With all due respect to bobbing your head with your arms folded at an indie rock show...
Sometimes you want to actually dance to the music. After all, sometimes the best way to experience music is to move your body and get involved with it. Because Austin is the kinda town that lives for this kind of thing, there are a ton of places in town that cater to it. On any given night of the week, you can find a place to cut a damn rug. Here are our picks for Where to Go Dancing in Austin. Cut a rug, y'all.
A relative newcomer in the Austin dance club scene, Vulcan Gas Company has nonetheless quickly become one of the best places in town to see touring DJ's and experience rowdy-as-hell afterparties.
A list of places to get down in Austin wouldn't feel right unless we included the granddaddy of them all, The Continental Club. You won't hear EDM blasting from this South Congress classic, though. Instead, Continental Club has patrons 2-stepping and groovin' to the sounds of Jon Dee Graham, Miss Toni Price, Dale Watson & Lonestars and more every week.
Undoubtedly the most consistently bumpin' club on Red River, Barbarella is where folks go when they want to properly dance their asses off. Home to both the famous TuesGayz AND Jimmy Eat Wednesday, Barbarella isn't just a beloved venue; it's a pillar of the dance community.
Considered the “Best Honky-Tonk in Texas” and serving what they say is the state’s best chicken fried steak, there’s no better way to learn to 2-step and enjoy traditional country music than by hitting the dance floor at this historic venue. Broken Spoke is the ideal place to indulge your inner-Texan by learning from the best.
Kingdom is the perfect place to go if you don't know whose DJ'ing, because if they were booked it means they'll have you dancing. Kingdom's entire M.O. is getting people sweaty and having a good time, so rest assured - if you go to Kingdom, you are going to dance. That's Game of Throne's Hodor DJ'ing in the above photo, by the way.
A honky tonk in every sense of the term, The White Horse is another great place (the other being the aforementoned Broken Spoke) to learn you some country dancin'. And yes, they get pretty damn rowdy here. If you think country folk don't like to get down just as much as anyone else, visit The White Horse on a Saturday night. They give any techno club a run for their money.
A dance club with a distinctly goth bent, Elysium has been a source for alternative dance entertainment since opening its hallowed doors in 2001. You can find all manner of danceable yet dark programming booked here. So if the darker side of dancing is what appeals to you, we'd recommend you don your blackest set of clothes and most comfortable shoes because Elysium goes hard.
Many nights a week, Volstead Lounge makes the unlikely transformation from quiet little cocktail lounge into bonafide rager on account of MC talent they book. In addition to the consistently groovy new shows booked every month, there are recurring DJ's like King Louie who has cultivated a fervent following and show up every week ready to party.
The Highball always has the coolest stuff going on, and it's often of the dancey variety. You can pop in at the start of the week for Motown Monday for a little Blues dance lessons, or on Saturdays for their 90s Flashback Dance Party with Zoodust. Plus, there's karaoke rooms which you and your friends will definitely end up dancing in after a few drinks anyway.
It takes two to Esquina Tango, so you might want to consider bringing a friend. This venerable dance studio, located at 209 Pedernales street, offers classes in the fine art of Tango every day of the week that ends in a 'y'. Don't be intimidated, it's easier than it looks. Probably.
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