dancing toronto

The top 10 monthly dance parties at Toronto bars

Monthly dance parties at Toronto bars will make you want to get out and move. You'll want to save this list in your phone for the next little while and treat it as a weekend guide to the city's dance floors. These parties range in venue, music, and crowd, but don't vary in their quality and staying power.

Here are my picks for the top monthly dance parties at Toronto bars.

Many Torontonians will tell you that this is the best in the city. It's unlike any other. Created by General Electric and Jason Palma, it happens at The Rivoli and is an inclusive, unpretentious mix of funk, soul, Afrobeat, Latin, Brazilian, dub, reggae, brokenbeat, electro, house, hip hop and live visuals.

This party plays the greatest hits of all time, from all time. No joke. It all goes down at The Garrison and it starts with classical music hits, all the way to modern day smashes at around 1:3 0a.m. It's a party by the Goin' Steady DJs that's been around for nearly a decade.

Big Primpin'
This hip hop for homos banger has been around for well over a decade and stays relevant by featuring local DJs who know how to spin hip hop, R&B; and reggae. What started as a reaction to often homophobic hip hop lyrics has evolved into one of the fiercest and most reliably sweaty and inclusive gay dance parties in TO.

Beam Me Up!
This disco rager at The Piston is the only place to be if you're craving good quality, well-researched and amazing sounding disco. A Digital Needle DJ duo and Cyclist collaborate to throw this sexy and successful monthly dance party that happens under a spinning mirror ball.

Course of Time
This monthly party has been keeping Toronto's dance music gears well oiled for five years. It's at the Drake Underground and is for people who love good music, not a specific genre or vibe. The goal is to feature the "best in contemporary dance music," whatever that may be.

Yes Yes Y'all
This party has been hailed by many as one of the finest queer events Toronto has the pleasure of hosting. The Yes Yes Y'all crew consistently books amazing queer talent from around the globe, creating of the city's grimiest dancehall, hip hop and reggae parties at Nest. They push buttons and they dance hard.

Evening Standard
This one was too easy. Evening Standard is a monthly by Members Only at Bambi's and it's one of the longest running dance nights at this basement bar. Their guest DJs are impressive and they run alongside other near-perfect dance nights like Softstroke, HELP and Love Below.

Essence Brown
This is The Steady's longest running dance party, which is a night where "three Toronto boys spinning classic hip-hop, R&B;, and dancehall mixed wit summa dat new shit." It's one of the smoothest and sexiest back room dance parties with a steady following and tight soundtrack. It takes over the bar the last Friday of every month.

Love Saves the Day
There are many fun and unique monthlies at The Beaver, but it's Love Saves the Day that takes the cake because it represents everything the bar and its legendary former owner Will Munro were all about. Inclusiveness, queerness, community and good dance music (leaning towards disco) is what you'll find at this welcoming, loving, sweaty little party.

Are there monthly dance parties in bars that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by Yannick Anton from the Yes Yes Y'all Facebook page.

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