Latin music is becoming ever more popular in the United States among people of all races and nationalities. As its fans can tell you, it’s great for dancing. While Connecticut may not be Miami when it comes to the sheer number of Latin nightclubs, it has its share of venues where you can dance to a variety of Latin styles. Here are just a few ofd the best ones to check out.
681 Wethersfield Ave.
Hartford, CT 06114
Casona is the place to go in central Connecticut for drinking the very best margaritas and mojitos, eating signature dishes and appetizers from all over South America and for dancing to the hottest Latin music. Thursday through Saturday, Casona’s main room comes alive with the classic sounds of salsa, merengue and bachata. On Fridays, a second dance floor opens up where DJs play more current reggaeton and freestyle, while Latin jazz is featured in the bar. If you need help with your moves, Casona offers free salsa lessons on Saturday.
102 Hamilton St.
New Haven, CT 06511
Like Casona, New Haven’s Club Vandome has two spacious dance floors, each of which has its own character. Head to the the elegant main room if you want more traditional Latin genres. If you’re in the mood for more modern, hip hop-influenced dance music, go to the funky, neon-colored Warehouse with its laser lights and lounge area. The large club also has a patio hookah lounge and a VIP room where you can book a free birthday party with 20 guests and complimentary cake and champagne.
904 Farmington Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117
The upscale Shish Lounge, specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine, opened in West Hartford four years ago. It’s become a hit not just for its food but for its vibrant nightlife. That includes its popular Latin nights, held every Thursday. Arrive just before 10 p.m. for your free salsa classes, then show off what you’ve learned on the dance floor.
960 Main St.
Hartford, CT 06103
Room 960 in downtown Hartford has for years been one of the hottest destinations for dancing. With a vibe not unlike a hot Manhattan nightclub, Room 960 has seen its fair share of musicians and other celebrities make appearances. This fall, it began Latin Fusion Thursdays, a night featuring some of the best Latin-flavored house and pop music. Take advantage of drink specials and dance to music spun by guest DJs from around the world.
Silver City Sports Bar And Grill
275 Research Parkway
Meriden, CT 06450
This bar inside Meriden’s Sheraton Hotel may not seem like the most obvious place to hear Latin music, but it is surprisingly welcoming towards it. This spring, it was home to a freestyle concert headlined by two of the genre’s great artists, Judy Torres and Cynthia. And every weekend, Silver City hosts Latin Saturdays with music from DJ Rico. Make sure you put on your finest threads (definitely no sneakers; there is a dress code that’s strictly enforced) and dance to some great music. There’s no cover charge if you’re staying at the hotel.
Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.