BEST DANCE CLUB Minneapolis 2000 - First Avenue
One never likes to damn with faint praise, but deciding the "Best Dance Club" in the Twin Cities is a little bit like deciding the "Best One-Hit Eighties Pop Star Named Tiffany"--an exercise rendered empty by its obviousness. The Front is fine for what it is--a bar with delusions of grandeur. Ground Zero's floor is far too large for even the weekend crowd, unfortunate souls with a predilection for dressing just beyond their level of comfort. People at the Gay 90's have a much higher comfort level (this despite far more outrageous outfits), but given the labyrinth of rooms, navigating this club takes on an element of a video game. First Avenue, on the other hand, is a dancer's dance club. Thursday night's Salsa Inferno (21+, $6 or free with college ID) invariably features a level of talent higher than you'd have any right to expect in these cold climes, while the all-ages Sunday-night Spectrum ($6 or free with college ID) provides easy opportunity to become your 14-year-old sister's newest hero. Entering the floor is an event rather than an accident: It's easy to be anonymous (any spectators are high overhead), and just as easy to be a little less so--there's plenty of room and still plenty of people. In theory, one might wish for something a little more exclusive to grace these flatlands--something with velvet ropes, beautiful people, and snobbish bouncers--but in practice, copious comps and a conspicuous absence of a dress code have treated us quite nicely, thanks.