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Downtown in a nutshell

A guide to partying for you fresh-faced 19+ students

The rumours are true: Halifax is home to more pubs per-capita than any other city in Canada. But where, oh where, does a fresh 19-23 year-old go to dance in this pub-hub? Have no fear. Here’s a basic guide to help you out before you amble downtown.

Let’s start with the most notorious – the Dome. As locals might tell you, the Dome is home. It’s a place where most people end up at least once or twice in their life, where some people drop in almost every weekend and where no one wants to admit how often they actually go. The Dome’s upside: It’s a mad world in there. Holla for those #clubvibes. Stripper poles in abundance, drinks a-plenty, great beats, sweaty people. The Dome is a place where totally letting go is expected. It can be a blast.

That being said, the Dome has its downsides. People just blindly rip past personal boundaries! Women often find themselves in a constant fight to fend off men who start grinding up behind them. Some people take it to the next level and get way too handsy. An unwarranted finger in someone’s butt-crack is no fun for anyone. Don’t let your human decency slip away with your sobriety! Checking in for consent never hurts anyone.

The Dome is also physically connected to Cheers – a lower-key, pub-style area that has a popular dance floor. Find live cover bands driving the dancers at Cheers. Check out Cheers Student Thursdays – You will not regret it.

Next stop. Get dressed up and head to Pacifico. The upsides: Drinks are cheap! And cover is often only five bucks. There are lots of places to chill out, as well as a fantastic multi-level dance floor. Grab a buddy and some queues to hit up one of a few pool tables. The downsides: the VIP area. It’s a little ridiculous and a little weird.

Across the street is Reflections. Get your pride on – everyone is welcome here. Reflections has been a staple stop for the LGBTQ community (allies included) for years. Refs, as they call it, keeps life fresh with a wide variety of DJ styles. Upsides: Friendly vibes only = openly expressed identities = happy dance floor. The downsides? It’s a bit hit or miss. When it’s packed, it’s great, but if it’s not, I start to notice that the dance floor is extremely well lit and is right in the middle of the club. Exposing my sloppy dance moves to everyone -under spotlights- is, unfortunately, a downside for me.

On to the Seahorse. Tired of mainstream “bro” dives? Want somewhere a little more adventurous or hipster-punk? Hit up the Seahorse. Retro nights are always popular. They regularly wheel in some sweet bands too. The upsides: you never know what to expect. Chat with a glorious group of lesbians smoking in the bathroom. Share some introspective thoughts and a few hugs with that dude who is feeling the vibes of probably too much, but maybe just enough, MDMA. Get that cute, respectful tattoo artist’s number. The downside: this place can reach capacity fast. Standing in line all night blows, so don’t show up too late.

So there are a few of the basics. If you find yourself looking for your next step in Halifax’s dance scene check out Bearly’s, Menz and Mollyz, or even a hype night at King’s College’s Wardroom. Halifax has much, much more to offer.

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