Vancouver’s Best Dance Classes for Singles

Photo credit: Justin Lee

Photo credit: Rhythm City Productions

By Amy Watkins

It takes two to tango but only one to sign up for dance lessons in Vancouver. You don’t need to be in a duo to dance as solo spinners can drop in to a class and pick up the moves… and possibly a new partner.

Offering classes like sexy salsa and classic ballroom, the city’s dance floors are home to teachers who can show you moves from fancy footwork to beginner friendly boogies. Here are our favourite types of classes to meet people, learn something new and dance the night, or day, away in Vancouver…

Photo credit: Garry Wilmore/Flickr

Photo credit: Garry Wilmore/Flickr

Master the classics: ballroom

Keep it strictly ballroom and live out your Dancing with the Star dreams by learning classic dances such as the waltz, tango, quickstep, rumba and cha cha. Beginner ballroom group classes often cover many styles in the lessons and partners rotate frequently, so solo dancers can still learn the moves. Try Broadway Ballroom for a mix of social classes. (http://www.broadwayballroom.ca/lessons/) Broadway Ballrom, 1050 West Broadway, Vancouver

Photo credit: John Bollwit

Photo credit: John Bollwit

Make a night of it: salsa

Salsa was coined as a term for a style/musical genre in New York in the 70s but it originates from a mixture of Afro-Cuban and Latin American dances. The hip-swivelling moves in the beginner lessons give classes a party vibe and you can even learn for free every Sunday in July and August: just be at Robson Square for 3pm. Check out Salsa Vancouver (http://www.salsavancouver.net/lessons.html) for lists of upcoming events and club nights where you can learn to dance for just the price of admission. Robson Square, 800 Robson St, Vancouver

Photo credit: Dancey Ballroom

Photo credit: Dancey Ballroom

Discover world music: kizomba/bachata/zouk

World music fans will probably recognize the name kizomba (http://www.kizombavancouver.com/), as it is a dance style and a genre of music that originated in Angola, West Africa and other other Portuguese-speaking African countries in the late 70s. The music is a combination of traditional semba music from Angola, African drum rhythms and another musical genre called zouk, which originated in French-speaking African countries.

Bachata is a partner dance that is often taught alongside kizomba and zouk – the social dance originated in the Dominican Republic and was traditionally taught in a box pattern but now the Westernized version focuses on a more open embrace.

Try Dancey Ballroom’s SBK Saturdays for drop-in beginner kizomba, zouk or bachata lessons at 9pm. The social is held every weekend and alternates between Dancey Ballroom, 505 Hamilton Street, Vancouver and D2 Dance Studio, 55 West 8 Avenue, Vancouver.

http://www.danceyballroom.com/sbk-saturday

Photo credit: Ken Semenuk

Photo credit: Ken Semenuk

Put some jive in your step: Ceroc

Billed as a ‘fun fusion of swing and salsa’, Ceroc (pronounced sir-rock) (http://www.cerocvancouver.ca/) is one of the easiest partner dances to pick up. This modern jive involves minimal footwork but lots of fancy-looking turns, so even after just one lesson you can get out on the floor during ‘freestyle’ time and strut your stuff. ‘Taxi dancers’ are on hand to dance with beginners and there is an unofficial rule that you say yes to everyone who asks you to dance. Partners rotate every few minutes, so most people come on their own and make friends during the classes. Head to Cambrian Hall on Thursdays from 7.30pm for beginner and intermediate classes, following by freestyle dancing. Cambrian Hall, 215 E 17th Ave, Vancouver

Photo credit: Rhythm City Productions

Photo credit: Rhythm City Productions

Get into the swing of things: West Coast swing/lindy hop

West Coast swing is a modern dance that takes it’s name from its left coast leanings. It evolved from the lindy hop genre and is a fun and energetic dance that can be done to an eclectic mix of music, from old timey to top 40. Lindy hop dance is a member of the swing family that has roots in jazz, tap and Charleston. It originally grew out of the Harlem jazz scene in the 20s but became popular again in the US and UK in the 80s. Rockabilly jive is another sub-genre of swing that is gaining in popularity. There is a big, friendly swing community in Vancouver (http://www.vanswingthing.com/dancestudios.htm) and plenty of social events, club nights and lessons that are welcoming to newbies: many often include free beginner classes and workshops. Check out Rhythm City Production’s (https://rhythmcity.ca/lessons/) swing dancing evenings at St Michael’s Hall every Thursday. St Michael’s Hall, 409 East Broadway, Vancouver

Photo credit:Garry Wilmore/Flickr

Photo credit:Garry Wilmore/Flickr

Get some drama in your life: Argentine tango

Unsurprisingly this dramatic and intimate dance originated in Argentina, but has a popular following in Vancouver – nearly every night of the week there is a ‘milonga’ dance party happening in the city (http://www.allvancouvertango.com/milongas-calendar-vancouver/). Learn the moves at drop-in practica sessions or sign up for a regular class; either way no partner is required and you will soon learn the sexy art of the cabeceo – a subtle nod to say yes or no to a partner from across a crowded dancefloor. Tango a Media Luz (http://www.tangomedialuz.com/index.html) is one of the city’s longest running milongas – lessons start at 8.30pm, followed by dancing. Media Luz, 2155 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Photo credit: Chris Harris/Van Blues

Photo credit: Chris Harris/Van Blues

Do some dirty dancing: Blues

Chase away the single blues with a class that explores a ‘Dirty Dancing’ style with plenty of hip-grinding and sexy moves. Blues is a fusion street dance that originated in African-American communities in the 1900s and is now one of the most expressive forms of partner dance. Head to The Blues Cafe at Academie Duello on the third Friday of every month for classes and dancing from 10pm-3am or check out the Vancouver Blues & Fusion Dancers website for more information. http://www.vanblues.com/classes.html Academie Duello, 412 W Hastings St, Vancouver

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2 Responses to Vancouver’s Best Dance Classes for Singles

  1. Jean-Michel

    No more “it’s hard to meet people in Vancouver” kind of excuses. Definitely the way to go if you’re looking!

  2. Panache dance studio provide dance class in delhi. For those seeking some different dancing styles along with fitness moves.