There are countless places to go dancing in Brooklyn, with scenes to suit your every mood, from large clubs in converted warehouses, to loft parties of questionable legality, to outdoor, organic BBQs like the one debuting this Sunday, May 25, at The Yard, where DJs from the Water Taxi Beach, APT, and Studio B will be joined throughout the summer by guests like Afrika Bambaataa and former Digable Planets DJ King Britt (details at sundaybestnyc.com).
New York Night Train Soul Clap Dance Party and Dance-Off
Venue: Glasslands , 289 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg
Music: Early soul, rock ‘n’ roll, esoteric Motown, obscure versions of songs eventually popularized by the Beatles. The only place outside of my own house where I have ever heard the song “Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence “Frogman” Henry.
Crowd: People who are really good dancers. People who aren’t good dancers at all but who love to dance anyway. People who won’t look at you funny no matter what you wear.
Ages: 20s and 30s
Bonuses: The Dance-Off winner takes home a cash prize. For the more rhythmically challenged, there’s a back room where you can create/partake in experimental art.
When: Saturdays monthly; next one scheduled for June 14. Doors at 9 pm, dance-off around midnight, $3 cover.
Down ‘n’ Derby
Venue: Studio B, 259 Banker St. in Greenpoint
Music: Michael Jackson, Madonna, “Come on Eileen,” and other songs you used to hear at the local roller rink back when you were in elementary school.
Crowd: A few normal people mixed in with masses of Xanadu wannabes and American Apparel-crazed hipsters. Most of these kids are drunk and belligerently waiting in line to rent skates.
Ages: Mostly 20s, but no younger — they card hard.
Bonus: If you’re one of the lucky ones who actually arrives in time to get skates, you get free knee socks with them.
When: Next one is not currently scheduled, but join their mailing list here for notifications about upcoming parties. 10 pm-4 am, $7 cover, $3 skate rental (or bring your own).
Venue: Southpaw, 125 5th Ave. in Park Slope
Music: Mostly modern and classic rap and hip-hop, like Kanye, Tupac, and Blackstreet. There’s also a random sprinkling of M.I.A., the Gossip, and Pat Benatar.
Crowd: Dudes in t-shirts; dudes in baseball caps; dudes who want to make out with any warm-blooded woman.
Ages: Mostly mid- to late 20s.
Bonuses: Not only does Southpaw have a pool table, but they also have video games, including Pac-Man. And if the dance floor gets too sweaty, you can take a break in the quieter downstairs area.
When: The first Saturday of each month. Next one is June 7, 10 pm-4 am, $5 cover.