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The best Washington area places for a girls' night out

Ladies-Only Intro to DJing at the Black Cat

Monday at 8 p.m. 1811 14th St. NW. 202-667-7960. $7.

Washington is teeming with women who can rock the turntables, and a pair of them have teamed up to share their know-how at the semi-regular Ladies-Only DJ class, which began last year at the Black Cat. Maegan Wood and Kristina Gray, two co-founders of the First Ladies DJ Collective, offer basics about equipment, "phrase-matching," and switching from one song to the next. Then, says Wood, "it's best to stick around and get the hands-on time."

Previous classes have been extremely popular, each drawing dozens of women who come with friends and sip beer as they listen to the lesson. So far, however, only an introductory course has been offered. Wood and Gray are planning more workshops, including intermediate lessons, this summer. (And if you catch the vinyl bug, visit the Going Out Gurus blog at for details about a new DJ school that will open in Bethesda next month.)

Afrobeat at Bossa

The last Thursday of each month; doors open at 9 p.m. 2463 18th St. NW. 202-667-0088. $5.

Afrobeat is in the midst of a revival, thanks in part to the new interest in the music's fiery champion, Fela Kuti, and the success of indie bands such as Vampire Weekend and Yeasayer, which have adopted its stomping, dance-inducing rhythms.

Allison Howe, 26, and Christine Doelling, 23, helm one of the coolest underground events in town entirely devoted to the music. They enlist bands to play on the first level of Adams Morgan club Bossa, while DJ Underdog, a revolving cast of guest DJs and dancing can be found upstairs. Each month, they paint the faces in the crowd with colorful dots inspired by the look of the legendary "First Ladies" of Afrobeat.

"Whenever I went out and there was an Afrobeat set, or an Afrobeat night . . . you didn't even have control over your body," says Doelling. "It wasn't about showing off, it wasn't about that cute guy across the room. It was about dancing, and sweating out your week. It's infectious."

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