Updated Dec 17, 2018
Ready to test out your dancing skills? Here are the best places to dance in Chicago where you can practice your partner dancing from salsa to bachata to swing. Get your dancing shoes on and get movin’ and groovin’!
BYOB Group Classes and Dance Parties at Duet
Every Friday night we host a BYOB beginner level group class from 9-10pm. With a different style each week, this is a great way to unwind on a Friday night and try out a new dance style- consider it a sampler or taste test of a dance style. Once a month we have a Friday night party with a beginner level group class and lots of open dancing which allows you practice your steps and learn new styles. With themes like Dirty Dancing Valentine’s Party, Game of Thrones Halloween Party, and Ugly Sweater Swing Dance Party, these events sell out quickly so get your tickets ASAP!
When: Fridays 9-10pm for Group Classes, Fridays 9-11pm for Parties
What: Beginner level classes, BYOB, Various Styles Including Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Swing, Solo Dancing, and MORE!
An authentic Chicago speakeasy and a favorite of Al Capone! This gem has live music everyday of the week, and we recommend going to dance on Tuesday and Thursday nights to the big bands and ragtime music. Cover charge is usually about $8, and you can dance swing and maybe even a little foxtrot all night!
When: Tuesdays from 9 PM to 1 AM, Thursdays from 9 PM to 1 AM
What: Live jazz and big band music. Perfect for swing dancing.
Everyone’s favorite Wrigleyville bar hosts a salsa night on Sundays with an excellent DJ and regular crowd. Cover is usually about $10 and you’ll find a great mix of Latin music and dancing.
When: Sundays at 9 PM
What: Live Latin music. Perfect for salsa, bachata, merengue and cha cha dancing.
If you’re looking for salsa dancing, live music, and some fantastic people watching, Alhambra Palace is the place for you. Salsa dancers come from all over the Midwest to dance here on Tuesday nights. There is also Agrentine Tango every Sunday night as well as a live swing band (The Flat Cats) and dancing on the last Wednesday of every month. Check out their calendar for more details.
When: Tuesdays from 7 PM to 2 AM (except 1st Tuesday of the month), Wednesdays from 8 PM to 12 AM. Sundays 7 PM to 12AM
What: DJ and live band. Latin music on Tuesdays, swing music on Wednesdays, Argentine Tango on Sundays.
The Drake hotel is a gorgeous Chicago landmark that everyone should explore at least once. The Palm Court is located to the left of the main lobby, and while there is no cover charge there is a food and drinks menu. Check out their entertainment calendar for swing and jazz bands, and avoid dancing too close to the fountain in the middle of the floor!
When: Fridays and Saturdays from 9 PM to 12:30 AM
What: Live jazz band. Perfect for swing and some ballroom/Latin styles.
It’s definitely not summer in Chicago until Summer Dance begins. The Chicago Parks District hosts this fantastically varied festival of live music and dancing. Every style is available, just check the schedule, and last year they even began hosting competitions for the best social dancer and the best footwork. Summerdance is a great opportunity to pack a picnic and meet some friends in the park to enjoy the weather and dance together. Be sure to check out the sangria from the snack bar, and arrive early on Salsa nights as it gets crowded fast.
When: June to September (Thursday to Sundays).
What: Live bands. A variety of styles including salsa, swing, tango and ballroom.
Transit nightclub plays all kinds of latin and club music in three very distinct rooms. Check out their facebook page for special events and cover charges.
When: Most Fridays, Saturdays and Holidays. Check online calendar for events.
What: Bachata and various other Latin styles including reggaeton, cumbia, and corrido
This Cuban/pan Latin restaurant is known for their mojitos, 1940s art deco interior, and live music. Located in River North, they host live music every Thursday and Saturday. We recommend the band on Saturday nights- they are great to dance to! Go for dinner and drinks, and stick around for the music and dancing, it’s shaping up to be a great spot! Every so often they have a Caipirinha tasting event with live music and dancing, so keep an eye on their facebook page.
When: Thursdays from 8:30PM, and Saturdays 11:30PM to 3AM
What: Live Latin music for salsa, bachata, and merengue dancing.
This hole-in-the-wall bar in Ukranian Village has been a local hotspot since the early nineties and is known for their cheap drinks and variety of live music just about every night. Depending on what band is playing, you can dance country two step, single swing, or smooth swing. Keep an eye on their calendar or subscribe to their newsletter for updates on bands coming through.
When: Live bands nearly every night of the week. Check their calendar or subscribe to their newsletter for updates.
What: Depending on the band- country two step, single swing, smooth swing
Located in Edison Park, a suburb on the northwest edge of Chicago, Firewater is a favorite of locals who love their country music. They have live country music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and have a line dancing night on Mondays. The dance floor can be crowded on the weekends, and we recommend going with a group of friends to the line dancing on Monday nights. Throw on your boots and get country y’all!
When: Line Dancing on Mondays 7PM to 10PM, Live country music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays- see website for schedule.
What: Line Dancing, Some swing dancing
What is your favorite place to dance in Chicago? Please share with us!
- The Duet Team
Need help with your dancing?
The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessons, wedding dance instruction and private dance parties. Online Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!