Why Start A Dance Class?

First things first, why would you want to start dancing? After all, going to ballrooms and partnering up with other dance enthusiasts is something that older generations of your family probably used to do after the war. So has the art of dance been brought up to date? Is the modern dancing revolution here to stay or is it just another trend?

Whether it's Salsa, the Cha Cha Cha, or Ballroom that appeals to you, many people initially decide to join a dance class to learn a new skill. And places have been filling quicker than ever thanks to 'Strictly Fever'!

Strictly Come Dancing, or Strictly as it is known by fans, is a British television show and dance contest which sees celebrity contestants pair up with professional dance partners and compete for a glitter ball trophy after a series of weeks and physical challenges. Each couple has a week to master and perform a minimum of one dance (at times learning and participating in a group dance for the pre-recorded or live shows) and is scored out of ten. Although he is no longer on the judging panel, no one can forget Head Judge Len's famous 'seven' score!

Strictly Fever has taken the UK by storm.
Strictly Come Dancing has seen much success and has taken competitors and professionals around the country to perform on stage. Photo credit: Keith Laverack on VisualHunt

But despite famously appealing to older viewers, the presence of these dancers on prime-time television, along with the relevance of celebrities that take part, are encouraging dancers, young and old, to take to the dance floor. Not only that, but the professionals themselves are even making names for themselves outside of the dancing world and are using their newfound fame to inspire their followers and encourage them to watch their independent dance shows.

But aside from learning about ball change, box step, chasse, gancho, heel turns or even outside turns in class, there's much more to be gained from attending a dance workshop.

Dancing is not only a great skill, it is also a wonderful social activity and an excellent way to keep fit.

See below more reasons to take up social dancing as well as more competitive dancing and where you can find a class near you in your Leeds location.

Learn Classic Dance Steps And Techniques

No matter which type of dance class you opt for, you are going to come out having learned something, especially if you are new to dance instruction and have no experience of dance training. Every dance teacher will focus on techniques used by professional dancers, emphasising sequences of steps, posture, facial expressions and conveying emotion through bodily movements.

But don't worry, it's not all serious and school-like, you will definitely have loads of fun too!

If you are interested in fast, challenging dance moves performed to upbeat music, then your best bet is to look for Latin, Street, Jazz, Swing or Freelance dance classes. However, if you want to find a dance class that is emotional, sensual and classical then you could try your hand at Ballroom, which includes the Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Waltz. Quickstep is also classed as a style of Ballroom dance yet this does involve a much faster rhythm and therefore movement, hence the name!

Latin is made up of dance styles like the Mambo, Rumba, Argentine Tango, Jive, Lambada, Merengue, Salsa and Samba. Zumba, an energetic dance class that took the country by storm this decade, also comes under this category and is offered by dance centres nationally (usually marketed primarily as a fitness class).

Improve Your Health And Fitness

While you may not think that slow dancing like some Ballroom dances could take up much energy, it is the relentless practising that keeps you fit, not to mention the distance you travel whilst in hold. If you have ever watched a couple dance the Foxtrot or even the Waltz, you will have seen that the pair makes use of every square inch of the available dance space and therefore adds a significant number of steps to their step count.

Dancing is a great way to keep fit.
You may wish to learn to dance to increase your fitness and muscle definition. Photo credit: Puparrazi PhotographY on Visualhunt

Needless to say, taking part in active dances like the Samba or similar will work your body hard, leaving you with aches and pains from your cheekbones down to your toes. But it will all be worth the blood, sweat and tears when you see improvement week on week. Then, in no time at all, you could be an accomplished dancer with a raised level of fitness who just loves to dance at every opportunity.

Furthermore, the visible and psychological effects of dancing classes will, sure enough, boost your self-esteem, making each rehearsal even more enjoyable than the last.

So, if you do decide to join a dance class, make sure you wear your pedometer or smartwatch so that you can see just how beneficial the lesson is to your overall health and fitness regime!

If Birmingham is your closest city, have a read of our blog on dance lessons in Birmingham.

Make New Friends And Connections

It is not uncommon for people to join a dance class to meet new people who share their passion for dancing. Some might even sign up just for something to do and new to experience. Regardless of whether you are interested in the history of dance or you just want to come along to shake your hips, you will no doubt build new relationships and make new friends with whom you enjoy catching up with each week.

Dancing is, by nature, quite a sensual activity so if you are starting dance lessons in order to spark a romantic connection then you could very well be paired up with your future husband or wife!

They don't call it the 'Strictly Curse' for no reason... multiple dancers on the BBC show have fallen for their celebrity dance partners and become real-life romantic partnerships. Some have even left their spouses after dancing their way into the arms of another!

Benefits Of Learning To Dance For Children

Teaching beginners choreography skills to little ones can be great for their fundamental development of fine motor skills. Classes aimed at very young babies and toddlers like acrobatics and early years dance classes near me (i.e. Tumble Tots, Dancing Tots, etc...) not only give kids an early lesson in how to dance and some basic performing techniques, they also encourage them to be expressive and artistic, which is a great experience for youngsters who decide they want to be professional dancers or enter the world of theatre.

Baby ballet is also a fantastic class to teach young dancers about the traditions of ballet as a style of dance and teaches them about behaviour by making them listen to commands and instructions. Dance parties, which are offered by many community halls, are also brilliant to give growing kids a work out with some upbeat, high energy floor work. It will be a great exercise for you too as you will no doubt have to look forward to joining in with their freestyle dance routine!

Learn about learning to dance in Glasgow.

Where To Find Classes In And Around The Leeds Area?

Among one of the largest cities in England, this West Yorkshire community certainly has a lot of choices to offer to dance lovers in the region. With a variety of independent clubs and dance schools near me, as well as workshops held at nearby schools, colleges and community centres, you are sure to find a class that suits you.

You can attend couples workshops or pair up with someone in class.
Salsa your way to a more confident you. Photo credit: lawrencegerald on Visual hunt

Find below more information on the venues available and the specific classes they offer.

Top-Rated Locations

Among the top-rated places (by the Google community) to study dancing are:

  • Salsa Rocks Leeds (5/5), Eastgate
  • Elevations Academy for Dance, Theatre and Gymnastics (5/5), Chapel Allerton
  • Paula Clark School of Dance (5/5), various locations including Rothwell and Wakefield
  • Cornell School of Dance (5/5), Adel
  • EXP Dance (5/5), Roundhay
  • Danceworks (5/5), Moortown
  • The Edmonds Dance Centre (5/5), Bankfield Terrace
  • Dancing Tots (5/5), Alwoodley
  • Flex Dance Inc (4.8/5), various locations
  • Northern School of Contemporary Dance (4.7/5), Chapeltown
  • Armley Dance Studio (4.7/5), Armley
  • The Dance Studio Leeds (4.6/5), Mabgate Mills
  • Trishool Dance Academy (4/5), Moortown

If Manchester is closer to you, find out what dance classes it has to offer in our blog!

Classes Available

Meanwhile, if none of the above academies, clubs or schools appeals to you, then rest assured that there are many others available to you, each offering a variety of dance styles to choose from, from private dance classes to group dance programs.

Let's take a closer look at some of the specific dance workshops, sessions and camps that you could enrol in.

Adult classes

Genre: Ballroom / Latin
Date and time: Saturday 12.30pm (refer to term dates)
Venue: Yorkshire Dance
Duration: 1 hour
Tutor: Paula Clark
Cost: £5.50 in advance / £6.50 drop-in
Level: Beginner
How to book: Email paulaclarkschoolofdance@ymail.com or Tel 07780 688623

Genre: Contemporary technique
Date and time: Wednesday 6.30pm
Venue: Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: £55 per 10-week term (£50 concessions)
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
How to book: Visit nscd.ac.uk

Kids classes

Genre: Street Dance
Date: Tuesday
Venue: Scala Kids
Level: Designed for students of Dance and those hoping to have a pro career
How to book: Call the office for bookings and further details

Genre: Developmental classes for children of 18 months+
Date: Monday 12.30pm
Venue: Mothercare, Leeds
Cost: £4.50 trial, £5.50 for further sessions
How to book: Contact Sarah on 07796 135199 or Email dancingtotsleeds@sky.com

If you're a Londoner, check out our article on learning to dance in the capital.

A Roundup Of Leeds Dance Classes

Whether you are looking to choreograph your first dance/wedding dance routine, brush up on your basic movement and steps techniques, take up couples classes, participate in tap classes or showcase your ballet abilities, you will find a class that is made for you.

Remember that you are not restricted to the dance classes that are listed online, many dance tutors will happily work with your strengths and weaknesses to help you achieve your goals.

Their time is not unlimited, however, so you will need to research types of dance (Latin dance classes, Cuban, Classical Ballet, Hip Hop, Swing dancing, Pole dancing, Bellydancing, Bollywood Dance, Breakdancing, Jazz Funk and more), and be true to yourself about what you actually want to be taught.

Are you keen to dance competitively, gain confidence, improve your flexibility, or to express your inner musicality?

Take a look at our blog on dance lessons elsewhere in the UK.

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Laura is a Francophile with a passion for literature and linguistics. She also loves skiing, cooking and painting.