New Orleans is a city full of celebration, costume, music and best of all, dance. We strut in second lines down the street, twerk in the clubs, and showcase burlesque as an art form, but what if you need help putting that rhythm back in your feet or just want to get a good workout while having fun? Lucky for you, some of the best dances classes and workshops can be found all over New Orleans.
Where to Take Dance Classes in New Orleans
Opened in 2012 by Laura Stein and located in the Bywater neighborhood, Dancing Grounds is one of the newest studios offering dance education and performance for all levels and ages. All adult classes are drop-in — which is great if you’re just visiting town — and cover a variety of dance forms including Afro-Brazilian, hip-hop, and Balkan beat belly dance. This studio also hosts a number of free workshops, rental space for events, and special performances showcasing their talented staff and choreographers.
If ballet is more your speed, the New Orleans Dance Academy, located Uptown on Magazine Street, is open to those who may just be starting out or seasoned professionals. Private lessons are available, and classes are small in size.
Square dance may not be the first style of dance you think of when you are in New Orleans, but Square Dance NOLA and other Western-style dance clubs have been popping up all over Louisiana. Grab your partner and enjoy this lively bi-monthly gathering set to live music. And come hungry or work up an appetite — there is always rice and beans being served.
Since the 1920s, swing dance and Lindy Hop have been popular styles of dance developed alongside the jazz music era. It certainly makes sense, as part of our city’s dedication to historical preservation, to have a dance school that prides itself on creating educational programming and celebrating this beloved dance. The NOLA Jitterbugs Dance School, located in Marigny, offers 5-week long classes in swing, balboa and Lindy Hop dance. If you have an interest and just love to swing, head to their Friday Night Social Dance and get jazzed.
With our proximity to the Caribbean, why not have a dance form in our melting pot of a city? Located at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center, Pon De FLO is a high-energy, Caribbean-Reggae style of dance-based fitness. This 4-week series incorporates fast and fun movements with some serious strength training to burn those calories. Although its origins lie a bit further west from our fair city, the tango is another highly popular form of dance. Eiffel Society on St. Charles Avenue hosts complimentary lessons on Tango Tuesdays for beginners to advanced dancers with $5 sangria specials to quench your thirst.
“If you can walk, you can dance” is the tagline of the Uptown based Dance Quarter. Originally built as a firehouse, NOLA Spaces houses this dance school for social dancing and fitness. Offering ballroom, swing, barre classes and more, as well as workshops and intensives, their goal is to make movement fun and show the benefits of dance for everyone at any age.