Best dance classes in NYC
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.