Dance classes in Toronto

Dance classes in Toronto fuel the city’s passion for music and movement. Some of our most beloved events – Pride celebrations, Caribana events, the recent Thomas & Friends Live show where Mayor Rob Ford staged an awkward appearance – involve song and dance, and it doesn’t No wonder Torontonians can’t keep their feet still.

Yet there are those of us for whom the talent for movement does not come naturally. Some recoil from the safety of the bar stool, while the more adventurous embrace their two left feet and sign up for studio programs. Others opt for classes aimed at strengthening existing skills or learning types of dances that are integral to different cultures. Whatever the reason, here are some places to take dance lessons in Toronto.

Salsa: the Spanish center
Here, you don’t need to leave the building to go from Spanish lessons to Spanish dance lessons. The Spanish Center on Hayden Street, just south of the Bloor-Yonge subway platform, offers salsa dancing lessons at four different skill levels through its five-week program. One hour per week classes do not require you to bring a partner and are $55 (plus HST).

Belly: Hannan’s Belly Dance Studio
You can experience the movement of your hips at both locations in this studio; one on the Danforth and one in Yonge and Eglinton (although I imagine I would have to travel a little further to find my own). For brave souls looking to venture into belly dancing, Hannan’s offers beginner classes once or twice a week for six-week sessions, starting at $109. Future dancers can try their first class for free.

Break: City Dance Corps
Do breakdancers suddenly lose their street cred if you find out they learned their badass moves at a safety-focused Queen West workshop? Well, maybe leave that detail out of the graffiti. City Dance Corps offers seven-week beginner and intermediate breakdancing classes at its Queen and Spadina studio. 1.5-hour classes are held once a week and cost $118.50 for the program.

Swing: Dance of the knees of the bees
Lindy Hop is alive and well at Bees’ Knees Dance Studio in Yonge and Bloor. Offering four levels of instruction, sessions last four weeks and classes are scheduled five days a week, ensuring easy access to a healthy dose of jazz music. The first class is free and sessions are $40.

Bollywood: The Art of Divine Legacy
Synchronized movements once reserved for the streets of Mumbai are taught at our own national ballet school in Jarvis. The Divine Heritage Artistry, run by director Lopa Sarkar, offers Bollywood dance lessons in four-week sessions ($80), as well as Bellydance/Bollywood workshops ($40). Now we just need some sort of hopeless love triangle…

Hip Hop: Byfield Dance Experience
Run by venerable hip-hop/tap dancer Shawn Byfield, who describes himself as “a genius dance studio owner, fighting a weakness for dessert, Byfield Dance Experience at Church and Yonge offers classes all time. Really. Instead of paying for a certain number of classes, you buy a monthly studio pass ($99), giving you unlimited access. There are usually one to four classes scheduled each day at varying skill levels.

Tap: Joy of dancing
Joy of Dance is one of those studios that offers a whole host of different class types, and tap dancing is one of the favorites. At Danforth and Broadview, you can start with 16 weeks of lessons ($240), choose to start with just five ($75) or one ($18). You do need to bring your own shoes though (which is probably a good thing).

Pole: Brass Vixens
Here, you pay to work the pole. And I hear it’s a great form of exercise. Brass Vixens (formerly Aradia Fitness) has two locations in Toronto (Queen West and Leslieville), offers 3 levels of pole dancing and tricks classes, and SexyFit pole move classes. You can try a “teaser” course for around $25, or take the plunge with a four-week pass for around $119.

Some other places to take dance lessons in Toronto:

Dovercourt House
Naughty girl fitness
Salsa practice in Toronto
Habeeba’s Egyptian belly dance studio
Yonge & Bloor Blues Dances
sugar foot
street dance academy
Elevation Dancecentre
Teq Dance
Arthur Murray
Toronto Dance
OIP Dance Center
shall we dance
Coco Raspberry Burlesque School
Jive Nation
Om Laila
Mayada oriental dance
Creole Ballet
dance district
Dance vibes in Toronto

Did I miss a great place to take dance lessons in Toronto? Please add it to the comments below.

Photo by chewie2008 in the pool blogTO Flickr

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