Great Spots to Dance in Philadelphia
This packed Latin dance club has recreated the South American vibe — complete with an indoor waterfall and tropical fish — in the heart of Old City. Salsa, mambo, and rumba to the live music every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night. For the gringos who might want to work on their steps beforehand, the club offers $5 lessons (plus a free drink) every Wednesday night from 8 to 10 p.m.
$5 on Wednesdays, $10 on the weekend, 112 Chestnut Street, 215-413-1700, brasilsnightclub-philly.com
If you only know Cuba Libre for its ceviche and mojitos, you’re missing out. After the restaurant closes up on weekend nights at 11:30, the tables are pushed back and the music comes on. Their house DJ plays the spiciest of Latin salsas, merengues, and bachatas for the always packed crowd. On warmer nights, the restaurant throws open its front windows, making the pre-Castro Havana vibe even cooler.
Free cover, 10 South 2nd Street, 215-627-0666, cubalibrerestaurant.com
Salsa in the Suburbs
To get your salsa and merengue fix beyond the city limits, this dance group hosts bi-monthly salsa parties for a more laid-back atmosphere to practice your steps. With beginner lessons from 9 to 10 p.m. and open Salsa, Cha-Cha, Merengue, and Bachata, you can dance until 2 a.m. without the crowded club or expensive cover. A live DJ, inexpensive cash bar and refreshments set the scene every first and third Saturday of the month.
$12, The Media Inn, 435 East Baltimore Pike, Media, 610-800-8182, salsainthesuburbs.com
Lindy and Blues
Every Tuesday night, this Philly headquarters for the Lindy Hop opens its doors for a three-hour social dance from 9 p.m. to midnight. Drop by from 8 to 9 p.m. for free group lessons (no partner necessary) to brush up on your technique.
$5, The Ethical Society Building, 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, lindyandblues.com
For the finest vintage jazz and swing in the city, try the Jazz Attic every Thursday night from 9 p.m. until midnight. Expect a variety of your favorites, including the Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag. To get moving beforehand, they offer intermediate lessons from 7 to 8 p.m. and beginner lessons from 8 to 9 p.m. Don’t have a partner? Don’t worry – partners rotate during classes and everyone mingles during the social dance.
$5 for lessons, $5 for the social dance, In the Give and Take Juggling Studio, 6122 Greene St., Germantown, thejazzattic.com
Center City Salsa
Devoted salseros and salseras of Philadelphia need to check out Center City Salsa’s “Strictly Salsa” dance party. Held by MasterJay Moves Dance Studio every first and third Friday of the month, an hour-long beginner lesson kicks off each evening at 9:30 p.m. With the wallet-friendly $5 cover, you can become a regular and learn this “hot and sexy dance” in no time.
$5, MasterJay Moves Dance Studio, 311 Market Street, 2nd Floor, 215-564-2575. masterjmoves.com