Nightlife & Music

Top Pop Dance Clubs In Connecticut

May 8, 2014 8:00 AM

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Tufts University program will help pay travel and living expenses for students wanting to take time off from classes. (Getty Images)

Tufts University program will help pay travel and living expenses for students wanting to take time off from classes. (Getty Images)

DJs and live bands thrive in parts of Connecticut, for the people of the Nutmeg State do like to dance. New Haven is the heart of the pop dance scene with its Latin, fusion, electronic, techno and other music scenes, but there are other places to dance besides the Elm City.  Dance party nights can be found even in the otherwise quieter communities like Southington and Wolcott, where dancing is not just for college kids and millennials.

Illusions Dance Club
1639 Wolcott Road
Wolcott, CT 06716
(203) 879-4785
www.illusionsdanceclub.com

Illusions Dance Club in Wolcott boasts of having one of, if not the largest, dance floor in the state. It has DJs and karaoke, live acts and many special events – including a burlesque night in April. Illusions hosts battles of the bands, runs charity event dance nights for the arts and plays just about any kind of music that people can dance to, and that includes pop, hip hop, funk and something called “hot roxx.” Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are dance party nights, and there is a full menu of wings, burgers and the like, plus happy hours, beer pong and other sporting events for those who need to sit out a dance now and then.

Bar Night Club
254 Crown St.
New Haven, CT  06511
(203) 495-8924
www.barnightclub.com

With three live bands weekly, the Bar Night Club in New Haven has music to dance to aplenty – as well as four rooms, each with its own theme and party going on. Start in the Bru Room with pizza and a microbrewery beer. Then move into the Front Room for pool and long, fully stocked bar. The Lounge is a quiet place to chat, drink and snack. The dance party, however, is in the Back Room – also known as the Bartopolis, with a huge dance floor and music so lively and loud that it is impossible to sit down. This is where the DJs and the live acts play until 1 a.m. The under-21 crowd is welcome but only when accompanied by a legal guardian.

Related: Best Places To Go Dancing In Hartford

Club Vandome
102 Hamilton St.
New Haven, CT  06511
(203) 789-2066
www.clubvandome.com

Club Vandome is the place that “lights up the Elm City,” and not just with its sensational, pulsing light shows. Every night is a different night of music and dance at Club Vandome, which although “specializes” (if that is possible) in a fusion “cumbia-bachata-merengue” salsa, also offers techno, electronic and other styles of music in different rooms and on different days. It has laid back music for “Hookahs on the Patio,” and Caribbean beach music on “Tropical Tuesdays” – where the drink of the day is a flaming cocktail called the “Scorpion Bowl.” There are even karaoke nights, special ladies’ nights and Latino ladies’ nights. With both DJs and frequent live music, Club Vandome is the place for the young, and especially the young who crave the Latin beat.

Toad’s Place
300 York St.
New Haven, CT  06510
(203) 624-8623
www.toadsplace.com

There has been dancing at Toad’s Place in New Haven every single night since it opened in 1975. Toad’s is not a place to just pop into, as there is always a line outside – and tickets at the door can cost up to $25. Regulars, however, know they can get advance tickets for less than half of that – and also know that there is always a selection of well drinks to be had for less than happy hour prices up until 11 p.m. The music is mostly top 40, but the DJs and live bands bring hip-hop, progressive, electronic and even jazz to the floor. There is a laser light show most Saturdays, when the club hosts its weekly dance party, and there are nights where the music is all about nostalgia, the classics or dancing old school.

Cadillac Ranch
45 Jude Lane
Southington, CT 06489
(860) 621-8805
www.caddyranch.com

The Cadillac Ranch is an old school dance club – very old school, the kind that still hosts dance lessons. Most of the dancing is country style and country pop, and almost every night there is a live band. It also has a mechanical bull and a karaoke machine, and the owners claim to have introduced karaoke to the United States. The food is good but the music is better, as the Cadillac Ranch boasts that it is  “two steps above the rest.”

Related: Top Latin Dance Clubs in Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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