Best Dance Classes for Adults in New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is famous for its music, so much so that the name of the city is almost synonymous with the word jazz. Other music, like Zydeco, flourished in the Creole country of southern Louisiana, while Bounce came into being in the late 1980s. The styles of music are distinctly different, but one thing in common binds them all: in Listening to them, the body takes over, and quite quickly, the feet move and the torsos turn.
âYou can tell that’s from Louisiana, because if we hear the drop of a beat, and it looks like it’s coming from us, we’re all going to respond with some kind of sway of our body,â Marissa said. Joe âJoseph, local dancer, teacher and cultural entrepreneur.
The city’s music and dance found its origins in Afro-Caribbean slaves, whose rhythms and rituals were so powerful that they resisted oppression. What started as African dance evolved into jazz, which evolved into many other forms of participatory dance, celebration and improvisation. The city continues to have an influx of immigrants from all over the world, with each culture bringing its own style of dance that is embraced by the renowned New Orleans hospitality.
âWe are doing a really good job of making everyone’s culture feel welcome and supported in music and dance,â said Joseph. “The most important thing I want people to understand about the Louisiana movement is freedom and the overall oscillation of the body – it’s a multigenerational thing that has never left us.”
For those who are ready to stop reading and start dancing, here are 11 spots to check out:
City of Gert
Cost: $ 10
Zydeco developed among the French Creoles of southwest Louisiana – fast-tempo music based on the accordion and washboard that is danced with a double step. Zydeco Thursday nights at Rock ‘n’ Bowl are legendary. Come with a partner or find one on site to immerse yourself in Louisiana culture while listening to the rhythms of French Creole and French Cajun groups Zydeco.
Cost: $ 12 for walk-in visits
Bounce, New Orleans’ alternative approach to hip-hop, developed in the 1980s, with each of the city’s 17 neighborhoods having their own distinct style and recognizable lyrics. The hallmarks of Bounce music are the call and response direction, where the dance movement is shouted and the dancers respond. Bouncy dance has become increasingly popular – with the most popular move being the twerk – and BeyoncÃ©’s move Training the clip even features NOLA Queen of Twerk, Big Freedia. Head over to Dancing Grounds and get ready to twerk to some sick beats. Course packages and memberships start at $ 39 per month; new students can pay $ 33 for one month of unlimited tuition.
Cost: $ 12 for walk-in visits
By the turn of the last century, Storyville was famous for its vibrant jazz scene and outrageous slapstick shows (as well as prostitution and crime, but we’re keeping the class here). Today the burlesque scene is one of the best in the country and going to see a burlesque show in New Orleans is a must. But if, during this show, you catch yourself imagining your own routine and outfit, fear not, the NOLA burlesque school will teach you all the sensual and comical moves your heart could desire.
Cost: $ 15 for walk-in tours, $ 55 for a one-month pass
Dancing the streets of New Orleans is part of the NOLA lifestyle, and the history of the second line dates back to ceremonies and rites in Africa. Start dancing in an organized (and slightly less spontaneous) way by joining a flash mob, especially DatFlashMob! Taught by Marissa “Moe Joe” Joseph at Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Tuesdays at 8pm. To make sure you don’t lose the rhythm, Dat Flashmob offers a weekly choreography practice leading to a 30-minute performance.
Inspired by traditional jazz dance, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park offers a range of fitness classes, including jazz pilates (Wednesdays 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.), taught by eminent singer Stephanie Jordan, jazz aerobic bounce (Thursdays 4 to 4:45 p.m.) with Ranger Chandra Teddleton, and even jazz yoga with live accompaniment by Peter Nu on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Classes are currently held at the Old US Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.), but will move in January 2017 to 916 N. Peters.
Cost: $ 5 for members, $ 10 for non-members
Another historic New Orleans tradition, the pole dance trend continues to create a buzz and gain popularity. Beyond bringing out your inner vixen, pole dancing has many health benefits: balance, flexibility, core training, relaxation … the list goes on! The Body in Motion studio has a cool vibe with mood lighting and seven floor-to-ceiling poles.
City of Gert
Cost: $ 25 for admission, $ 80 for a one-month pass
Spinning, turning and climbing are euphoric movements that we often leave behind as we grow older. Fortunately, adult aerial arts have become a popular workout, giving older children the opportunity to feel able to fly. But it’s not all fun and games, as this class is intense workout, so bring some energy and a big bottle of water. Although it is not technically about dancing, you will see this beautiful art performed in clubs and ballets.
Cost: $ 20 for registrations or $ 72 for six courses
Forget those boring core workout classes because your abs will roll, twist, and shake in this belly dancing class. Crescent Lotus Dance Studio offers different levels of dance lessons, from beginner to intermediate, and even offers performance opportunities for those who want to show off their new talent. For those looking for a unique bachelorette party, take the team on a private dance class.
Cost: $ 15 for walk-in visits
If you’ve always wanted to move like a dancer in a music video, join Passion Dance Center for Hip-Hop Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Under the tutelage of NOLA locale Tamika Jett, who has been credited in videos of BeyoncÃ©, Missy Elliott, Solange, Big Freedia and many more, dancers will kill. There are even opportunities to live out your dreams of performing as part of a production, music video, or stage show.
Cost: $ 5 Sunday, free Wednesday.
New Orleans has a vibrant Latin community that blends beautifully with the city’s colors, food, music, and dance. Bookoo Rueda is a center that celebrates Cuban music and dance – salsa, danzÃ³n, mambo, chacha – while mixing New Orleans dances like zydeco, bounce and hip-hop. Classes focus on skills and turns that apply to social dancing with a partner, as well as Rueda de Casino dancing in a group.
Cost: $ 10 without an appointment
Have you always dreamed of dancing like a Bollywood star? This dream is only eight counts, with the lessons of Masala Bhangra. Learn all of these awesome moves while listening to thrilling Bollywood music. If you’ve been craving Indian cuisine after you sweat, head to Silk Road in the Marigny for global specialties vegetarians love.
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Madina Papadopoulos is a freelance writer and author who divides her time between New York and New Orleans. His lifestyle articles have appeared in Paste Magazine, Cosmopolitan.com, Delta Sky Mag, and The Village Voice, to name a few. Follow her on twitter @madinapaola and Instagram, @IThinkThereforeIEat.