For fifty years the Copa has reigned as Manhattan’s premier Latin nightclub. Four nights a week, its smartly dressed regulars—aged 17 to 77—persevere a velvet-roped line that snakes around a desolate block in order to salsa and samba, shake and shimmy amidst the bi-level club’s faded decor. Neon palm trees, mirrored columns, worn carpeting and windowless dance rooms reflect a bygone era. (In the disco room, the red, vinyl chili peppers are peeling off the cream-colored walls!) But the crowd, eschewing baggie jeans for tailored slacks and sneakers for cha-cha heels, is anything but lifeless: Experts with flashy footwork predominate at first but everyone inevitably makes an appearance on one of the club’s three oversized ballroom dance floors. On Fridays and Saturdays, DJs using Latin-fusion mixes lure a steady crowd of loyal, younger followers, which ensures the Copa won’t skip the next generation.