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London, the capital of dance? The big smoke city has always been known for its artistic initiatives. Whether it is painting, literature, film or dance, London is a city in which some of the greatest events in the history of the arts occurred.
Dance has always taken a prominent place.
Founded in 1920, the Royal Academy of Dance was and still is, one of the most recognized dance schools in the world. International dancers, young and old, came to tread the stage of the Academy in the hopes of getting noticed and to become great dancers.
Though, in the aftermath of the First World War, it was a different dance style that won the hearts of Londoners. The Charleston, from the United States, which imposed a dynamic cabaret style.
It was the notably famous American dancer Joséphine Baker who would popularize the dance.
In solo or in groups, the Charleston is danced to the rhythm of jazz while alternating support from one leg to the other.
A dance which was appreciated at a time when the UK sought to forget the horrors of war. The UK, and Londoners even more so, learned to have fun and let loose with more light-hearted music, parties and dance.
Aerobic dance, bachata, hip-hop, Cuban dance, couples dance, jazz, Viennese waltz, zumba, reggae, flamenco, swing, all different kinds of dance styles are offered in this capital city.
London is known for offering a wide variety of activities. Everything is possible. You can find dance centres, dance studios, training rooms ...
And to learn dance, students have the choice between dance schools, conservatories or associations. The latter generally being the most accessible while offering all types of dance and levels.
These courses can be lessons for teens, adults, private dance lessons, group dance classes, children's dance...
Classes are often composed of improvisation exercises, stretching, free-dance, dance steps ...
Taking dance lessons in London means giving yourself the opportunity of choice.
There are many internationally known dance schools in London including the Royal Academy of Dance and the London Contemporary Dance School.
But dance schools are not the only ones who can teach you the best dance steps.
At-home and neighbourhood dance classes are also very effective at learning all styles of dance.
Many dance teachers are available in the downtown area and in every neighbourhood.
Tap, hip hop, kizomba, merengue, mambo, Indian, Argentine tango, capoeira, dancehall, Cuban salsa, traditional dances, Puerto Rican salsa... many dance styles are at your fingertips! You just have to choose!
Brixton, Chelsea, Soho, Elephant and Castle ... where should you go to learn to dance and move all night?
Many places are open in the evening and throughout the night to give a space for the best dancers in the city or even just beginners to shake their stuff. Salsa bars, tango nights, hip hop, there are many options available where you can party and perfect your dance steps.
The Peckham neighbourhood is certainly one of the most famous student neighbourhoods. Cheap rent, nice houses and a hip nightlife entices students to this area. You're sure to find some dancing bars as this area is very lively throughout the week.
In recent years, Clapham has become known for its trendy dance floors, discos, DJ's and night clubs making it one of the most popular party areas in London. Many clubs have set up shop here in this youthful neighbourhood.
Dalston also offers some of the most diverse clubs and bars in London and has become a hub for university students looking for fun and dancing any night of the week. You can discover jazzy clubs, live music venues and dance floors in this lively district.
The Mayfair district is situated in the heart of the city, and is one of the most expensive and exclusive areas of London with 5 star restaurants bars and pubs. The most popular street is Bond Street, a great place to check out if you can afford it.
In the very famous and trendy East London you'll find London's hippest areas: Shoreditch and the previously mentioned Dalston. It's home to numerous large events and its exclusive bars and clubs and a vibrant and culturally interesting neighbourhood. A way to let go of strict dance steps and dance free.
Camden is also a very trendy area of the city and well-known for its market and lively bohemian nightlife. A top place to go if you like to dance to live music.
To enjoy several dance halls and different styles, here's a list of some of the more popular clubs in London:
This capital city is often expensive in terms of everyday life. Hobby are most often the most expensive, and there is no lack of dance options available.
Dance classes are not usually given for free. And the type of classes you sign up for will often determine the price.
In many large UK cities, apprentice dancers have the choice between taking classes at lesser-known places such as associations, or larger professional institutions such as conservatories. These are very well-known and are the most expensive.
Here are some prices to give you an idea:
Price of dance lessons in an association: 300 pounds per year for an hour and a half of weekly classes,
School dance prices: 600 pounds per year for one hour of weekly classes,
Price of conservatory dance classes with regional influence: from 100 to 500 pounds for a first course,
Price of conservatory dance class with national influence: from 100 to 1000 pounds for a first class,
Besides these options, it is also possible to choose to take private lessons. However, again, London is one of the most expensive cities in the UK to take classes, even private ones.
The average price of a private dance class is around 25 pounds for one hour of class.
Prices also vary according to the discipline and dance style. The most popular dance styles such as hip hop, modern jazz, salsa or classical dance are among the cheapest.
On the other hand, more specialized dances such as ballroom dancing (waltz, rumba, cha-cha, paso doble, ...) are sometimes more expensive. These types of dances require advanced technique and dancer experience. This means you'll need to pay the cost to have a skilled teacher.
Here is an overview of the prices of private dance classes according to style:
Between private lessons, group lessons, private dance teachers, dance academy courses, or conservatory courses, there are options for whatever you are looking for.
It is important to remember, that in order to learn the basics of any style of dance, it is still almost essential to seek advice and some lessons from a skilled teacher.
Learning to dance, even in London, is best practised in more than just the nightclubs.
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