New York City certainly has it all! The recognized ballroom dancer, Olga Kochnova, shared with us the 7 best NYC social dance venues. We are sure to get you on your feet in no time!
Olga Kochanova is a prominent, internationally recognized ballroom dancer from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She is the founder of Brooklyn Dance Lessons – a NYC-based dance company that offers private lessons of ballroom, social, and wedding dance.
Olga has been a practicing ballroom dancer for over 20 years. She has studied all major styles of ballroom dance as well as rhythmic gymnastics. Olga is proficient in the International Standard, Latin styles as well as in American Rhythm and Smooth.
Having participated in over 200 prestigious competitions, Olga has garnered many awards along the way. Among these trophies are two first place awards from the Saint-Petersburg Ballroom Competition and first place in the Petrozavodsk City Ballroom Competition.
In 2001, she joined the Professional Ballroom School, Esperanza – the number one school in Saint-Petersburg. There she studied under Radik and Eve Bagautinova, two professional Latin-style Ballroom dancers.
Throughout the years, she has trained under professional dancers and world champions like Karen Hardy, Andrew Sinkinson, Goran Nordin, Gherman Mustuc, Iveta Lukosiute, Daniel Heroux, Patty Contenta, and Gennadiy Gunko.
Currently living in New York, we invited her to share the 7 best NYC social dance venues:
“Swing 46 is one of the oldest restaurants in NY that plays live music and has a dance floor for its guests. It is not a big dance floor, but you can show off your basic moves or watch amazing swing dancers making their performances.
Here, live bands usually play a mix of some ballroom music, like Foxtrot, Rumba and Swing, as well as some hits from Lindy Hop and Jitterbug Era. They are open every evening for dancing and lessons start at 9pm. To get in you need to pay music charge of $15 – $20, depending on the day of the week.
I would recommend to go in the beginning of the week if you would like to dance, and Thursday to Saturday if you would like to watch.”
This Jazz and Swing Dance Club was founded in June of 1997 in Hell’s Kitchen. They offer a good menu with American Fare dishes prepared with the carefully sourced ingredients. Their sauces and dressings are homemade, as well as their freshly baked bread.
If you’re in the mood for Happy Hour, they have it daily from 5pm to 7pm, with half price drink specials at the bar.
Hours: Daily from 5pm – 1am
Band starts playing:
Sunday – Thursday: 8:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 9:30pm
Location: 349 West 46th Street
“Hidden on top of Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room is an absolute NYC favorite spot.
This fancy restaurant with Manhattan’s skyscrapers view on 65th floor, has a dance floor in the center area. They started organizing social dance events since mid 20th century!
On Monday evenings you can enjoy your date night with Empire State Building view, 3 course dinner, live music and your favorite cocktail. It is definitely not the cheapest option in New York, but it’s well worth it!”
Their grand opened dates back to 1934 and was one of the best late night destination spots in town. Famous of their charity events, they attracted the biggest names to attend their gatherings.
But, definitely try their nights with world-class dining and dancing with live music!
Hours: Check their website for the different hours in each of their spaces.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor
Midsummer Night Swing
“It’s been 30 years since Midsummer Night Swing started and yet it is still one of the most popular places to dance in New York. Every summer, the Lincoln Center organizes the “Midsummer Night Swing” – 3 weeks of unforgettable evenings with popular bands and a big dance floor, under the open sky.
Events start at 6:30pm with a dance lesson for people of all levels, conducted by some of the leading instructors in New York City. Lessons are included in the ticket price. Live music starts at 7:30pm and lasts until 10pm.
The organizers present a large selection of artists, reflecting the different musical styles of New York. Jazz, disco, ballroom dancing, rhythm and blues, salsa, tango and west cost swing are among the most popular one.”
6:00 pm – Dance floor opens
6:30 – 7:15 pm – Group dance lesson
7:30 – 8:30 pm – First live set (unless otherwise noted)
9:00 – 10:00 pm – Second live set (unless otherwise noted)
10:00 – 11:30 pm – Silent Disco (June 29 and July 8 only)
In advance – $17
Day-of – $20
Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub
“If you want to see something more original and authentic, you can visit one of the oldest Russian restaurants in New York: Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub.
It became very popular for its colorful dance performances on Saturday nights, that presents traditional Russian dances.
You can also try Russian food and, since it happens to be located at Coney Island’s boardwalk, you can combine the visit with nice day at the ocean, during the hotter months.”
So, what to expect? As they explain:
“The scene that opens up is something out of a James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. Its Sex in the City mixed in Sleepless on Brighton Beach. Vodka and Cognac pours like fountain Di Trevi in Rome.
Ladies hang on to your husbands and guys don’t forget to shave, because there are plenty of people to impress. You do not need a red carpet invitation to see city’s top fashion worn in style and such sex appeal that is even desired by many celebrities.”
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday: 10am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 1am
Location: 3152 Brighton 6th Street, Brooklyn
Plus, for salsa lovers, there are plenty of places to go. Some of them are:
“Every Monday evening Taj II has salsa parties that are popular amongst both beginners and professional dancers. With live music and sometimes professional performances in between, this event is very popular between New Yorkers.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dancing, people are very friendly here and will invite everyone who wants to join them on the dance floor – even if you are an absolute beginner.
You can also book a table and just enjoy your food watching impressive dancers. The entrance is $12.”
Located in the Flatiron District, this spot impresses from the start with its opulent and majestic décor. If you’re still a bit shy to go to the floor and dance, feel free to just watch!
Monday & Tuesday: 5 pm – 1 am
Wednesday – Saturday: 5pm – 4am
First Sunday monthly: 12pm – 7pm for Brunch
Location: 48 West 21st Street
“On Tuesdays, during the months of July and August, everyone can enjoy the most scenic dance event in New York: Sunset Salsa.
Located in the Hudson River Park on Pier 45, in the Greenwich Village, you’ll find best Latin DJs and hundreds of dancers. The view of New Jersey and Manhattan itself is already worth the trip.
Music and amazing vibes from salsa dancers will make you want to learn a couple of moves yourself. In my opinion, it’s one of the best NYC events. The party starts around 7:15pm and is free to everyone!”
There is nothing like a sunset party in New York right? Well, this one will certainly get you on your feet! The beginner’s salsa dance lessons are from 6:30om – 7:15pm and the DJs start the party at 7:15pm!
Location: Pier 45
“Salsa Brunch is one of the newest additions to the dancing scene in New York City. Organized by two amazing salsa dancers, its a good event where you can enjoy brunch and kill some calories the same time! Ha!
You will find a DJ, photographers, as well as some pretty good dancers. Table reservation is necessary if you would like to eat.
Sometimes they organize special editions like ‘Salsa meets Hip Hop’, so you can enjoy two different cultures at the same time.
Currently, it happens only once a month on Saturdays, in Harlem.”
Since location changes every now and then, every time they offer a different type of food and drink, so be sure to check online what’s up next!
Finally, there are a few other events and restaurants that might be interesting and worth the visit:
Latin Cruise – Vamos A Bailar! From April through November, join NY Party Cruises on a Midnight Cruise this season! They transform the 1st floor of the Harbor Lights Yacht into a Latin Lounge complete with the best of Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and Latin House.
Salsa at the Brooklyn Museum – Their season of salsa continues with a Salsa Party hosted by Balmir Latin Dance Studio. Start the evening with a class led by professional dancers at 6pm, followed by live music, social dancing, and performances by Brooklyn’s best Latin dance teams.
Iguana – One of the most spectacular Mexican Restaurant in New York. Iguana offers 3 floors of dining and dancing. Unwind with one of their famous 28 flavors of Margaritas or Mojitos. Follow that up with a truly exquisite dinner experience.
And, if you loved all of these unique social dance venues and you’d like to organize a special and customized corporate event with this theme, contact our experts to assist you.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of MagNat Photography and all the venues.