Dubai’s weather can make it challenging for some people to get into the mood for physical activity. Many residents have discovered that one of the most fun, physically challenging and social ways to get fit in Dubai is by going to dance classes. The emirate has many private dance studios that provide instruction in a variety of dance types including hip-hop, salsa, free style and Bollywood dancing, which is very popular with the large Indian population here and is growing in popularity with people from other cultures as well.
Moreover, the emirate has been hosting the Dubai International Dance Festival, held in September, for the last seven years. This event is a great platform for bringing together dance artists from around the world and for sharing people’s love of music and dance. Check out their Facebook page here. In fact, dancing has become such a popular way of getting into shape that many of Dubai’s fitness centers also provide a host of dance classes as well as themed cardio classes to help members get fit while having fun.
Below, we have compiled a list of the best new dance studios (including some fitness centers), based on their levels of difficulty, practicality and the instructors who put a lot of effort into making sessions exciting and physically challenging for members. So put your dancing shoes on and get ready to groove!
Reflecting the passion of its founders Cesar and Elizabeth, Latin Soul offers an exciting new art form, the Argentine Tango, in a fun atmosphere in their studio in TECOM. What started off as a short-term contract has evolved into an increasingly popular dance form with over 500 students. Students are given the opportunity to learn new techniques and moves with professionally trained dancers and can opt for private classes or group classes offered at varied levels. Latin Soul also specialize in wedding choreography, so if you want to impress your friends and family on your special day, Latin Soul will help to teach you and choreograph the dance on your big day.
First International Dance Studio
Very popular with Dubai’s urban, energetic youngsters, First International Dance Studio offers the very challenging, but dynamic dance form called B-Boy. Located in Deira and Jumeirah Lake Towers, they offer classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced level dancers who are passionate about combining sports and music. Dancers also get the opportunity to perform in shows, local and international competitions, festive concerts and music videos. B-boy, also known as ‘breaking’, teaches isolating body movements in a choreographed routine; although intimidating at first it is a great workout and a great way of making new friends and pushing your body to do things you never imagined it could.
Sharmila Dance School
Not for the faint hearted, Sharmila Dance offers a variety of classes from hip-hop to street jazz to lyrical contemporary, but is most popular for its ballet lessons. The school hosts two annual shows as well as a summer workshop, which is a five-day event allowing students the opportunity to learn under both local and international teachers. The annual shows bring together those with a passion for dance, blending different dance genres on one stage.
Arthur Murray Dubai
With two convenient dance centers located at Jumeirah Lake Towers and at the Souk al Bahar at the Burj Khalifa, Arthur Murray offers classes in all types of ballroom dancing including the Waltz, cha cha and the sassy swing. Perfect for the shy dancer, couples or someone with two left feet, the internationally trained dance instructors can teach anyone to dance. So don’t worry if you have never danced before; just bring your dancing shoes and get ready to have some fun on the dance floor.
Cello Music and Ballet Center
Offering a variety of dance classes including jazz, hip-hop, belly dancing, martial arts and Irish tap, the Cello’s main focus is teaching ballet, drama and music to young, aspiring learners. Ballet classes are offered for mothers and children from the age of 18 months, for youngsters from 2.5 to 15 years as well as for adults. Classes are designed to suit the level and ability of the different age groups and the center stresses the importance of early education for young children embarking on their journey in dance and music.
James and Alex Dance Studio
Driven by the passion of two renowned salsa dancers with a big fan following, the James and Alex Dance Studio is the dream of James Castro and his partner Alex. Boasting a 4000 sq ft. venue at Dubai Media City, three dance studios host a variety of classes from salsa to Zumba, tango and belly dance. The James and Alex Studio offer classes conducted by highly trained instructors who are often invited to shows and international dance performances. This is a great class for those interested in showing off their dance skills socially at any of Dubai’s several salsa nights.
Dance Studios Dubai
Specializing in ballroom dancing, Dance Studios Dubai is great for beginners venturing into the exciting world of ballroom dancing or for seasoned dancers looking to hone their skills on the dance floor. Offering a mix of private and group dance classes for all abilities and ages, instructors begin with the principles of footwork for all four forms of ballroom dance including the waltz, foxtrot, rumba and cha cha for better overall dance form. The studio instructors follow specific teaching methods and an international curriculum in order to give learners a well organized education in dance.
Also known as the Brazilian lambada, Zouk is danced to a slow-quick-quick-slow rhythm, with quick movements danced to R&B tracks with a Latin twist. This energetic, contemporary dance form is addictive and quickly becoming popular with Dubai’s youth. Founded by Nayan de Abrew and his dance partner Samantha Ho, Zouk Dubai is a non-profit organization with volunteer part-time instructors; money earned in classes is reinvested into the annual Zouk Festival held every year at the end of November. The festival attracts DJs and some of the world’s top dancers from all corners of the globe.
Oriental Dance Academy
Rediscover the creativity of your body with the belly dance art form perfected by the instructors at the Oriental Dance Academy. The academy offers a mixture of different belly dance styles from both Turkey and Egypt, teaching isolation of movement for different body parts in a routine guaranteed to give you a super cardiovascular workout. Classes are held at locations in The Springs as well as the Oasis Center on Sheikh Zayed Road. Dance classes comprise three programmes: Classic Belly dance, Modern Belly dance and Oriental Theater. Students can opt to train as teachers by completing the pre-college level certificates offered by the academy.
Nisha Dance Center
If you love grooving to Bollywood dance numbers and are looking to have a great time dancing to some lively Indian music, then this class is for you. Founded by Nisha Shivnani, the Nisha Dance Center aims to break down age and cultural barriers by offering this dance style to people of all ages, abilities and cultures. Dance lessons can be private or in small groups (if you want to dance eith your friends). The dance center also provides dance shows for a number of events including fashion events, exhibitions, flashmobs, product launches, dinner and wedding events.
Pole Fit Dubai
Looking for a new way to get into shape? Check out Pole Fit Dubai, which offers pole dancing, a fun and exciting way to get into shape and learn some new skills to boot! Pole dancing is a great way to improve flexibility and co-ordination while building strength and stamina. This dynamic dance form boosts confidence in a social setting and you’ll have so much fun dancing you won’t even realize it’s a workout!