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If you love dancing, London is the city for you! You can find all the dance styles of the world dotted all over the metropolis in bars, dance studios, and clubs. Sampling what there is to offer – even if you don’t know a certain form of dance and just want to enjoy the atmosphere – can be a great way to socialize, burn off some energy, and try something new. Here I will list a few of the more interesting places to head for:
The Cuban, Camden
If you are looking for a lively place, this is it. You will find Che Guevara stencils on the walls and a wide array of cocktails behind the bar. If you like a bit of fresh air every once in a while, there is a large smoking area out back, but the venue itself is one vast room with a very long bar. It is on the old market area of Camden, which is a unique and interesting location. Expect to find giant bronze horses lurking around corners. Salsa is the most popular form of dance here but it is really for everybody not just Latin dancers.
This is essentially the opposite of The Cuban. This is a no frills place with a sticky floor where you can dance up on a stage without any need for style or coordination. It is the largest Walkabout bar in London and stays open late. The crowd usually has a good spirit and it can be good for a girly night out but certainly counts as slumming it. This would be a budget option.
Ministry of Sound, Southbank
If you like your club music, and only have one night to kill, then better head to Ministry of Sound. It is one of the most famous clubs in the world and attracts some of the most famous DJs. The incredible sound systems and LED displays make it ideal for lovers of trance music. A room called The Box – which is soundproofed – will literally make every bone in your body vibrate but your ear doctor might not recommend it. You have to arrive early as its many spaces fill up very quickly.
The London Academy Of Dance, Canada Square
If you aren’t interested in drinking and loud music, then you can take a class with friends at this dance academy. They teach Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Cha-Cha and others. Classes take place in the evenings and are for all abilities. They also run kids’ ballroom classes that can coincide with the adult classes. If you need dance clothing, check out www.movedancewear.com.
One of the many dine and dance restaurants, SoHo and beyond
This may seem like an old fashioned activity but recently it has seen a resurgence. It tends to centre on the Latin scene more than anything and can be a great way to spend a date. Some of the best venues are Floripa London on Great Eastern Street, Supper Club on Acklam Road, and Gilgamesh on Chalk Farm Road.
Image: Jamie Bellal