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The best dance classes NYC has to offer

Looking for the best dance classes? NYC has the perfect one for every style of dance from ballet to Bollywood.

By Juliet Izon |
Broadway Dance Center
Photograph: Courtesy Broadway Dance Center

At the best dance classes in NYC, you can do everything from tap to tango. Have you always wanted to channel your inner Bollywood star? Or do you gaze dreamily at the giant posters of ballerinas at the New York City Ballet every time you pass Lincoln Center? From donation-based movement classes to dance classes for adults to learning how to strut in heels, there are many ways to get your groove on in this city at the best dance studios.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best classes in NYC

Best dance classes in NYC

Steps on Broadway
Photograph: Courtesy Rosalie O'Connor

Basic Tap at Steps on Broadway

Upper West Side

There’s probably no dance studio more famous than Steps on Broadway, and no dance discipline channels the Great White Way better than tap dancing. Sign up for its basic tap class, which requires little to no experience and is a full hour-and-a-half long. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might catch off-duty professional dancers popping into open classes.

Photograph: Kyle Froman
Things to do, Cultural centers

Beginner Horton at Ailey Extension

Hell's Kitchen

Alvin Ailey was one of the most influential choreographers of the modern age, but that doesn’t mean his techniques are impossible for novices to learn (some of them, anyway). Try the hour-and-a-half Beginner Horton class, which introduces students to fundamentals of the technique like leg swings, deep lunges and lateral stretches. It also features live drum accompaniment.

Mark Morris Dance Center
Photograph: Courtesy Beowulf Sheehan
Things to do, Cultural centers

Beginning Modern Workshop at Mark Morris Dance Center

Fort Greene

Learn to tap into your body’s musicality in this hour-and-a-half-long class, which introduces beginners to the elements of classical modern dance like contractions, spirals and simple floor work to strengthen your core muscles and improve flexibility. Live musical accompaniment and a warm, positive atmosphere make this studio ideal for those who have never set foot inside a dance class.

Joffrey Ballet School
Photograph: Courtesy James Culp
Things to do

Beginner Ballet at Joffrey Ballet School

Greenwich Village

Joffrey, which was founded in 1953, has a proven track record in classes from jazz to conditioning, but its ballet program is where it truly shines. For those with a basic understanding of classical ballet technique, try its beginner class, which involves both barre work as well as routines that move across the floor. Dancers also learn to improve their alignment and posture.

Broadway Dance Center
Photograph: Courtesy Broadway Dance Center
Things to do, Schools and universities

Absolute Beginner Workshop in Jazz at Broadway Dance Center

Hell's Kitchen

The classes at Broadway Dance Center are no joke: Open classes at the advanced level require 10-plus years of training. For those who are still learning the difference between a fan kick and a fouetté, try this six-week program, which requires no previous training and features instructors like Phil Orsano, who has worked with the likes of Madonna and Debbie Gibson.

Peridance Capezio Center
Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

Beginning Hip Hop at Peridance Capezio Center

East Village

Peridance was the first school to offer professional hip-hop dance classes, starting in the 1980s. Today, its program of new American dance classes is one of the most robust, with nearly two dozen instructors teaching everything from Street Jazz to Fundamentals of House. For a class a little out of the ordinary, try the Beginning Hip Hop class that requires heels at least three-and-a-half inches high.

Liberated Movement
Photograph: Courtesy Eve Reinhardt

Liberated Movement


This Tribeca studio is committed to sharing dance with everyone, especially those for whom cost is an issue. For that reason, every class here is donation-based (the suggested amount is $10) and no prior dance experience is ever required. Try its signature technique, which uses elements of Qi Gong, yoga, and breath work, and keep an eye on its website for upcoming dates.

Irish Arts Center
Photograph: Courtesy Darial Sneed

Step Dance I: Beginners at Irish Arts Center

If you still love Riverdance after all these years, strap on a pair of ghillies and head to this Midtown class, where an eight-week boot camp will teach novices the foundations of the fast-footed step dance technique. By the end of the session, dancers will have learned light-shoe reels and jigs and mastered a group dance.

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Photograph: Courtesy Triangulo

Beginner Tango at Triangulo

There’s no partner necessary for this novice-level ballroom dancing class which introduces students to the basics of the Argentine tango. The studio, which is the only one in New York dedicated solely to this technique, teaches dancers to master moves like the follower’s cruzada, front ochos and inline and outside partner walking during the four-course session (pre-registration is required). Red rose not included.

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Ajna Dance Company
Photograph: Courtesy Ajna Dance Company

Bollywood and Bhangra at Ajna Dance

Taking its cue from the elaborate dance numbers in Bollywood movies, this high-energy class mixes traditional Indian folk dance with contemporary movements from Bhangra, hip-hop, jazz and belly dancing. Every class ends with the best yoga postures for a soothing cooldown. Need a bit more practice? Instructors are also available for private sessions to work on your technique.

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