“The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.” Mata Hari
Dancing has been a common pastime in all cultures for as long as humans have gathered together. We use dance to celebrate rites of passage (think wedding dances!), to commemorate global events (the Olympics!), or just to burn off steam at the end of a long, hard week.
Dance is more popular than ever thanks to televised dance competitions like Australia's Got Talent, and now the popularity of viral dances on TikTok.
If you're thinking of taking up dancing, but unsure of where to start, this article is for you! Whether you're looking classes in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, ballroom, tango, salsa... there's a place where you can learn to dance somewhere near you.
Once you scratch the surface of dance classes in Australia, you may find your choices are overwhelming! We've got you covered there too, with lots of info on how to choose the right dance class from a sea of appealing options.
Or perhaps you're not sure which style of dance would suit you best and simply want to build confidence on the dance floor? We've got some tips for total beginners wanting to start dance classes in Australia, and how to write to a personal dance instructor to inquire about a first lesson.
There are so many places you can get inspired to dance in Australia. Most dance companies are based in Melbourne or Sydney, but you can see performances in all of the major capitals, and dance companies regularly tour through rural areas as well.
If you want to keep up with all things dance in Australia, including the latest news, performances in your city, or workshops and classes offered by local dance companies and studios, you'll want to check out the website of Dance Australia magazine. Each year, they even write up a syllabus listing all the different dance schools and institutions offering classes and advanced training.
There are so many benefits to joining a dance class, but here are just a few:
- It's a great workout - you'll get your heart rate up, tone your muscles and benefit from a stretching session at the end
- You can meet new people - who are just as passionate about the art form of dance as you - you can find a whole new community through dance!
- You'll improve your posture, balance and coordination over time
- You can impress your friends and feel confident at your next night out at the club
- You get to listen to music you love and understand it in a different way
- You can set personal goals and achieve them
- Dance is an incredible creative outlet
- The creative and physical outlet of dance can help to reduce stress and give you an overall sense of physical and mental wellbeing
- Most of all, dancing is a lot of fun!
Dancing Lessons In Sydney
In Sydney, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to dance studios, workshops and classes. You can also get inspired by taking in a show at the Sydney Opera House, a longstanding cultural hub and architectural icon.
For a variety of classes and a huge range of styles, you can't beat major dance studios: Sydney Dance Company or DUTI Studios. Each of these companies offers classes ranging from the total beginner level up to advance multi-week programmes for dedicated dancers. You'll find Sydney Dance Company has both classical and contemporary offerings, complemented by weekly yoga and pilates classes. There are also cheaper jazz and tap classes for seniors. DUTI Studios has a stronger focus on street styles of dance, and there's a dedicated "Heels" dance class to help you feel confident sashaying in stilettos!
If partnered dance is more your thing, you and a loved one could sign up to ballroom classes at Sydney Ballroom studios. There is something for the whole family with kids classes on offer - and you can benefit from your first technique class absolutely free. Salsa heads will be happy to find out that the collective at Sydney Salsa Scene has collated a huge list of places to learn and dance salsa across the city on their website.
You can see more great places to dance in Sydney here.
Dance Classes In Melbourne
Melbourne is an icon for dancers, writers, musicians and theatre makers across Australia - it isn't called the cultural capital of Australia for nothing! The prestigious Australian Ballet is based there, or you can take in dance performances at one of the many festivals throughout the year.
The Australian Ballet has a prestigious academy for dedicated ballet dancers ages 16+ who want to study a ballet course over many years. On the other hand, if you're an amateur ballerina, you'll be pleased to hear they also offer open classes.
For more modern styles of dance, you may like to check out open classes with contemporary dance companies Chunky Move or Dancehouse. They offer a range of drop-in classes and longer dance courses for those wanting to hone their technique over a series of months.
Every Sunday night, Latin dance lovers flock to Fitzroy icon "The Night Cat", dancing well into the small hours to a live salsa band. The night always starts with a welcoming salsa class open to beginners and intermediate dancers, so even if you're new to salsa, you should check it out!
Check out our blog for a more in-depth view of dance classes in Melbourne.
Learning To Dance... Anywhere In Australia!
With dance only gaining popularity across Australia, you're never too far from your local dance class.
If you already know what kind of dance you want to do, simply write "X classes in ..." into Google, and add your location!
If you live very remotely (as in... your nearest town is 200 miles away!), you may like to check out online dance classes through the prestigious Sydney Dance Company, With their online programme offering 100+ classes per week across all levels and styles, you can take dance classes from the comfort of your own home!
If you're struggling to find a dance class for you, or not sure where to start, here are three places offering dance classes Australia-wide...
For fitness nuts...
If you're looking to reap the maximum health benefits from your dance class while moving your body and having fun, you should check out if there are dance classes on offer at your local gym. Gyms across Australia are offering dance fitness classes such as Zumba and Balle Barre or mixing hip-hop routines with cardio workouts. If you already have a gym membership you can save money on dance classes by signing up to dance classes through your gym.
For the shy guys...
Love dancing, but feeling too shy to dance in front of anyone? There's a dance class for that! There are chapters of No Lights, No Lycra in most major cities in Australia. The idea is simple: you show up to a venue in your comfy dance clothes (lycra optional!), and they'll dim the lights and blast feel-good tunes for you to rock out to. No instruction is provided, but you'll be sure to get a great workout busting a move in the dark with a group of similarly sweaty strangers.
For spiritual seekers...
Another dance workshop with chapters all over Australia is 5Rhythms. Similar to No Lights, No Lycra, there is no choreography, with the intent simply to move your body and express yourself. 5Rhythms also has an added spiritual element, with dancing considered as a kind of "moving meditation". If you have trouble meditating cross-legged on a cushion, you may find that this kind of dance can help to still your mind.
Finding A Private Dance Instructor Near You
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” Martha Graham
Children, teenagers, adult beginners... we're of the view that anyone can learn to dance at any age, but some might need more encouragement than others. If taking group classes at a dance school sounds too daunting, why not hire a dance teacher for private lessons?
At Superprof, we make finding your next dance teacher easy. Just input your dance style and location and you can browse available teachers near you. Some will teach privately at a local dance studio or academy, but many also offer lessons in the comfort of your own home. On their profile, you'll also be able to see their teaching experience, any qualifications they hold and reviews from past students.
Next, it's simply up to you to write the first message inquiring about their courses and they'll tell you how to book in!
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to dip your twinkle toes into the world of dance?