Our Fave “Places to Dance”

It’s not really “periodic” until you do the second one — which is this one! It’s another of our periodic round-ups of our favorite somethings, and this time around the question was “where’s your favorite place to dance?”

Alana says:

Never one for dance clubs, I’ll have to go with my living room. My youngest daughter, who is too young to fight back, and I swing dance to Dick Buckley on Sunday afternoons. We even made the small investment of a 1950’s “stereophonic high fidelity radio phonograph” for the sweet tube amplification. It’s the best joint in Pilsen.

Roderick says:

The Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs. When I was an undergrad, my girlfriend and I learned how to swing dance. We made the trip up to this place from Champaign, and instantly fell in love with it. Six years ago, swing dancing was offered
three nights a week, and was only beginning its fight for coolness with salsa (and looking at all of the salsa places now, swing definitely lost that fight). These days you can go there on Sundays and you might see girls vintage dresses, guys in zoot suits (which isn’t historically accurate, but fun anyway), and awesome dance moves.

While it isn’t IN Chicago, I don’t think there is another place like it in or near Chicago. There is so much history and legend (you southwest-siders know the story of Resurrection Mary, right?…RIGHT?) there. Jazz legends Count Basie and Benny Goodman, as well as modern swing/rockabilly acts
such as Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and Brian Setzer’s Orchestra have all played on that stage. Go there and dance on the huge spring loaded hardwood dance floor and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Jennifer says:

That deer in the computer screen lights look on my face right now is because I haven’t been out dancing in years. Really. Even at the last two weddings I attended, I was pregnant out to here and a true danger of centrifugal force to other wedding guests on the dance floor, not to mention my husband. Is it possible that I have aged out and dorked out of a potential faves category? Possibly. But, I’ll tell you where I’d go if my dance jones kicked up this evening, anyway – Wild Hare.

Haven’t been there in years. Even had to check to see if they were still open. But, you can always count on a good bass vibe, low dance skill requirements, no need for hipster outfits (although they’re respected if you’ve got one), and happy, knee-bending music. Plus, it brings back memories of that night me and K passed a doobie back and forth under the women’s bathroom stall until we were smiling so hard our faces hurt.

Check it out Metrobloggers — I’ll bet you a Jamaican dollar that after clicking on the link, you’ll be making a mental note to get there soon like I did. Gizzae plays this weekend.

Tankboy says:

Well, anyone who’s seen me DJ has been exposed to my “dancing” since I tend to shake the jimmy-leg a bit during my sets. However when it comes to actually getting on the dance-floor and strutting my stuff just about the only place to see me do that is at Carol’s Country Bar when the band is playing. Trust me, the less dancing I do the better it is for everyone within a square block of me.

Rob says:

Smartbar. I can’t think of a bad night I’ve had at Smartbar. The sound rocks. There’s no caged go-go dancers, no dress code, and minimal meat market action (not to be confused with minimal techno meat market action). They also book artists (Derrick May, Ritchie Hawtin, Madga, Michael Mayer, etc.) who could easily fill Vision or some similar larger mega-club in the city. If I had a complaint it would be the drinks could be cheaper and there’s a few dud bartenders.

Lauren says:

I am not a big fan of dancing, although I will occasionally get dragged into some lame club and spend the remainder of the night being embarrassed for people. I am also famously clumsy and am likely to poke my eye out if I bust some sweet moves. So, if I am dancing, it is likely in the comfort of my own house where I can look like a complete idiot without recourse.

Nikkos says:

My new fave: Four, in the old Bigwig space.
Rationale: It’s just a short drunken stumble from my pad.
Novelty: it’s still relatively new and as such, inherently attractive for a night out.
Nice big dance floor.
Interesting and relatively diverse clientele.
Caution: Don’t go early unless you really like techno. The hip-hop doesn’t kick in
until later in the evening.

Fuzzy says:

Is “my living room” an acceptable answer? Dancing is in the broad category of things in my life that I love to do, but rarely can find time to go do (other things in the same category: watching movies, going to high school basketball games, visiting out-of-state friends). The only way I’ve found to make sure I get some dancing in is to schedule it by taking a class. My favorite instructors in the city are Evin and Jason, formerly of Blue Moon Groove, now of Big City Swing.

Big City Swing
1012 W Randolph

Carol’s Pub
4659 N Clark St

1551 W Division St

3730 N Clark St

The Wild Hare
3530N Clark St

The Willowbrook Ballroom
8900 S Archer
Willow Springs

2 Comments so far

  1. Bill V (unregistered) on May 19th, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    Not that I shake it very often (usually very late at night), Smart Bar if it’s new wave / industial / electronic. If it’s rap or hip hop, count me out. I still dig Berlin as well.

  2. roderick (unregistered) on May 19th, 2005 @ 11:58 am

    Fuzzy, I have to agree about your pick for Evin and Andrew. They are some of the most innovative dancers in Chicago, if not the country. I’ve taken classes with them before and have been very pleased.

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