Portland may be best known for its indie music, but with a wide variety of dance clubs, the city has a rhythm that’ll get just about anyone moving.
Running everything from DJ sets to local performers, Holocene has mixed music with visuals for 10 years, turning an old auto parts warehouse into a 5000-square-foot, 21-and-over temple to art and audio. Its inner southeast Portland neighbor Rotture also rocks a converted industrial space, and with an upstairs lounge and downstairs all-ages dance floor shows, there’s something for everyone here — including an extremely popular soul night.
Across town, The Goodfoot Lounge is where locals go for laid-back nights of festival-style stomping on the hardwood dance floor. Great for small music and big laughs, the two-level dance hall plays everything from funk to dub step, so long as it gets the crowd moving. And the big basement dance floor at the log-cabin themed Doug Fir Lounge gets plenty of traffic on its electro-pop and hip-hop nights, though most of the time the club stays true to the city’s indie rock ways with live performances.
Portland’s densest concentration of dance clubs is in the Old Town/Chinatown nightlife district. Bars like Dirty Nightclub, the Southern-themed Dixie Tavern and outdoor-party-cum-piano-bar Barrel Room are at the epicenter, but lower-key dance lounge spots like XV also ring the area.