Who needs the gym when you’ve got sizzling music tearing up the club courtesy of DJs with wicked skills and a dance floor wide open for your buck-up bronco or Beyonce body rolls? Add other bodies for people watching, adult beverages to either cool down or lose your inhibitions and then put a donk on it and you have one sick night of slamming at these Chicago dance clubs.

(Photo Credit: theundergroundchicago.com)

(Photo Credit: theundergroundchicago.com)

The Underground
56 West Illinois St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 943-7600
Dubbed one of the “sexiest places in the world” by Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Underground is packed by the bewitching hour of midnight. The fact that you have to descend to reach the other-worldliness of the club adds cachet. The door is tough, so dress as though you mean it, and you can count on great club music, late close and good service, especially if you’re getting a bottle.
(Photo Credit: whistlerchicago.com)

(Photo Credit: whistlerchicago.com)

Whistler Chicago
2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-3530
Only 74 people can fit into this Logan Square spot that offers a musical menu from acid rock and bubblegum to French pop and krautrock with fun forays into ’70s novelty, soul and even astral folk. The Whistler presents live music and DJs seven nights a week as well as astonishingly creative cocktails at decent prices. Where else can you listen to garage tunes will sipping a TV Funhouse made with Plantation Original Dark Rum, Old Fitzgerald Bonded Bourbon, cereal milk honey, and cinnamon? It’s low on pretense and there’s no cover charge.
(Photo Credit: themidchicago.com)

(Photo Credit: themidchicago.com)

The Mid
306 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 265-3990
The Fulton Market dance club is noted for hosting some of the hottest DJs and having a looser dress code than most – a nice combo for a lot of club goers – plus street parking is a definite possibility. On the minus side, at the double-decker West Loop club, lines can seem interminable and the space is small considering the excellent roster of talent it books. You might have to ask about the all night drink wristbands and consider purchasing tickets in advance when your favorite DJ will be on the loose.

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(Photo Credit: berlinchicago.com)

(Photo Credit: berlinchicago.com)

954 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 348-4975
Even if you’re not ripping up the expansive dance floor, Lakeview’s Berlin may be the best space in town for people watching, attracting a range of types from freaks and hetero hipsters to gay men and women (the Chicago stalwart commonly wins awards as both Best Gay Bar and Best Non Gay Bar). Heavy synth 80s, House Music spectacles, disco, New Wave, live acts, fun theme nights, plus reasonably priced, sturdy drinks insure Berlin’s success for decades to come.
Smart Bar
3730 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 549-4140
This historic dance space below Metro has an all-inclusive vibe and a sound system from heaven. Disco, house, techno, electronica, machine music and so much more mixed by local and international DJs and producers have been attracting music and dance lovers to this Chicago classic for eons. Wear your jeans and hoodie – there’s zero dress code or attitude here – and you might even get buzzed on the drinks.

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.