‘Strictly’ fever has barely subsided and there are three new dance shows on our screens: BBC1’s talent contest ‘The Greatest Dancer’, Channel 4′s dating show ‘Flirty Dancing’ and of course ITV’s ‘Dancing on Ice’, which we’re excited to watch for the first time in years thanks to the inimitable Gemma Collins.
If watching these shows has inspired you to try a dance class but you don’t know where to start, we’ve got your back. Here, we round up the styles to suit your every dancing desire. We’ll see you in the studio.
If You Want To Channel Your Inner Popstar
Depending on who you ask, classes called street dance, hip hop, urban dance or commercial are either very similar, or very different.
Dance studios use these phrases in different ways, which can make class timetables difficult to navigate, even for seasoned dancers. But if you want to learn a routine that is music-video worthy, these are the phrases to look out for.
Broadly speaking, hip hop is likely to include things like locking and popping (isolated movements that look cool, but are tricky to master). With commercial, think Cheryl Cole in her heyday. Classes labelled street or urban dance are usually somewhere between the two.
Most studios will offer beginner or “all abilities” classes in these styles, and they’re usually very popular (meaning you’ll be able to hide at the back).
To learn a routine with pure Beyoncé-vibes, look for classes labelled diva, which are increasingly popping up around the country. Read our review of one here.
If You Want To Make Friends
Most ballroom and Latin classes don’t require you to turn up with a partner, so even if you arrive with your beau or your BFF, you’ll probably still switch with people around the room during your session, meaning you’re guaranteed to meet new people.
A quick Google search should help you find ballroom and Latin classes in your area, but if dances like the quickstep, foxtrot and tango don’t appeal to you, Ceroc may be a better (and less intimidating) option.
The fusion style combines elements of salsa with rock‘n’roll. During beginner sessions, you’ll move around the room frequently (like speed dating), dancing with the same person for a few minutes. This has two huge benefits: you meet lots of people, and you don’t have to worry about annoying anybody for too long if you haven’t quite grasped the steps yet.
These dance styles are also your go-to for social events, giving you the confidence to attend that salsa night or Ceroc party at your local bar. Read our Ceroc review here.
If You Want To Improve Your Flexibility
You don’t need to be four years old to attend your first ballet class – more and more beginner sessions are popping up over the country for adults, with no tutus required.
The style will give you a full-body workout and within weeks, you’ll notice your flexibility improving. Most classes consist of a warm-up at the barre, exercises in the centre of the studio (where you may learn a short routine), and a cool down. Don’t worry, you won’t be donning pointe shoes or standing on your toes at any point. To guarantee your ballet instructor knows their stuff, look for one who’s ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) or RAD (Royal Academy Of Dance) trained.
If you’re finding ballet too regimental (and you’re not a fan of Tchaikovsky), contemporary dancing may be for you. It uses a lot of the same techniques but with fewer rules, and is usually practised to pop music.
If You Just Want To Get Fit
Not interested in learning routines? Not a problem. You can find dance-based cardio workouts in most gyms and town halls across the country that are guaranteed to work up a sweat.
Zumba is a failsafe option, where you’ll follow an instructor as they complete simple, salsa-inspired movements on repeat. But we prefer clubbercise, the upbeat dance aerobics class where instructors turn off all the lights and hand out glow sticks. It’s especially good for those feeling self-conscious – read our review here.
Alternatively, your local gym may offer similar classes labelled dance fit, diva fit, jazzercise, dancercise or plain old aerobics.
For toned thighs and glutes that feel the burn, try a barre class, which is essentially the barre part of a ballet class, on steroids. Expect to complete a lot of pliés (squats) and other tiny but testing movements on repeat.