Dance clubs generally fit into one of two categories: those that develop their personalities organically, and those that have a mandate from opening night. Tantra Nightclub & Lounge fits into the latter. Operated by Penny Lane Entertainment Group—the same company that brought Calgary the infamous bacchanal Cowboys Dance Hall—Tantra was designed to be a refuge for urbane, sophisticated partiers in their twenties. And, it succeeds; this is the club to go to if you want to dress up and not have to worry about getting soaked with beer.
“They’ve got a set-up that’s a lot different than any of the clubs in Calgary,” says Chantal Korudz, a regular patron of Tantra. “It’s a lot trendier, with a bit of an older crowd, a more mature crowd. At some of the clubs it feels like people are fresh out of high school.”
Tantra’s key to success is its atmosphere. It is subdued, polished and chic, and yet manages to retain the charge that makes a dance club worth paying for. The decor includes an illuminated central bar, red and purple-hued lighting, candles, leather benches, cabana booths and art evoking the Asian origins of the word Tantra.
Instead of having a handful of seats circling the dance floor, Tantra divides its loungers and dancers; if you choose to sit instead of gyrate, there are high tables or booths. Tantra is also one of the only clubs in Calgary with wait staff serving a selection of by-the-bottle alcohol, including Bacardi rum and Grey Goose vodka. And, for those trying to totally escape the masses, there is a private area, The Grotto.
The music is likewise geared towards the mid-twenties urbanite, with resident DJ Kav spinning a “mash-up” of Top 40 and hip hop. Kav is the official Red Bull DJ for Western Canada and has opened for names such as DJ Tiesto, Dave Navarro and Jane’s Addiction. Guest DJs also stop by, such as DJ Jazzy Jeff and Matthew Dekay. Special guests often open the club on days when it sleeps, so if you want to see DJ Kav come by on Friday and Saturday—Tantra’s regular business hours—or Tuesday, which is also Ladies’ Night.If you like high-energy dance clubs, check out these other local spots:
Cowboys Dance Hall
Snatch Rock ‘n Roll Lounge
CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC
Top 40: Tequila Nightclub
Indie: Hifi Club
Up-and-coming Talent: Marquee Room or The Brickyard
Latin: Don Quijote or La Pachanga
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The Garage Billiards & Sports
Jameson’s Irish Pub
Melrose Café—Sally MacKinnon