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Dance by the Decade

Whichever your preferred era and style—1860s folk, 1940s swing, 1970s roller-disco—there’s a party where you can let loose.

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Decade:1860s
The Party: Brooklyn Contra
The Dance: Traditional New England contra.
Where: Camp Friendship, 339 8th St., Park Slope; 718-965-3695; $15.
When: Monthly; next dance Oct. 25, 6–11:30 p.m.
The Vibe: A Vermont country barnyard dance in Park Slope. Part historical reenactment, part social mixer, the party involves a lot of do-si-do-ing.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: About 100 mostly 20-to-30-year-old Brooklynites into all things Ye Olde Time.
Playlist: A live band plays classic Irish, English, and bluegrass fiddle tunes while a caller leads the dances.

Decade: 1920s
The Party: Wednesday nights at Clover Club
The Dance: Charleston, fox-trot.
Where: Clover Club, 210 Smith St., Cobble Hill; 718-855-7939; no cover.
When: Every Wednesday, 8:30–11:30 p.m.
The Vibe: An Instagram-worthy series of warmly lit moments at the speakeasyish cocktail bar.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: 1920s-loving dandies and their girlfriends, gamely dressed as flappers.
Playlist: Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra play songs like “Blue River” and “Breezin’ Along With the Breeze.”

Decade: 1930s
The Party:Harlem Swing Dance Society
The Dance: Lindy hop.
Where: Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center, 34 W. 134th St.; $15.
When: Weekly; Harvest Moon Ball on Oct. 17, 6 p.m.
The Vibe: A civic-minded dance party created to bring swing back to Harlem. There’s hummus and cold cuts in the back.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: Old-timers and newbies alike—the society hosts weekly swing lessons on Tuesdays.
Playlist: Earlier, harder, and faster swing circa the 1930s from Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, and Cab Calloway.

Decade: 1940s
The Party: Jimmy Anton Social
The Dance: Salsa on 2, a syncopated New York–style step.
Where: Dance Manhattan, 39 W. 19th St.; 212-807-0802; $11.
When: The first and third Sunday of the month, 5–9 p.m.
The Vibe: An extremely focused and highly competent twenty-year-old salsa social founded by a former Tito Puente dancer Jimmy Anton.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: Tribes of New York salsa-dance classes out on the town, nervous beginners, and seasoned quasi professionals.
Playlist: Vintage, danceable salsa classics like Tito Puente’s “Picadillo.” “Cuban Fantasy,” by Machito and “Buenos Noches, Che Che,” by Tito Rodriguez.

Decade: 1950s
The Party: Safari Night at Riff Raff’s
The Dance: Generalized swaying, lascivious heavy petting.
Where: Riff Raff’s NYC, 360 Park Ave. S.; 212-951-7111; no cover.
When: Every Friday, 11:30 p.m.– 4 a.m.
The Vibe: An extremely thematic dance party featuring jungle face paint, “safari girls” in boy shorts, and lots of tiki drinks.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: Murray Hill bros, blondes in tank tops, hard-partying Lower East Siders, Upper East Side interlopers, plus the occasional actual tiki fan.
Playlist: Guest D.J.’s like JP Solis, who cuts his Rihanna with exotica classics like the Gilligan’s Island theme song.

Decade:1960s
The Party: Cosmic Yoga Party at Body Actualized
The Dance: Hippie freakout rave.
Where: Body Actualized, 143 Troutman St., Bushwick; 347-770-1437; $5.
When: Every Sunday, 5 p.m.
The Vibe: A dark room full of loud music and flexible young searchers in touch with their chakras.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: Blissed-out yogi hipsters tired of Skee-Ball and bowling, Bushwick artists getting out their studio jitters.
Playlist: Synth-heavy, groove-friendly jams like Living’s “Island and Holiday” and “Cosmic Cars,” by Cybotron.

Decade: 1970s
The Party: Crazy Legs Roller Disco
The Dance: Backward skating, the hustle on wheels.
Where: Salvation Army, 110 Kosciuzsko St., Bed-Stuy; 212-777-3232; $10.
When: Every Wednesday, 8 p.m.–midnight.
The Vibe: It’s like the glory days of Roxy all over again, this time in a Salvation Army in Bed-Stuy.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: Roller-disco émigrés from the now-closed Empire along with old Roxy heads, with a strain of recent converts.
Playlist: “Sexual Healing,” by Marvin Gaye, “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing,” by Stevie Wonder.

Decade: 1980s
The Party: Temptation at the Pyramid Dance Club
The Dance: The Running Man.
Where: The Pyramid Club, 101 Ave. A, No. 1; 212-228-4888; $6.
When: Every Saturday, 8 p.m.–4 a.m.
The Vibe: An inclusive eighties dance party extant since the actual eighties.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: Vintage East Villagers, bachelorette partyers, and recent college graduates.
Playlist: Eighties dance favorites like Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough,” Erasure’s “Oh L’Amour,” and a boatload of Smiths.

Decade: 1990s
The Party: Party Like It’s 1999
The Dance: The Tootsie Roll, Humpty dance, moshing.
Where: The Bell House, 149 7th St., Gowanus; 718-643-6510; no cover.
When: Monthly; next party is October 25, 9 p.m.
The Vibe: A sweaty high-school dance party with a very cool all-request D.J.—without the cliques.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: People who were in high school in the nineties, plus lots of birthday parties and many couples.
Playlist: A Now music collection of hits like “The Impression That I Get,” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and slow jams like Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road.”

Decade: 2000s
The Party: Le Bump
The Dance: Shoegaze shuffle.
Where: Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave., Williamsburg; no cover.
When: First Friday of the month, 10:30 p.m.
The Vibe: Only slightly nostalgic, the dance floor is packed with just-crested 30-year-olds, friendlier than they were when you ran into them at MisShapes.
Who You’ll Find on the Dance Floor: People who get really excited about hearing the Hot Hot Heat and the Futureheads, groups of friends, and single ladies.
Playlist: Danceable hits of the aughts like the Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers,” and, of course, lots of the Strokes.


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