Step it up with these awesome dance classes

Dancing isn’t all about Gangnam style and the YMCA. Find out where you can learn the moves and maybe even find a new hobby  

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We all like to dance, whether it’s tearing it up in the middle of the dance floor like Tony Manero or doing some embarrassing dad moves in the privacy of our own home.

Whether you’re comfortable throwing some shapes or you’ve got two left feet, there are plenty of places to pick up a few extra moves and find your rhythm.

As well as making you feel good, dance can help supercharge your fitness routine and tone your body.

Sound good? Then limber up, grab your dancing shoes and prepare to dazzle: it’s time to learn to dance in Abu Dhabi.

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Bodytree Studio 

At Bodytree Studio you can get involved in a wide range of dance classes and it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’ve already got the moves.

If you’re looking for something to show off on the dance floor then the hip-hop dance classes are probably up your street. In these sessions you will get the chance to try various street styles, and as you grow in confidence you’ll be able to express yourself through dance.

Ladies can plié their way back into ballet or start from scratch if you’ve never donned a tutu. Learn classical ballet techniques and movement along to iconic Broadway numbers under the tutelage of an experienced teacher and fall in love with ballet all over again.

Is belly dancing more your thing? Men (yes, really) and women can sign up for these classes to tone up and challenge your body. Featuring a low-impact cardiovascular workout that can strengthen back and abdominal muscles, it’s great for anyone who wants to try something new.

If you’re looking for something much more calming, then why not try tai chi? The beginner’s class will show you how to warm-up and move from one posture to another in flowing, meditative movements and footwork, while achieving a satisfying sense of calm. Prices vary. Hazza bin Zayed Street, opposite Adnoc petrol station. See the website for weekly schedules and pop-up workshops. Some classes return in September. Contact:
02 443 4448, bodytreestudio.com

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Dance Class Let’s Dance 

Teaching a love of dance to his students, instructor Sam Halabi will put experienced and amateur dancers through their paces. With experience in various styles, Halabi focuses on tango and salsa, plus you can learn the basics pretty sharpish under his expert tutelage. Whether you want to impress at a dance event or wow at a wedding, Sam also offers bespoke choreography so that you can dazzle on the dance floor. AED 60 per class. Maestro Theater Center, off Hameem Street, Al Wahda. Times and dates vary. Visit: bit.ly/2oKL10t

The Room

Okay, so maybe you really want to impress and learn some moves that wouldn’t look out of place on Strictly Come Dancing. Try salsa on for size. Known for its fast tempo, the Cuban-inspired style is one that certainly grabs people’s attention. Learning the style could really impress your partner, especially if you take the classes together. Teaching you timing, footwork, posture and all the attributes necessary, the staff at The Room will teach you how to become a seasoned salsa dancer. AED 50 per session. International Tennis Stadium, Zayed Sports City. Sun and Tue 8.30pm-9.30pm for beginners, 9.30pm-10.30pm for intermediate. Contact: 02 444 4945, theroom.ae

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Bailey Murray Academy 

Irish dancing may look complicated but it’s also a lot of fun and it is possible to learn the technique without tying your legs in knots. If you want to try it out for yourself, there are adult classes for beginners and some for more advanced dancers. With fast footwork, balance, coordination and timing all key to the style, you can learn quickly but you’ll need to practise to really get into the rhythm. The certified and experienced teachers Jenny and Kevin have each held major titles in competitive dancing, so if you’re serious about learning, there’s no better place than this. The friendly pair will help you understand the basics, and refine your skills to take it to the next level. Prices vary, but you can try your first lesson for free. Various locations including British School Al Khubairat and The Music Hub. Visit: bit.ly/2pfwXNV

Meet and greet

Want to find a group of like-minded dance fans or try out a new style? Check out these Abu Dhabi-based options from meetup.com

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Kizomba Fever 

Kizomba is an African dance that originated in Angola in the 1970s and is a slow and sensuous style. Led by Spanish instructor Cinta Rodriguez and her dance partner Guilherme Zaz, these get-togethers are a great way to meet new people as you master a style of dance that’s slowly gaining popularity around the world. Better yet, after a few practice sessions you can try out your moves at one of the group’s Kizomba dance parties.
Visit: bit.ly/2pO2p27 

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Desert Shakti Belly Dance

Ladies, this one is just for you. Showing you the ropes from a beginner to a more experienced dancer, these belly dancing classes will teach you all the techniques you need to start out before building up your ability to take on more challenging exercises. With a range of events including workshops and classes you could quickly find that belly dancing is your new favourite hobby. Visit: bit.ly/2nYF69q 

Abu Dhabi Choreography and Dance

This group is open to all and is a great place to learn your first few moves. At meetups, newcomers will get to learn basic movements and gain confidence as they develop their technique supported by more experienced dancers. Intrigued? What are you waiting for? Visit: bit.ly/2sH55QN

WORDS Colin Armstrong
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