London's best ballroom dancing lessons

Find the best places to sweep across the dancefloor with our guide to ballroom dancing in London

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'Strictly Come Dancing's popularity shows no sign of flagging, as the BBC ballroom show draws in 10 million viewers each week and is now onto its eleventh series. That's a lot of sequins, a lot of fake tan and a LOT of left feet. But for some 'Strictly' fans, just watching isn't enough. What if you could bring your own ballroom fantasy to life? There are plenty of dance classes in London catering for those who like a bit of cha cha cha in their lives. If you've got a little sequinned number waiting in the wardrobe, give it an outing here…

To dance with the pros

A few years ago, inspired by 'Strictly', Jenni Kravitz took herself off to ballroom dancing classes, only to find herself in a roomful of women with no men to dance with. So she came up with a solution: Simply Dancing Partners. It offers ballroom, Latin, salsa and tango lessons where students can dance with professional partners (male and female), instantly making you feel like some sort of minor soap star waltzing round a BBC studio. Compared with other ways of learning, it's certainly a fast-track experience, but the catch is, it's also more expensive. Kravitz runs occasional tea dances at the Waldorf Hilton, where you can show off your moves in the elegant Palm Court (with pro partners on hand).

Simply Dancing Partners, classes held in central London (7736 4493/www.simplydancingpartners.co.uk).

For a perfect '10'

Former 'Strictly' champion Karen Hardy now runs her own studios in Fulham, where she's hoping to bring a bit of showbiz sparkle to your lives. Yes, you, readers. She runs private and group classes for all ages and levels, and is expert at giving dance-phobic blokes the skills and confidence to take to the floor. Every couple of months there are party nights where everyone can glam up and get down.

Karen Hardy Studios, 10 The Boulevard, SW6 2UB (0845 567 1155/www.karenhardystudios.com).

For dancers of all persuasions

Highbury dance school Studio LaDanza specialises in ballroom and Latin dance, teaching all ages and levels, from those who want to pick up a few steps for social dancing to serious competitors. They also run LGBT ballroom classes to promote same-sex dancing. You can book private lessons too.

An 'elegant and sociable' atmosphere is what they're aiming for at Kensington Dance Studio, which runs ballroom and Latin classes in West and South Kensington. Director Ralf Schiller is co-organiser of The Pink Jukebox, a fortnightly social dance for the LGBT community and friends at Holborn.

Studio LaDanza, 89 Holloway Road, N7 8LT (020 7700 3770/www.studioladanza.co.uk)

Kensington Dance Studio (www.kensingtondancestudio.com/www.pinkjukebox.co.uk)

For a cup of cha cha char

There's less razzle-dazzle but still plenty of dancing to be found at the capital's tea dances.

Art of the Dog: Friendly, quirky gathering for all ages at the lovely Finsbury Old Town Hall. Monthly Sundays. www.ragrooftheatre.co.uk

BAC: Monthly Tuesday afternoon tea dance. www.bac.org.uk

Greenwich Dance: Trip the light fantastic on a Saturday afternoon. www.greenwichdance.org.uk

Royal Opera House: Enjoy a live band and the grandeur of the ROH on Friday afternoons. www.roh.org.uk

For a shortcut to happiness

Inspiration 2 Dance is a school run by Ukrainian dancer Viktoriya Wilton and a team of pros. They run group and private classes in Latin and ballroom dance, in Kensington and Holland Park, with the motto: 'There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.'

Inspiration 2 Dance (www.inspiration2dance.com)

For a sophisticated night out

A new social dance night that welcomes both ballroom dancers and swing dancers, Tails and Twirls will be tripping between waltzes, quicksteps and jives over the course of the evening. The club starts with a beginners' lesson to teach some basics. Black tie is the suggested dress code, although anything 'glamorous' or 'romantic' will do just fine.

Tails and Twirls, Tea House Theatre, 139 Vauxhall Walk, SE11 5HL (www.teahousetheatre.co.uk)



Users say

2 comments
George Tudor-Hart
George Tudor-Hart

This has become a regular monthly dance. There's always a live dance band, they always play ballroom and swing music. it's black tie and/or vintage dress and drinks are cheapish, Tickets are £15 in advance. Look at their facebook page by googling Palais de Danse London, George

George Tudor-Hart
George Tudor-Hart

There is a new monthly vintage dress ballroom and swing dancing event starting in Grays Inn Road, near Chancery Lane station. Opening night will be on Friday April12th with the nine piece Jean Bentley Dance orchestra featuring singer Brandyn Shaw who will be singing in the style of Al Bowlly. Tickets are available through 'wegottickets' at £15 and will be limited to 120 number. There's a sprung wooden dance floor and drinks at pub prices, Dress code is strictly Vintage and black tie only. For more info George Tudor Hart phone on 020 8542 1490 ,

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