Clärchens Ballhaus has been a mag­net for ball­room-dance en­thu­si­asts since 1913.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Take a quick­step into the whirl­wind past of ball­room dance at his­tor­i­cal Clärchens Ballhaus (p. 60), where ev­ery night is a night for danc­ing. Opened just over 100 years ago in 1913, the dance­hall is a prime ex­am­ple of Ber­lin dur­ing the Grün­derzeit, or the Wil­hem­inian Era. Although de­tails of the Ballhaus’s ori­gins are fuzzy, the in­sti­tu­tion has with­stood two world wars and a Cold War, not to men­tion nu­mer­ous dance and mu­sic trends that saw the demise of ri­val dance­halls. Much of the Ballhaus, es­pe­cially the Mir­ror Hall ( Spiegel­saal), with its huge mir­rored walls and re­liefs, is largely un­touched from its un­ren­o­vated, post-WWII con­di­tion.

Nowa­days, ball­room- dance en­thu­si­asts of all ages flock to Clärchens, which of­fers a reg­u­lar sched­ule of dance forms: Mon­day sees the week start out with some spicy salsa, Tues­days take on tango, hump day of­fers en­er­getic swing, Thurs­days cha- cha, and Fri­days and Satur­days cap it all off with “Sch­woof” – hits from the past and present played by DJs and a live band. Should you want a tech­nique brush- up be­fore hit­ting the dance floor, Clärchens Ballhaus of­fers lessons ev­ery night in the Mir­ror Hall, which also hosts pri­vate events and din­ners.

Spe­cial dance events such as tango nights and Sun­day con­certs are sched­uled on an ir­reg­u­lar ba­sis and can crop up un­ex­pect­edly, so be sure to check the web­site for an­nounce­ments. Round out the evening with a meal at the on­site res­tau­rant, which of­fers clas­sic dishes such as schnitzel and spät­zle as well as wood- oven pizza and desserts.

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