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