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  Nightlife  

Dance Clubs

 

By: Shayne Benowitz

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a night on the town.

Join the party on the dance floor and find out firsthand why Miami is world-renowned for its high-energy nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a mega club with headlining DJs, a chill lounge to let loose or a funky Latin spot to test your salsa skills, Miami’s got a dance club for you.

Mega Dance Clubs

When it comes to an epic party in Miami, there’s no place like LIV. Located inside the legendary Fontainebleau resort, the 18,000-square-foot megaclub boasts a domed ceiling, impressive light show and VIP tables lining the dance floor and mezzanine. World class DJs such as David Guetta, Steve Angello and Tiësto are regulars here, laying down the beats that make the crowd bounce. That’s when the confetti starts flying and glow sticks come out. Bring your A game and dress to impress—this is one of the toughest velvet ropes in town.

A sister club to LIV, Story is even bigger and has an emphasis on the electronic underground. Their Saturday night parties, dubbed #UndergroundStory, play host to subversive artists like Guy Gerber, Dubfire and Lee Foss, but mainstream DJs like Skrillex, Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris are also regulars here. The enormous space features a massive DJ booth, pulsating lights and live entertainers to complement the beats.

One of Miami’s new nightlife hotspots, E11EVEN is found inside a massive entertainment complex in Downtown Miami open 24-hours a day. A self-described “immersive” experience, E11EVEN is part-cabaret and part-night club featuring dancers, DJs and other performers as the main event. The club also boasts a rooftop restaurant and lounge, Touché by Top Chef alum Carla Pellegrino.

For after hours revelers not ready to call it quits at 5 a.m., Club Space is your refuge for dancing in a warehouse-style space in Downtown Miami well past the break of dawn. Hosting world class DJs at all hours, the dance party at Space takes you to another dimension.

Ultra Lounges

Rec Room is a cool, subterranean lounge at the Gale Hotel, opened as an instant classic in 2013 and has been a perennial hotspot ever since. The wood-paneled design, with various knick-knacks and stacks of old records for décor, is a welcome contrast to all that glitters in South Beach. As for the soundtrack, it's a refreshing mash-up of throwback hits from the Eighties and Nineties, lending an air of lightheartedness to the party and lots of smiles on the dance floor.

A hip new hangout inside The Miami Beach EDITION hotel, Basement takes nightlife to another level. There’s a place to dance – dubbed Discobox and inspired by Ian Schrager’s legendary Studio 54 (he’s also the mastermind of the hotel). And there are a couple of novel concepts: a four-lane bowling alley and an ice-skating rink. Discobox’s sound skews towards nu-disco, and they host a variety of themed parties throughout the week with both visiting and local DJs on the decks.

Located on the 50th floor rooftop of the W Miami, Fifty Ultra Lounge is an indoor-outdoor poolside club with sweeping views of the city. With DJs spinning late night, it's a chic and sexy spot to shake it on top of the world.

Wall Lounge is an intimate, high-energy nightclub at the W South Beach hotel with ample VIP tables, a dance floor and two bars. Walls glitter with gilded, diamond-patterned mirrors, and a disco ball hangs above the center of the room. Expect open format DJ sets most evenings, unless a headlining DJ is on the decks. Tuesday nights host the long-running Brazilian-themed Favela Beach party.

Latin Dance Clubs

El Tucán is a Brickell hotspot bringing back a bygone era of dinner clubs, a lá The Tropicana. Here, guests can enjoy dinner and a show by artists like Tito Puente Jr. and Afrobeta, as well as El Tucán house band, led by Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Marlow Rosado. Serving a Latin fusion menu with drinks by Bar Lab (the masterminds behind The Broken Shaker), El Tucán is a sophisticated option for Miami entertainment. With two dinner seatings, dance the night away to live music and stay late when the DJ takes over after midnight.

For an only-in-South-Beach experience, stumble into Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive, belly up to the bar and order whatever tropical libation suits your fancy. Day or night, it’s only a matter of time before dancers dressed in feathered headdresses, colorful flamenco-style skirts, and skintight glittering spandex scale the bar to perform. At night, the crowd joins in the dance party surrounding the bar for a fun night out.

In Doral, La Covacha is a local spot known for its incredible live Latin music ranging from salsa and merengue to house and even disco. The welcoming backyard tiki-style bar draws a crowd ready to move on the dance floor. Join them and test your skills.

Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana is a destination for authentic Cuban music, drinks, and of course dancing. If names like Celia Cruz and Benny More don’t ring a bell, then you’ll get an education in the Cuban music greats here. Go on Thursday night for the Fuacata! party when local favorites The Spam Allstars perform their unique blend of Latin funk.

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