4 adult dance lessons for beginners in the Twin Cities
Have you ever seen a ballet and found yourself enchanted by the graceful pirouettes around the stage? Or you watched your daughter at her dance recital and thought, âMaybe I could do that! “?
Wondering no more: the Twin Cities have plenty of opportunities for you to get out of your dancing shoes. However, if you are a beginner it is difficult to know where to start or what to expect when you go. After attending five dance classes in town, we’re here to guide you while you get your feet wet. Remember: when in doubt, dance!
975 Grand Ave., Saint-Paul, 651-224-8951, spectredancemn.com
- Price drop: $ 20
- The experience: Featuring tap, ballet and hip hop for adults, you’ll be surprised to find this dance studio in the basement of a building on Grand Ave. The small space has a few small rooms, hosting classes for children and adults. The adult tap dance class on a Thursday night was sparsely populated, but this resulted in more individualized attention from the instructor during the exercises. There was no music accompanying the combinations, so it was easy to focus on creating crisp, crisp tones with the tap dancing while crossing the floor. Shuffle step, shuffle step, shuffle step, change of ball!
- Classmates: A few women in their 50s and 60s wore sweatshirts, tight-fitting sports pants or leggings.
- Pro tip: If you are showing up, call ahead and confirm that the class is still in progress. If there are too few registered participants, Spectrum will sometimes drop the course for the session without notice online.
Zenon dance company
Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave., Downtown Minneapolis, 612-338-1101, zenondance.org
- Price drop: $ 15
- The experience: Zenon offers any type of dance you could be looking for, from hip hop, afro fusion, modern, jazz to musical theater, and more. Plus, its location in the Cowles Center makes you feel like an up-and-coming professional, as you rehearse in the same spaces as members of the Zenon company.
- Ballet: A very welcoming instructor guided around 13 students through a 50-minute warm-up at the barre, with folds, clears, stretches, beats and even live piano music to accompany you. Afterwards, the students moved away from the bar and entered the center of the room, where they learned short combinations that help with balance, memory, strength, balance and more.
- Belly dance: While you might have imagined dancing to Shakira for this class, the electronic belly dance music fueled our hip tremors instead. For the first part, we learned the basic movements and focused on moving our hips, abs and arms correctly, isolating ourselves from each other. Once we got the basics down, we learned a fun, albeit quick, routine that proved our hips don’t lie, either.
- Classmates: About 75 percent of the students were young adults in their twenties, and the rest of the class was older. The attire was varied: for the ballet, some wore loose leotards, tights, ballet skirts and updos, while others wore leggings, a tank top and a ponytail. If you don’t have ballet shoes, socks will suffice. For oriental dance, most of the students had hip scarves around the waist, in order to accentuate the movements. It helps to wear a cropped top or a fitted top so that you can also check that what you are doing is correct. No shoes required!
- Pro tip: You will probably see a cross between participants of different classes at Zenon. Take advantage and make friends!
Minnesota Dance Theater
Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave., Downtown Minneapolis, 612-338-0627, mndance.org
- Price drop: $ 15
- The experience: Similar to Zenon, a live accompanist played piano music while we focused on pointing our toes, straightening our backs, and maintaining our core. MDT only offers ballet lessons, so if you are only interested in ballet, this company might be a great choice for you. Also located in the Cowles Center, these giant dance halls had plenty of room for you to jump, spin, and throw on the floor.
- Classmates: A range of women in their twenties, to a few men and women in their fifties, sixties and sixties.
- Pro tip: If you only have time for the bar, just pay $ 10 and leave before the middle part of the class. (This is also an option at Zenon.)
Fitness straight line dance
Keg House, 34 13th Ave. NE # 104, Northeast Minneapolis, 612-385-4218, straightlinedancefitness.com
- Price drop: $ 20
- The experience: While Straightline Dance Fitness might not be your typical traditional dance studio, it is a great place to do some hip hop. Every two weeks the instructor teaches a new choreography with a different song, so it’s easy to come when you want. As one of the tenants of the Keg House in the North East, Straightline only has one dance studio, so people waiting for the next class can watch while you practice. But don’t be discouraged: other dancers will cheer you on to the sidelines with occasional shouts. Other classes at Straightline focus on cardio or strength, such as piloxing (pilates, boxing and dancing). So, if you are looking for traditional dance lessons, look elsewhere!
- Classmates: 95 percent of the dancers were in their twenties, wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts to T-shirts and leggings, hair up, hair down, or all of the above. The only universal article? Indoor tennis shoes, so you can swivel and move, but not slide.
- Pro tip: Listen to Lizzo before you go, and you will feel Good as hell when the time comes to roll that body!
While you are welcome anytime you enter these courses, we recommend going at the start of a session for one of these companies. As there is often a core of dancers who return each week, the instructor can attend to them and go over some fundamentals of the dance style before you have a chance to learn them. Plus, if you plan to return to these businesses for more than one class, there are often packages available to save you a bit of dough.