By Amarallys Cintron and Sarah DeWitt
Originally published Fall 2012.
Are you tired of your normal exercise routine? Why not try a dance class? A study in 2007 found that subjects who participated in an aerobics or hip hop class had lower psychological distress and fatigue immediately after exercise than those subjects participating in body conditioning or ice skating (Kim S and Kim J, 2007). So get dancing!
Dance Classes for the Beginner
Even if you have never stepped foot inside of a dance studio, there are plenty of beginner dance classes in Atlanta that will provide you with an hour of fun, stress relief, and a good workout. If you want to work on your core strength, flexibility, and grace, then try a Ballet class. If you would rather pretend you are a backup dancer in a music video, then hip-hop or jazz are for you. To let lose, relieve some stress, and build core strength and flexibility, try a Lyrical class. If you just want a great workout with a little bit of dance thrown in there, try Zumba. Here are some studios to check out:
Dance 101 has a series of classes called “Discover” that are just for absolute beginners. They provide a wide range of Discover classes including ballet, cardio jazz, hip hop, and salsa, as well as exercise classes including yoga, stretch and conditioning, and circuit training. All of the classes are designed to provide a great workout for the non-dancer.
Rates: 1 class for $20 or 10 classes for $140; New Student Specials also available. If you are unsure if you want to dedicate that kind of money to classes, be on the look-out for their promo-week where there are a few classes that are free. This happens about once a semester.
Location: 2480 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, GA 30329 (Shopping center on the corner of Briarcliff and N. Druid Hills with Panera and Starbucks).
Dance 411 has a similar series for beginners called “Foundations”. Overall, the hip hop styles at Dance 411 are less jazz and more “street” based (i.e. harder hitting) If you want that hard-hitting style, try “Raw Hip Hop” Thursdays. For a “pop” style of hip hop, take “Contemporary Hip Hop”. There are also a range of exercise classes including Zumba, “Step & Sculpt”, and “Intensive Fuel Step & Abs”. Finally, for the girls, there are “Ladies Liberation” classes (including pole dancing) that are “designed to increase fitness levels and self-confidence”.
Rates: 1 class $15 or 15 Classes for $180. (Pole classes: $20)
Location: 475 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta). http://www.dance411studios.com
Gotta Dance Atlanta’s beginner series is called “Explore”. Like Dance 101, there is a wide range of styles including jazz, hip hop, ballet, and lyrical. Gotta Dance also offers shorter $5 classes for a tough abs workout.
Rates: 1 class $15 or 5 classes for $65.
Location: 1778 Ellsworth industrial Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (Northwest Atlanta)
Social Dance Classes
The appeal of social dance classes has become more mainstream as a result of television shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. One great feature of Atlanta is that there are plenty of outlets for social dance. Every studio here both teaches and holds socials, where those who take classes and others can come and practice. Also another reason to get started is that you do not have to have a partner to take any of the classes.
Academy Ballroom has a range of ballroom classes for the beginner. They offer styles such as swing, cha cha cha, tango, waltz, and salsa. Academy ballroom offers a new student rate of $45, which includes 2 group and 2 private classes.
Location: 800 Miami Circle, Suite 140, Atlanta, GA 30324 (Midtown)
Daza Dance Ballroom Academy also offers an array of ballroom classes for those new to partnered dancing. Classes offered include salsa, tango, foxtrot, bachata, swing and waltz. They also offer fitness classes such as pilates and latin fitness.
Rate: $15 per class, or 10 classes for $100.
Location: Buckhead Location: 721 Miami Circle, Suite 103, Atlanta, GA 30324 (Midtown)
Pasofino Dance offers fitness and latin based social dance classes. They offer classes like bachata, salsa, and belly dance. They also offer a special Mambo bootcamp class every second Saturday followed by a social.
Rates: Drop in $15; 5 classes for $60.
Location: 8610 Roswell Rd ste 910, Sandy Springs, GA 30350 (North of Atlanta)
Dance Classes for the Experienced
Dance 101, Dance 411, Gotta Dance and all of the social dance studios have great intermediate and advanced classes. Dance 411 is the place to go for a good hip hop class. Dance 101 has a lot of great options for various styles including jazz, modern, lyrical, ballet, and tap. Gotta Dance has some of the more technically challenging jazz classes. But there are other places that you can go to take classes with the professionals, especially if you want a more classical ballet or modern class.
Atlanta Ballet offers ballet, contemporary, flamenco, jazz, and modern classes (Horton based technique). These classes are for “all levels of training”, but I would only try it out after you feel comfortable in the “Discover”, “Foundations”, or “Explore” level at the other studios.
Rates: The cheapest option of them all! We can get the student rate of $8-10 per class!
Location: There are three studio locations: Cobb (2000 Powers Ferry Road, Suite G4, Marietta, GA 30067—just NW of Atlanta and outside the perimeter), Buckhead (4279 Roswell Road), and West Midtown Atlanta (1675 Marietta Boulevard NW, Atlanta, GA 30318).
Places to just go and dance
Opera– hip hop & pop. Location: 1150 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30309
Primal– hip hop & pop. Location: 960 Spring Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30309
Cosmolava– hip hop & pop. Location: 45 13th Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30309
MJQ Concourse– hip hop & electronic. Location: 736 Ponce De Leon Place Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306
The Ivy– hip hop & pop. Location: 3717 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30342
Tongue and Groove– hip hop & pop; Latin Wed. night. Location: 565 Main St NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
The Sanctuary– Latin Friday; LGBT Latin Saturday. Location: 3209 Paces Ferry Place Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30305
Havana Club– hip hop, pop & electronic; Latin in back room Friday and Saturday. Location: 3112 Piedmont Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30305
Last but not least, the Annual Neuroscience Program Retreat Party!