I just want to understand it. So I can better approach it in the future. Is there no way to fully control this beast? Especially with my personal style of bringing in as much ambient light as possible?
Unless you have a rapport with the club's lighting director, no.
Your best bet in a situation with the lights in motion is to take the "best of three". Fire three frames in a spot where the lighting "works" for you and go from there. Watch the patterns of the lighting for a second, and also keep an ear out on the music. If you sense the music is going to change (a breakdown, peak, new mix) the lighting will change unless you are in a dodgy club with no tech or the lights on autopilot.
Though for places that are more casual, you can kind of disregard that since the lighting there will be pinspots and practical (candles, lamps) lighting. In that case it is static.
I usually don't work the dancefloor per se, but the perimeter. I'm actually the opposite of most of the people here, I shoot (and prefer to) shoot nightclubs over festivals. The dancefloor is usually too crowded to get an effective photo of anyone, but the perimeter has the action too.
I also tend to use full ambient light (no flash!) when possible.