Los Angeles dance clubs get a late start, some not opening until 11 pm, but if you're willing to stay up until the wee hours, there are places to go dancing around Los Angeles every night of the week. Here are some popular spots for people who want to actually dance. Clubs are not on their list because they're exclusive, but rather because they are inclusive, at least most of the time. Some clubs that are normally inclusive can be exclusive under the control of certain promoters. Clubs stop serving alcohol at 2 am, but a few stay open until 4.
Many LA clubs have a short shelf life, either closing, relocating or getting made over under another name, so check the individual club website to make sure it is still open.
If you've never been to an LA club, be prepared—cover charges are usually $20-40 (sometimes even if you're on the list, more for big names), beers $7-9, and cocktails $12-18.
Exchange LA in Downtown Los Angeles is a favorite EDM club for those who are more about dancing than seeing and being seen. There are separate DJs spinning on the first and 2nd floor, and a VIP 3rd floor lounge area for bottle service. It's not fancy but brings in popular DJs, so it's always crowded.
Boulevard3 is a huge indoor/outdoor venue with a mixed crowd, known for their male/female go-go dancers and free tacos and chocolate-covered strawberries at midnight. They're not the newest kid on the block anymore, but that makes them more accessible, and more fun. Always a cover, even for a guest list, except for bottle service.
A mix of live bands and DJs keep two dance floors writhing. This club is 18+ on Thursday and Friday, and stays open all night Saturday, with a separate after-hours club on Fridays. Check the website for schedule.
Bardot is a lounge with live music, DJs and a small dance floor above Avalon, known for their A-list clientele, a view of the Avalon dance floor below, and a peek at the starry skies above through the open-air canopy. They're also known for Monday School Night live bands.
Project Club Los Angeles
Project Club LA is the latest remake of the club formerly known as The Roxbury and before that as Ivar. The warehouse-like space retains the huge exposed brick wall, adding new art, lights and sound system. It's owned by the same folks that bring you Supperclub LA, Lure, and Hemingways Lounge, which is at the Hollywood Blvd entrance of the same complex.
Above all else, Sound gets very good reviews for their sound system. A medium-size dance floor is bookended by two bars and surrounded by 2 levels of tables and booths that use up some of the dance space. Current home of the long-running Monday Night Social EDM party. Advance tickets are usually available and recommended.
Prototype at Lot 616
This dance party in a warehouse gallery with a full bar in the Downtown LA Arts District is one of the hippest underground music parties in town on select Friday and Saturday nights.
Elevate is on the 21st floor of an office tower in Downtown LA across the hall from Takami Sushi restaurant. It's a cool venue with amazing views. the dance floor isn't huge, but it's decent. The club has been around a while but still fills up. Come early for dinner or a drink in the bar at Takami and bypass the line downstairs to get in to Elevate. Dress code enforced.
Club Mayan has three different dance rooms going on Saturdays and two on Fridays. The huge main floor is all kinds of music Friday and a tropical, top 40 mix with live salsa and tropical bands on Saturday. The Mezzanine is all about Latin Dance on Fridays and an eclectic DJ mix on Saturdays, with the addition of Hip Hop, Urban, and R&B in the Basement on Saturdays. The crowd varies by room, but is heavily Latino in all shapes and sizes out to have a great time dancing.
Warm summer evenings dancing the night away in the open air with the option of cooling off in the heated pool is a Downtown LA favorite. The dance floor itself is tiny, but there's not really a shortage of space. There's usually a DJ, but occasionally you can also dance to a live band here. Hotel guests get priority access, so book a room to guarantee admission. RSVP or Guest list is required Friday and Saturday after 8 pm.
Carbon is an unpretentious dance hall in Culver City, known for being hot, crowded and addictive, especially on Tuesday night Reggae Nights. They play all kinds of music for the rest of the week. No cover, drinks are much cheaper than Hollywood, especially during pre-10:30 p.m. happy hour, and there are free parking lots in front and back.
Unlike other Santa Monica dance staples Circle Bar or the Room, where the dance floor is more of an afterthought, West End (formerly Zanzibar) is an industrial-feel nightclub that incorporates fashion and art with live music and DJ events.
Create Nightclub is a bit of a mix, with two dance rooms and a patio lounge area. They foster emerging EDM artists in addition to world-renowned talent. Create is known for their pre-sale online ticketing that gets you in before 11 without a wait, their Friday night Asian Night and bouncers who like to thin the crowd by kicking random people out.
The Room in Santa Monica
The Room is a small Santa Monica lounge with a dance floor located downstairs under the Chestnut Club, with the entrance in the back off the parking lot. Open Thursday through Sunday, but they may not have a DJ on Thursday.