Are you a Sydneysider who wants to learn to dance? In the largest city in Australia, your choices for dance classes and workshops can be a little overwhelming! Indeed, Sydney is known not only for its gorgeous beaches and iconic buildings but also for its long-running love of the arts. After all, Sydney boasts what is likely the most famous opera house in the world!

But did you know the famous Sydney Opera House doesn't just programme opera? Under the elegant white sails of this architectural icon, you can take in an array of incredible dance performances, ranging from classical ballets to the latest musical theatre releases and cutting-edge contemporary dance shows.

If you dream of taking to the stage with your own dance performances or just want to feel more confident on the dance floor, there is a huge range of dance classes on offer across the city. So whether you're an experienced ballet dancer, dance fitness nut, salsa mama or total tango beginner, there's a dance class in Sydney for you.

Sydney dance classes
Get your toes tapping in Sydney!

You'll see the benefits of starting dance classes right away - a challenging cardio workout, lots of endorphins, improvement in your coordination and posture and a whole new group of friends who share your passion on the dancefloor.

You can also surprise and impress your partner by learning a partner or ballroom dance like tango, salsa, waltz or swing. Or perhaps you'd like to sign up together and enjoy the bonding benefits of a shared hobby.

In Sydney, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to dance classes, and in this article we'll show you some of the best places to get started.

Sign up for Dance Classes with one of Sydney's top Dance Companies

Probably one of the most well-known (and diverse!) dance companies in Sydney is the aptly-named Sydney Dance Company. They offer both in-person and online dance classes for students 16 years and older. There are over 120 classes per week at their centre in Ultimo, and for a weekly fee of $65, you can access all classes online.

There's something for everyone at the Sydney Dance Company - everything from ballet, to contemporary and lyrical, to hybrid dance styles like "JFH" (jazz/funk/hip-hop). Each week a new routine is taught, so you can join at your leisure without having to commit to an ongoing course. They also offer "dance fitness" classes where exercise is the primary focus - so you can work out while learning a jazz routine or even take a pilates or yoga class!

Sydney Dance Company categorises classes based on level, so you can take a beginner's class, or go for level 1, 2 or 3. There are short courses for those aspiring dancers wanting to dive deep into their dance classes.

Know an older person who loves to dance? There are also "seniors" jazz and tap classes available to students 55 years and over, and there's a discount to match - these classes are only $12 each!

Become a ballet teacher and inspire your students
Balet Dancing in Sydney. Source: Unsplash @gabrielasanchez

Find The Right Private Dance School In Sydney

Are you looking for a place to learn dance in Sydney and overwhelmed by your options? You're not alone! There are so many great studios out there it can be hard to know where to start.

Group Dance Classes Sydney
Dancing in the Street in Sydney. Source: Unsplash - Nadim Merrikh

If you're a total beginner, here are some things to consider when choosing the right dance class for you:

  • Your goals - will dance be a casual hobby for you, or do you have aspirations of becoming a dance icon? Are you hoping to get in shape, meet people, or learn an impressive routine for your wedding dance?
  • Your physicality - are you looking for something challenging - try a dance fitness class! If something gentler is more your style, you may like to stick with partner dances or slower lyrical styles
  • Your music tastes - if you hate musicals, definitely don't sign up for Broadway jazz dance classes!
  • Your social circles - do you know someone who already does a certain kind of dance? Why not join them and try out a new dance class with a friend!

Once you've settled on the right style of dance, make sure you put together a dance outfit. Prioritise comfort, and wear something stretchy that you can sweat your heart out in! Leggings and unitards are always a possibility, but a comfortable shorts and teeshirt combination will work fine in a pinch. Check out the expectations on the studio website.

Usually, the biggest investment when starting a new dance class is the footwear - for tap you'll need tap shoes, ballet usually requires ballet shoes or soft and bouncy sneakers for hip-hop. If you're looking into Broadway classes or ballroom dancing, make sure you have smart dancing shoes or medium-low high heels to dance in.

Total beginners should start with a class that doesn't need any special equipment before committing to a full new set of gear!

Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a dance class:

  • The price - this will vary depending on the teacher's experience and the level being taught. You'll also find that prices can vary wildly depending on your suburb
  • Your personal commitment - how much time do you have to commit to dance lessons? Do you have time and space to practice at home and get the full benefits? Can you sign up for drop-in classes or do you need to commit to a full term?
  • Your location - try to find something close by, especially if you're just starting out. Travelling an hour across the city can be a big barrier to committing to a dance class long-term!
  • Your social life - would you like to do a solo kind of dance, learn group routines, or find a partner for swing, tango, salsa or foxtrot?
  • Reviews - the best way to see if a studio and their style of teaching is right for you is to seek out and read reviews from past students!

When narrowing down the right dance class for you, you may like to check out DUTI Studios. "DUTI" stands for "dancing under the influence" and offers a wide range of dance classes that fuse together contemporary and urban styles. You'll find the usual suspects such as ballet, hip-hop and contemporary dance, as well as dancehall, reggaeton, house dance and even a class focussing exclusively on how to dance in high heels!

If you're ready to commit to a few weeks of dancing, DUTI studios offer 4, 5 or 6 week short courses, or you can drop in for beginner, open or choreography classes on an individual basis.  Simply check out their timetable and see what tempts your toes to start tapping!

If salsa is more your scene, you'll be pleased to hear that a calendar collating all the fun Latin dance nights, classes and events across Sydney can be found on the Sydney Salsa Scene website. No matter which side of the harbour bridge you live, there's bound to be a salsa night near you!

Ballroom enthusiasts should check out Sydney Ballroom studios in Annandale, which offers a mix of ballroom and Latin style dance lessons. They offer private lessons for and couples looking to learn an elegant routine for their wedding and they even have ballroom dance classes for kids!

Wondering Where to Dance Sydney? Staying Active With Dance Fitness And Community Dance Classes

Dance fitness and community dance classes are a great way to get your heart rate up and have a good time without spending a tonne of cash. These kinds of dance classes are great for beginners just dipping their tiptoes into the dance world!

Dance School in Sydney
Group Dance Classes can bring a huge social element to your learning

Why community dance classes?

  • They're close by - check out your local community centre and you're sure to find dance classes near you!
  • They're cheap - community dance classes are designed to be accessible to the local community, so you're likely to pay half what you normally would at a dedicated dance studio
  • They're accessible - community centres generally offer classes for everyone - that could include beginners, nursing mothers, disabled folk or seniors
  • They're a great social space - if you're looking to meet people who live in your neighbourhood, taking a dance class at your local community centre is the way to go!

If you're wanting to Dance without the judging eyes of others, you can check out your local chapter of dance fitness craze No Lights, No Lycra! They offer weekly sessions in two locations in central Sydney: Newtown and Bondi, as well as in Parramatta and Sutherland. The best part? Dance Sessions are only $10!

Another community dance experience with a spiritual element is 5Rhythms. This is less a class than an icon of the spiritual dance scene - don't knock it before you've tried it!

You can also save money on dance classes by signing up for dance fitness at your local gym! If you already have a membership, these classes are often covered in the price. Popular styles of dance taught through gyms can include Ballet Barre, Zumba or Jazz exercise (Jazzercise). Check out your gym's class timetable online to see what's on offer.

Private Dance Teachers in Sydney

There are many reasons you may want to hire a private teacher - perhaps you want to take your dance technique to the next level, or maybe you're a shy beginner and would like to try things out at home before making your debut at a group class.

As we mentioned before, couples may wish to find a private ballroom instructor who can teach them a routine for their wedding day.

Whilst individual classes are definitely more expensive than group sessions, the individual attention you get can't be beaten! You'll build confidence and hone your technique within a matter of weeks rather than months.

If you're interested in private lessons, why not check out our amazing range of tutors on Superprof? You'll find a range of instructors offering in-home lessons across all the styles.

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Erin is an Australian musician, writer and francophile living in France.