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10 Dance Classes for Adult Beginners
As Jillian Lauren describes in our April issue, learning the Argentine tango is a step in the right direction toward finding connection. These places go beyond the milonga to keep you on your toes
3rd Street Dance
You’ll recognize the studios here—hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Cedars-Sinai—as the onetime rehearsal space for Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. Find your own groove with classes devoted to swing, the Lindy hop, salsa, ballroom, and Argentine tango. Beginner bootcamps and private lessons are also offered. 8558 W. 3rd St., L.A., 310-275-4683.
Edge Performing Arts Center
Known for its celebrity clientele and as a training facility for dancers and choreographers who’ve gone on to work with pop stars like Madonna, Shakira, and Janet Jackson, this spot also offers introductory classes in hip-hop, ballet, tap, and more. 1020 Cole Ave., Hollywood, 323-962-7733.
During the summer, no experience is necessary at this free open-air event on the Music Center plaza. Use the stars as your guide (plus the instructors on hand) as you learn a range of dance moves, from Bollywood to disco to the samba.
A Taste of Dance
Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the Music Center plaza becomes a makeshift stage throughout the afternoon for anyone interested in a 20-minute dance lesson for just a buck. Doesn’t matter if you have two left feet. Classes have focused on flamenco, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop reggaeton, and more.
J.A.M. Sessions at the Ford
This free summer series at the Ford Amphitheatre leads participants through various dance styles. Programs have featured Afro-Cuban rumba, West Coast swing, samba reggae, and more.
Westside Jewish Community Center
James Zimmer, dance director of the International Folk Dance Club at UCLA, teaches traditional Israeli folk dancing. Beginners start at 7:30 on Tuesday nights (more advanced students are from 8 to 9 p.m.), and then the floor opens up to everyone from 9 to midnight. 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A., 310-284-3638.
Westside School of Ballet
Founded by the late Yvonne Mounsey, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet in the 1950s, the school has long had a reputation for being top-notch. “Beginning basic” ballet classes are held daily. 1709 Stewart St., Santa Monica, 310-828-2018.
Dance Family Studio
An online tip sheet for beginners helps newbies navigate the classes here. Plus instructional DVDs are available. Once at the facility (there are three studios and a 2,000-square-foot ballroom), choose from among the hustle, salsa, tango, East Coast swing, and more. Sessions begin the first week of the month. 2700 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, 626-568-3764.
Dance Conservatory of Pasadena
This space bills itself as “more than just a ballet studio,” and indeed its Bollywood Bhangra Beats class for ages 16 and up proves the point. It’s open to all skill levels and is taught by Achinta S. McDaniel, artistic director of Blue13 Dance Company, an L.A.-based contemporary Indian dance troupe that tours worldwide. 496 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, 626-396-1744.
The studio, which doubles as a dance and fitness space, has beginning ballet and flamenco on its roster. Once a month a live drummer accompanies the Afro-funk class, which invites everyone—at all skill levels—to join; steps are broken down from low impact to high. 3141 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, 323-669-2821.
To read "Face The Music," Jillian Lauren's April feature about learning to tango, pick up a copy of the magazine on newsstands or subscribe NOW.