs in LA will feed your need for everything from hip hop and salsa to reggae and soul, every night, Sunday through Saturday.

Sunday

Salsa at the Double H Club

Yes, cool things can happen in airport hotels, especially one with a three-dance-floor club. You won't even hear the planes taking off over the thumping tropical music on Sunday nights, when some of the LA area's best salseros (and beginners, too) gather to end the weekend on a spicy note. Jump in a class before the DJ starts if you're unsure of your footing and then prepare to sweat as the beat sways from salsa and bachata to merengue and cha cha. Take a break in the Spanish-style garden courtyard, and you'll swear you're somewhere south of the border.

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Hacienda Hotel Free

OG Sundays

This cozy neighborhood bar is the perfect spot to wind down the weekend if you're feeling low key but still have a little dance left in you. It's definitely more watering hole than dance club, but DJ As-Is (plus occasional guest DJs) always has people on their feet with feel-good tunes that leap from funk and soul to disco and boogie. The crowd can vary—one week it'll be sparse and the next so thick you can barely move. But when it hits that sweet spot between slow and sardine-packed, you'll definitely want to blow off that Monday morning meeting.

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The Dime Free

Monday

Motown Mondays (MOM LA)

This soul-stirring celebration of the Motown sound will have you hand clapping and hip swaying Supreme-style. Resident DJs spin originals, remixes and close relatives of Motown favorites, while guest DJs drop in for special theme nights (e.g. hip hop edition, Michael Jackson tribute, etc.). The grooves are undeniably badass, and while a healthy crowd of cool cats always shows, the dance floor at this dive bar is typically less crowded on Mondays than on other nights of the week—a boon if you're moved to get all "American Bandstand" and bust out the Watusi.

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Short Stop Free

Club Blue Mondays

The 1980s are alive and well, at least in Hollywood on Monday nights. The neo-gothic B52 Club at Boardner's takes you on a time warp back to the days of bustier tops, acid-washed jeans and big hair. It's a sweaty scene that would make Olivia Newton John proud; the dressed-the-part crowd (most too young to remember the '80s) gets physical to pop/electro gems from upbeat Madonna and MJ to moody Morrissey and The Cure. Like something out of a Brat Pack film, the goths can be found in the covered courtyard wearing all black and writhing to Nine Inch Nails.

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Boardner's

Tuesday

Salsa Tuesdays

Salsa dancing under the stars, ocean breezes, fruity cocktails... are you somewhere in the islands? Nope, you're on the patio of an Asian-fusion restaurant in Santa Monica. An unlikely salsa spot, sure, but one with serious cred nonetheless. Skilled salseros flock here for the open-air dance floor and terrific DJ spinning Latin classics from salsa and cha cha to bachata. On a warm night, it's a heavenly experience (but don't worry—there's a covered area as well for chillier evenings). Beginner and intermediate lessons precede the party—you'll need them to break the ice with this practiced crowd.

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Wokcano - Santa Monica

Old School Tuesdays

"Old school" is a loose descriptor for this jovial Tuesday night shindig. Yes, a good deal of what DJ Matt Robinson selects can be considered old school, from back-in-the-day hip hop à la Biggie and Tupac to vintage Wham! and Prince. But hey, it's Tuesday night, and no one's feeling too serious about much of anything, so he might also throw in a current Beyoncé or Too Short jam. The laid back crowd starts moving with gusto the more drink they have in them, meaning things really get hopping after midnight, when you'll totally forget it's not the weekend.

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Circle Bar Free

Wednesday

Low End Theory

Before you even reach the top of the stairs at this gritty, bi-level dive bar, you can feel the bass booming in your belly. The legendary DJ night is a beat-head's dream, with a massive sound system spitting out a wide range of experimental hip hop and beat-driven electronic music (IDM, dubstep, glitch, etc.). The packed-to-the-gills crowd (it's 18+ here, so the throng skews young... and male) doesn't so much dance as surrender to the vibration. Keep your eyes peeled for live performances—everyone from Erykah Badu to Odd Future has graced the unassuming stage.

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The Airliner

Dub Club

Every Wednesday night, the cavernous Echoplex sets sail to Jamaica when this roots reggae party kicks off. The biggest names out of Kingston have played here, from Sister Nancy and Eek-A-Mouse to Wailing Soul, but the club also welcomes locally-grown talent as well as acts from equally salt-of-the-earth genres like cumbia and Afrobeat. So expect to do more than just sway to the steel drum; most nights, there's bona fide ass shaking underway. You'll be elbow-to-elbow with cool kids and old timers, including a critical mass of dreadlocked rastas and the girls who love them, all feeling irie.

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Echoplex

Thursday

Bachata Tropical Thursday Nights

Bachata, a slinky partner dance from the Dominican Republic, has exploded in popularity in recent years, giving salsa a run for its money and earning dedicated dance nights around town. The Granada was one of the first places to host these parties and arguably still runs the hottest. This isn't your grandparents' bachata: young adherents at the club infuse the dance with fancy footwork and even elements of hip hop for a modern/urban twist. Guys sport jeans and sneaks, while the ladies can get away with tight dresses and stilettos since the turns involved aren't too treacherous. Even beginners will find bachata accessible—and addictive.

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The Granada LA

Afro Funké

This East African-inspired lounge is the perfect backdrop for the deeply rhythmic world music buffet on offer every Thursday. The rotating roster is like an ingathering of the African diaspora, with DJs and live music acts playing everything from Afrobeat and samba to cumbia and makossa. Translation: It's impossible not to move—the thunderous percussion invites hip-quaking abandon. Though there are certainly African expats in the mix, the patrons tend to be as diverse as the music. It all adds up to a night where "one love" seems possible (and not just a euphemism for a post-club hook up).

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Zanzibar

Friday

Culture Clash

A young, multi-cultural, Eastside-cum-Filipinotown crowd flocks to this free weekly party for the smackdown of high-energy hip hop versus sultry reggae. In the high-ceilinged back room, you can jump around to Golden Era hip hop gems and current hits (albeit no song seems to get more than 30 seconds of play from the flip-happy DJs), while in the lounge's eclectic, gothic-inspired front room (think deer antler chandeliers), couples grind to reggaeton and classic dancehall. Guys wear ball caps, ladies go faux upscale-casual, and someone's always smoking something skunky. Arrive early (pre-11pm) or you'll get stuck in a long line outside.

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Medusa Lounge Free

Akbar Fridays

This North African-themed Silver Lake haunt is known as an indie/hipster gay bar with straight-friendly vibes, and its dance floor is a rollicking extension of the fun, fluid mix. On a typical Friday, DJs spin everything from indie rock and techno to '80s pop, inviting bop-around-type dancing that's accessible even to newbs. Don't be surprised if you spot a dude in a bow tie busting out disco moves next to a straight couple slow dancing and a group of girlfriends gettin' jiggy in pleather shorts. Everyone's welcome, and no one's shy.

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Akbar Free

Saturday

Funky Sole

This raw soul party will transport you straight to Funkytown. The DJs dig deep in their crates to bring you unique, obscure grooves from the late 1960s and early '70s (many so rare that your phone app won't even recognize them). But even if the tunes are vintage, the moves on the floor are up-to-the-minute. A critical mass of b-boys and b-girls show up to break on the funk beats, making the music seem as fresh as ever. The mood is buoyant, the dancers are gawk-worthy, and the journey's sure to funk you up.

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Echo

The Room Saturdays

It's tough to find the entrance to The Room, as the door is in back, through a parking lot, and down some stairs. But on Saturday nights, the effort pays off, when you enter what seems like a dark, underground, boogie-down speakeasy. There's no central dance floor; people just groove wherever they happen to park themselves in the jam-packed, oval-shaped bar, coaxed along by the contagious hip hop/R&B bangers (new and old school) courtesy of DJ Wyatt Case. The crowd of hip Westsiders is super congenial, even while they're inadvertently elbowing you in the throes of dance ecstasy.

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The Room Santa Monica Free

Comments

4 comments
Justin m
Justin m

Great Club #LureSaturdays for Guestlist : 213-839-3359

Sara Jane
Sara Jane

I had a great time at Exchange LA for Insomniacs Event. A bit pricey but I guess most clubs are charging this much now. The drinks were well made and the line was super easy, unlike most clubs in LA. Sarah http://lalovesedm.com/nightlife

Aleksay
Aleksay

No mention of Underground... tsk, tsk..It's one of the funnest nights ever and it is every Friday in Chinatown.

 Aleksay V.
Aleksay V.

Missed by far one of the most fun events in LA's storied club history and that is Club Underground. It is a weekly Friday dance party that has been host to so many great shows and even a visit from Morrissey himself. It is the best Indie/PostPunk/Britpop night in the States. So much cuteness and zero attitude. Come on Time Out, get with the program and bring up your cool points. =P