If you want to dance to the latest music, the District has plenty of places to go: Dream, Republic Gardens, H20 -- the list goes on. But standing around holding a cocktail while listening to Kanye West isn't the only option out there. Sometimes, all you want is unadulterated cheese -- like screaming the lyrics to "Maniac" while pulling your best "Flashdance" moves. For those nights, try one of these '80s parties:
'80S DANCE PARTY AT CLUB HEAVEN & HELL. 2327 18th St. NW. 202-667-4355. $7. This weekly Thursday fete -- a 10-year institution -- draws a wide-ranging crowd, from college-age revelers to curious tourists. DJ Neal Keller spins tracks (and videos) by Flock of Seagulls, Echo and the Bunnymen, Duran Duran, Berlin or anything else they may desire. "The crowd catches on from other requests," he says. "One girl who loves the Minneapolis sound asks to hear 'Mercedes Boy.' Next thing, other people start requesting Prince!" The May 27 edition starts at 9 p.m. with a beach theme, so grab your bikini top or board shorts and get ready to strike a pose.
CULTURE CLUB AT POLLY ESTHER'S. 605 12th St. NW. 202-737-1970. $10. Although you'll get plenty of '80s pop, R&B and hip-hop at Polly Esther's every Friday, Saturday night is when 20-year turntable veteran DJ Cerone Cruz devotes the entire evening to the '80s -- and only the '80s. Head down to the Culture Club's basement-level dance floor and you'll feel like you're at the party your buddy is throwing 'cause his folks are out of town. As the large groups that favor this party take over the dance floor, Cerone syncs his hits with the music videos on several TV screens.
THE LEGWARMERS. The State Theater, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. 703-237-0300. $10. Listening to old faves on vinyl is fine, but nothing beats a live performance. That's where area favorites the Legwarmers come in. Saturday at 9 p.m. is the next time you can shout along with their thundering live renditions of '80s pop classics such as "What I Like About You," "Dancing in the Dark" and "What Have You Done for Me Lately?" Dress any way you want, but count on seeing the girls of the band in short socks with heels (just like in those Cyndi Lauper videos). Be warned: Tickets go fast.
'RIGHT ROUND' AT THE BLACK CAT. 1811 14th St. NW. 202-667-7960. $5. DJ Lil' E has held her monthly '80s set here for two years, spinning what the cool, black-clad alternative kids listened to two decades ago. Forget Madonna -- at the next edition this Saturday, you'll be treated to the Cure, the Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Human League and, of course, the night's namesake: "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by Dead or Alive.
THAT '80S PARTY AT CLUB FIVE. 1214-B 18th St. NW. 202-331-7123. $10. Every Friday at 9 p.m. -- unless a concert or other special event is scheduled -- DJs Mikey Vader and Proxxy blend old-school hip-hop (Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys), rock-and-roll and new wave (Depeche Mode and New Order), mixing in contemporary artists such as Ms. Dynamite and Orlando's DJ Icey. Dress is casual chic sprinkled with the striped shirts, off-the-shoulder tops, minis and acid-washed jeans so popular during the greed decade.