Dancing is simply a fun way to give the body and mind and good workout. It strengthens muscles and the cardiovascular system while helping to manage weight, mood swings and promote positive self-awareness. Research has shown that when physical exercise, like dancing, is performed in front of others, stress levels are reduced and euphoric feelings are heightened. With its high-octane music reaching 200 beats per minute, salsa dancing remains the preferred shake-it-up routine in L.A.’s numerous Latin dance halls with other forms following suit. Here are the top Latin clubs in L.A. where salsa, cumbia, mambo, bachata, merengue and other popular Latin styles are setting dance floors ablaze.
1130 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ever since opening its doors in 1974, this enthusiastic nightspot has attracted music lovers of all ages, mainly mature guests. Club Bahia presents live entertainment with singers and musicians performing a variety of music styles popular throughout Latin America, including norteño and bachata. Band members are known to put on quite a show, shaking their hips and thrusting their pelvises as though their lives depend on it. Every weekend, its spacious dance floor is packed by 10pm. with singles and couples moving their feet and bodies to the exhilarating musical forms of cumbia and L.A.-style salsa. This meeting place is also known for promoting Dominican music and dance customs. To avoid paying a cover charge, visit the club’s website to gain access to a VIP card or free pass.
1253 N. Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90038
After raising its shingles in 1987, this magnetizing venue has become a Latin entertainment cornerstone in Hollywood. It is here where music enthusiasts can dine on decadent-tasting Cuban fare alongside such leading celebrities as Eva Longoria and Mario Lopez. El Floridita is a supper club that blends to perfection post-modern trends with the rich and dynamic contributions the Afro-Cuban culture has brought to the arts. This paragon of traditional Latin American standards presents top-drawer entertainment on select evenings to animate its lively dance floor with the sensual moves of salsa and tango. Whether the choice is to dine on such delectable cuisine as Creole shrimp, observe others shaking a leg to rumba or demonstrating your own unique gyrations, it’s a noteworthy destination worth exploring.
The Conga Room
800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
A centerpiece of Latin music dazzle, this happening place shimmies beyond those rhythms and styles that originated in Latin America. To appeal to a broader audience, it spotlights popular artists in many genres, including jazz, urban, world beat, pop, rap, hip-hop and rock en Español. The entertainment complex is co-owned by Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, Sheila E., Amaury Nolasco, Baron Davis, Trevor Ariza and will.i.am. Since 1998, The Conga Room has hosted a slew of movie premieres, record launches and award shows. It has also welcomed such musical legends as Celia Cruz, Shakira and Carlos Santana to its illustrious lineup. A visit to this revelry-rousing setting that offers dance lessons will certainly create an eyebrow-raising addition to your photographic timeline.
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The Granada LA
17 S. 1st St.
Alhambra, CA, 91801
Amateurs will need to stretch their dancing shoes and warm up those hip and leg muscles to keep up with the many regulars that frequent this invigorating nightspot. This is the perfect place to learn Latin routines, including salsa, merengue, cha cha and bachata. After a quick session from some of the pros, the area opens to a full night of rhythmic stepping and twirling. The Granada LA hosts an array of live Latin orchestras and such all-star talent as Puerto Rican composer and vocalist Tito Allen. The dance studio-turned-nightclub also highlights some of L.A.’s more persuasive DJs that are in tune with the Latin music forms audience members want to hear. At any given moment, accomplished ballroom dancers are known to put on quite a spectacle in a fine demonstration of exemplary showmanship.
1038 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Originally designed as a theater in 1927, this wondrous work of architectural brilliance is where a facade of stylized pre-Columbian patterns and figures meets post-modern trends. The auditorium, where live entertainment and dancing take place, highlights a chandelier based on the Aztec calendar stone. Its near century-old fire curtain displays images of Mayan jungles and temples. On Friday and Saturday nights, celebrants can move their bodies to Latin pop, electro or a tropical mix of tunes that includes salsa, reggaeton and cumbia. The structure, which has been designated an Historic Cultural Monument, hosts some of L.A.’s best Latin American orchestras and performing artists. The megaclub features adventurous diversions of amusement while keeping alive the colorful practices of the ancient Mayan civilization.
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