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The Very Best Bars for Dancing in Melbourne

In the 80s, if nothing else, the late and great Whitney Houston got us dancing. She inspired “Oh! I want to dance with somebody, I want to feel the heat with somebody”. And blasted, “Don’t you want to dance, say you want to dance, don’t you want to dance, dance”. There was no hidden meaning, Whitney just wanted to wiggle, and we’re with her on that.

Sometimes you’ve gotta put on your dancing shoes, make a b-line for a tasty food-serving, delicious drink-pouring, good tune-playing establishment to cut a rug. So, without further ado, here are the very best bars for dancing in Melbourne.


In addition to offering Melburnians hip-hop karaoke and a twerking workshop aptly named, Twerkshop, Boney has a killer menu. Try the Bangkok Hush Puppies (corn and chilli donuts, palm sugar butter avocado, tomato and cucumber salad) or the Magic Snack pack (BBQ chicken, lamb shoulder, smashed potatoes, rendang, hot sauce and mayo).

Kodiak Club

Bringing the American bar feel to the alleys of Melbourne, this Brunswick Street haunt offers one of the more formidable collections of bourbon, rye whiskey and scotch whiskey, as well as a tequila bar, absurdly tasty buffalo wings and a spot for dancing.

Public House

As soon as the cover of night hits, the dancing at Public House starts showing its shimmying face. Start off with some fried soft shell crab and pulled lamb taco share plates, follow it with some cocktail jugs and you’ll be set to boogie for the 9pm DJ.

Ding Dong Lounge

Burrowed in the middle of Chinatown, this live music hangout was started by the same man behind Melbourne’s original rock’n’roll venue, Cherry Bar, and has hosted The Melvins, Silversun Pickups, White Stripes, Plan B, The Kills, Peaches, Mike Patton, Ariel Pink, Death From Above 1979 and more.

The Carlton Club

A multi-level and multi-bar pub with a rooftop, eerie and impressive collection of stuffed animals, super radio-friendly song list and crowd that is looking to bust a move.

The LuWow

This tiki bar is all about the tropical side of life – spiced rum by the barrel, fruity cocktails in peculiar glasses, and zesty Thai food. Out the back you’ll find a hidden temple with a dance floor and oldschool, ska, RnB and calypso tunes playing, and the odd funk, jazz or soul band jamming.


The chickenheads at Belleville are the proud owners of a giant rotisserie and they are not afraid to use it. In fact, they are famous for their roast chooks. Not that you need more, but you can also get low (low, low, low). Look for a graffiti smothered door, sniff for fire-blasted bird and listen for beats.


This grimy danktank (in the best kind of way) of a nightclub is an institution and everyone should experience it at least once. It’s perfect for those that party hard and dance late.

The dancing in Melbourne options don’t stop there either. If you check all those places off the list, then waltz right into anyone of the following and get down – Cherry Bar, Ding Dong Lounge, Heartbreaker, The Toff In Town, Ferdydurke, Section 8, Bella Union, The Bridge Hotel, Go Go Bar, Workshop, Horse Bazaar, FAD Gallery, Lucky Coq and Lounge.

words by niall roeder

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