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Denverites may have a reputation for their prowess in the great outdoors, but they know a thing or two about getting down on the dance floor, too—which makes sense, given the dozens of spots to cut a rug on any given week night around town. Avoiding the rowdy crowds and washed-up club tunes, however, is an art in and of itself. To help you navigate, we put on our dancing shoes and rounded up our favorite places to get down in Denver.
It’s as easy to get lost in the music as it is the maze of rooms at this South Broadway nightclub—but in the best way possible. Venture into the underground bass haven located below Bar Standard in the historic Jonas Furs Building through its back-alley entrance, and boogy your way through several rooms, each blasting different genres of music. So whether you’re into the Red Room’s house, techno, or trap music, or feeling the indie mix spinning in the monochromatic, retro-themed Milk Room, you’re guaranteed a taste of eclectic, chest-thudding beats to keep you moving all night. (The venue also features darkwave electro, synth pop, goth, and industrial sounds on Wednesdays.) 1037 Broadway; Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 p.m.–2 a.m.
Grab a partner and spice up any weeknight at Denver’s mainstay Latin dance club. Dancers of all levels are welcome for the fiery, fast-paced salsa or suavemente Bachata-style dance nights. Arrive one hour before the club opens every Thursday through Sunday for a lesson on basic steps, spins, and cross-body turns. (More advanced classes available Mondays through Wednesdays.) Just be sure to don a fit that matches the choreography’s flair, as this club enforces a nightly dress code. 99 W. 9th Ave; Lessons Mondays through Wednesdays 7–9 p.m.; Lessons and club nights Thursdays through Saturdays 8 p.m.–1:30 a.m.; Find information on class schedule, special events, cover charges and more online
A laid-back, open-garage hangout by day, this RiNo Art District outpost (the Texas-based bar’s third and only out-of-state location) takes on a whole new vibe when the sun goes down. Every Friday and Saturday night, the vintage lounge chairs and high-top tables are moved out of the way to make room for the unofficial dance floor. The key ingredient to the hypnotic energy that ensues? Local DJ and weekday radio-show host for 104.7FM The Drop and 89.3FM KUVO, Bella Scratch, who moonlights at Lustre Pearl to spin today’s hottest hip-hop bangers and throwback tunes you can’t resist moving to. 1315 26th St.; Mondays through Fridays 2 p.m.–2 a.m.; Saturdays and Sundays noon–2 a.m.
This global wellness community and dance company brings the all-ages-welcome party to you in broad daylight—and proves you don’t need the ol’ dancing juice to have a blast—at its monthly 9 a.m. ragers. First, warm up with the optional one-hour yoga session that opens each of the sober, pop-up fêtes (often hosted at some of Colorado’s most iconic venues such as the Broncos’ Mile High Stadium and Meow Wolf Denver). Then, let loose with hundreds of fellow dancers at the emcee-guided extravaganza, with plenty of glitter, confetti, and EDM beats. Don’t miss the next Daybreaker event, Natüre Tour, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on April 10. Locations and pricing vary; find more information online
Just three blocks from Coors Field, this gastropub and music venue is the ostentatious needle in a sports-bar-laden haystack.The multi-level venue is located inside a historic 19th-century Victorian brownstone that once housed a former brothel and peep shows, and is storied for its delicious dinners and brunches, intimate live music performances, and unmatched dance nights (Think: Disco get-downs, 80s/90s/early-aughts throwback themes, Beyoncé vs. Rihanna battles.) After its temporary closure in spring 2020 and recent renovations (including updates to sound and light equipment, a forthcoming patio, and making the first floor more spacious for concert-viewing and, yes, dancing), Denverites will finally be able to make their long-awaited pilgrimage back to the beloved sunken dance floor when Ophelia’s officially reopens to the public on April 13. 1215 20th St.; hours vary; find lineups and more information online
Whether you’re a bit of a music snob or simply tired of hearing the same overplayed hits, this indie dance party from local DJ Michael Trundle is for you. Born on South Broadway and hosted every Friday night at HQ, the dance utopia for Mile High music nerds is still going strong after 21 years. Trundle—aka Boyhollow—carefully curates a weekly alternative tracklist of guilty pleasures and lesser-known gems, so you can blissfully bop your head to faves otherwise underplayed in Denver’s clubs, like the Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, Fontaines D.C., and more. 60 S Broadway; 9 .m.–2 a.m.; Tickets starting at $7
Hit the hardwood at this 20-year-old staple, where every Wednesday and Sunday night are dedicated to bootscootin’ country-western fun. Join instructor Laurie Burkhardt beforehand for one-hour line dancing lessons on the Two-Step, Cowboy Cha Cha, and other classic combinations to bust out when the music (and drinks) start flowing. And on Wednesday’s—the venue’s famed Ladies Night—cowgirls drink for free until 11 p.m. 2430 S. Havana St., Aurora; Hours and cover charges vary; Find more information online
Embrace this dive’s kitschy, come-as-you-are vibes and dance to beats from around the globe at the recurring installment inside Five Points’ 715 Club, hosted by local music collective Groove On on the first Saturday of each month. Rotating resident and guest DJs like Tyler Wyatt and HexKitten serve up a mix of Brazilian Funk and Afrobeat sounds infused with modern hip-hop and pop, so you can work up a proper sweat. Should you need to refuel, by-the-slice Famous Original J’s Pizza is waiting for you on the patio. 715 E. 26th Ave.; 2 p.m.–2 a.m.
(Read more: Step Inside Denver’s Last Honky Tonk)