Do you know how to Hand Dance? (No, not the Hand Jive.) The Eclipse has been quietly on the scene for more than 21 years, specializing in teaching and housing this relatively unknown pastime for the enjoyment of longtime connoisseurs and newcomers.
The club itself is hidden in a small office complex on Bladensburg in Northeast Washington. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, club members convene on the large hardwood dance floor of Eclipse to communicate though a series of smooth and crisp movements of the wrists and hands where and how their partner should be moving. Nonmembers are allowed into the club for a cover charge, but members are just as friendly if you only want to watch or listen to some classic Motown and soul.
The crowd, made up of mostly African American baby-boomers, always seems to be having a great time whether they are actually grooving to the tunes or just watching the dancers. Relax, but don't be too lax on the dress. Shy away from jeans and sneakers -- even wearing a jacket and tie wouldn't be overdoing it. And be prepared to walk. This popular nightspot offers little parking, and you could be leaving your car in the nearby neighborhood if the lot of the First Union next door is full.
-- Michael Dowd
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The best dance place in DC for Motown Memories and Beyond
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