Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.

~ Vivian Greene

Not that there's a huge number of rainy days in Brisbane compared to other Australian cities, but when it does rain, there's a lot of it. Hip hop, Latin dance, jazz, tap, classical ballet—why not dance in the rain?

Capital city of sunny Queensland, Brisbane is one of the fastest-growing capital cities in Australia, which means lots of opportunities in both employment and recreation. The entertainment culture is particularly active with an array of live music and DJ events, featuring emerging bands, innovative jazz music, and international acts. If you're into music and dancing, visit the Brisbane Powerhouse, QPAC, Brisbane Entertainment Centre or Suncorp Stadium, or check out one of your local pubs for a more intimate experience.

What if you want more than a Friday or Saturday night groove? You're in the right place—continue reading to discover the many dance classes Brisbane has on offer. You're sure to find a school, class or teacher to learn new moves from.

Benefits of Dancing

Has your body ever just ached to start dancing? You could be at home, at work or in a public spot, music starts playing and all of a sudden, you're up and moving. You find yourself smiling and having fun.

Dancing gives us an endorphin boost and has proven mental health and wellbeing benefits, including:

  • stress reduction
  • social connection
  • clearer mind and improved memory
  • reduced feelings of depression
What are the emotional benefits of dancing?
You don't need to be in a studio to gain the benefits of dancing | Source: Unsplash - Nadim Merrikh

Of course, there are also multiple known health and fitness benefits, including increased endurance, cardio fitness, strength and flexibility.

Try a Dance School in Brisbane

Brisbane has a large number of dance schools, catering for every level and covering a diverse range of styles.

One of the benefits of a formal dance school, academy or studio, is you are more likely to find fully qualified teachers who can teach a wider range of styles. Schools will have a dedicated space with all the equipment needed and a structured timetable. They often also offer performance opportunities for interested students.

Most schools will have a specific focus, such as ballroom and old-style dancing, classes for kids and school students, ballet, contemporary or fitness-oriented. However, other schools may be more generic, offering everything from movement experiences for toddlers through to elite squad training, and every style from party dancing to hip hop to waltz.

In addition to lessons, some schools and academies in Brisbane also supply dancers for corporate events or festivals, allowing their students the opportunity to experience participating in a live performance. Others may also offer personalised workshops for team building events or parties. Contact schools directly to enquire about these options.

Where can I learn ballet?
Ballet classes are always popular - a 1953 performance of Swan Lake at Her Majesty's Theatre in Brisbane | Source: Visualhunt - State Library of Queensland

A selection of dance schools in Brisbane:

  • Brisbane Academy of Dance (ages 2 years and up; lessons in contemporary, classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap etc. plus pilates; all levels from beginners to elite squads)
  • Dancecorp Studio (ballroom and bridal dance lesson experts; all levels from beginners to advanced students)
  • Mad Dance House (absolute beginner level through to dancers who want to chase a professional career; no children's classes—students must be 17 years or older to enrol in a class)
  • Brisbane Dance Theatre (children to adult classes, including classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, acrobatics, tap, Latin, musical theatre, and body conditioning)
  • 2 Ballerinas (adult classes, run by two former Queensland Ballet ballerinas)
  • Promenade Dance Studio (all ages, range of styles)

When it comes to cost, there are usually several options. Students may be expected to pay a fixed rate for a term of classes, or where lessons are on a casual basis, fees may reduce the more times you attend. Discounts may be offered for groups or family members who enrol together. Fees will also vary according to the length of each class, age of students and the level. A small number of studios also have a one-off joining or membership fee. It is best to check the websites of your preferred institutions or contact them directly to ask about fee structures.

Private Dance Lessons

Many of the dancing schools in Brisbane also offer private lessons. However, if you don't want to learn in the formal 'school' environment, there are many freelance tutors available as well.

A good place to start your search is on Gumtree where many private dancing teachers post their advertisements. You can also find ads in your local community halls, libraries and shopping centres.

Unlike teachers at a dance school, it is not necessary for a freelance dance teacher to have professional experience or formal qualifications and it can be hard to check their credentials if this is important to you.  You may prefer to look at the tutors available on an online platform, such as Superprof.

Where can I get private dance lessons?
A private dance class, as an individual or with your partner, can be a great way to prepare for a special event | Source: Unsplash - Isaiah McClean

Superprof tutors have personal profiles on the platform where you can check their qualifications and experience. You can also easily find out what style of classes they have, the level they teach, their rates and the hours they have available.

If you are looking for private lessons in order to prepare for an audition, professional credentials may be important to you. Alternatively, if you're more interested in learning a dance for your upcoming wedding or a party, you may well click with an instructor who has no qualifications but with whom you have a great rapport. Checking testimonials from past students is another way to find out a bit more, or simply contact the teacher directly for a chat.

Learn Through Joining a Social Dance Group

Social dancing is not only fun but direct experience is one of the most effective ways to learn.

Joining a community group of dancers and going along to their weekly events is a great way to meet people, learn some new skills and get fit. Many groups have a casual approach, perhaps teaching one or two new dances in a session, then practising some older ones. Often, a supper is involved and, depending on the group, other activities, including public performances, may also be organised.

Joining a social platform, such as Meetup, is a good way to find out about community and social groups in your area. With groups including Zouk Club (a fun Latin style), flamenco, Friday Night Fun, freeform, hip hop, Ceroc, Queer, international folk dancing and Bachata socials, you are spoilt for choice in Brisbane and sure to find something you'll love.

What type of dance classes are there in Brisbane?
Community-run classes are great places to learn new dance styles, from contemporary to world dance | Source: Unsplash - Joost Crop

While some community groups are informal, a few are a little more structured and may have membership fees, or casual per session rates. These fees will be nominal and cover expenses such as rent and insurance.

A few social and community dance groups in Brisbane

  • Brisbane Sunday Social Dance Club (old time, new vogue and ballroom)
  • PCYC Queensland
  • Hellenic Dancers
  • Let's Dance (social ballroom dancing)
  • Seniors in the Studio (ballet and jazz)

Online Classes

There are a variety of reasons people prefer learning online these days, and with ongoing improvements in technology, you can do almost everything remotely—including dance classes.

Benefits of online classes include reduced prices, no travel and more flexibility around timing. The biggest plus, however, is that you and your tutor don't have to be in the same town, state or even country.

Still, it may be nice to have the option of occasionally meeting your tutor face-to-face. With that in mind, you may wish to consider the online dance classes Brisbane offers, including those at:

  • Strictly Dance
  • Queensland Ballet
  • Brisbane Online Dance Classes for Couples
  • Groove Therapy (both online and live stream classes)
Are there online dance classes?
Everything can be learned online these days - including dancing | Source: Unsplash - Allie

If you aren't worried about working with a local company or tutor, your options are limitless. A tiny selection of dancing classes available online include:

  • Bailar Productions (based in Perth, payment is by donation)
  • Passion Studio (based in Melbourne, classes must be watched within 24 hours)
  • Sydney Dance Company (interactive, via Zoom)
  • Danceplug (worldwide)
  • Steezy (based in the US)
  • CLI Studios (based in the US)

Don't overlook Superprof when it comes to the best online dance tutors and dance classes Brisbane has available. Many of Superprof's friendly tutors are happy to run online classes for individuals or groups, and remember, your first lesson is often free.

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

~ Vicki Baum

What are you waiting for? Get your groove on and enroll in a dancing class or join a group today.

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Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.