Do Something For Yourself And Join A Dance Class - The Gloss Magazine

Do Something For Yourself And Join A Dance Class

Stuck in a rut? Need something new? There is nothing more freeing, fun and fulfilling than stepping out of your comfort zone and into a dance class. Here is where to start adult dance classes – for beginners…

The dancing scene in Ireland has grown exponentially in the last few years with many dancing communities popping up all over Dublin City in particular. This increasing interest is especially thanks to international dance teachers, healing instructors, DJs, or simply dance enthusiasts who have created dancing hubs and communities at different locations all over Ireland – be it a studio, pub, or community hall. There is a notably strong contingent of Brazilian dance teachers who have incorporated their culture, styles and steps into these community classes and socials and really brought them to life.

The classes not only allow you to step out of your comfort zone by side-stepping on a Wednesday evening, but they provide the opportunity to meet new people of all nationalities, open your eyes to different ways and walks of life and celebrate that through movement.

The classes are accessible for dancers of every level with the mutual goal of having fun, moving and taking part in something – you really are guaranteed to be smiling throughout. And if a class seems too intimidating right now, why not go to one of the community socials? Often dance studios or freelance dance instructors will organise socials, or other spontaneous events. These socials are a more casual affair and are again a great opportunity for meeting new people in the community and enjoy some dancing without the pressure of a class. They are popping up anywhere from a pub function room, to the centre of Grand Canal Square – on a summer’s day this sounds glorious.

The importance of exercise for our mental and physical health is, of course, not news to us. We know it is something we should be including into our daily lives and weekly schedules, but for so many of us finding the right routine or form of exercise can be an uninspiring and often intimidating activity. What happens as a result? We don’t keep it up. Dancing has incredible positive effects on your mental and physical health. It is proven to reduce stress – hallelujah – and as well as burning calories, dancing can also increase your muscle strength and your cardio health. Like any other workout, if it gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat, it’s doing something good.

Dance instructors have also started to organise specific dance classes for people with Parkinsons Disease and dementia, and have found that the activity has had incredibly positive mental and physical health effects (see more below). It is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to let their creativity flow and feel free in a very safe space.

If joining a dance class in Ireland is something you might consider, here is where to find the perfect class for you…

Mind The Step, 24 Great Strand Street, Dublin

Mind The Step is a late night coffee shop, serving speciality coffee and delicious food stuffs, and offers a great set up for WFH if that’s what you’re looking for. Not only this but it doubles as a dance studio and has become one of the most popular studios in Dublin. There are two studio rooms to avail of which are very aptly named Step Up studios. Hosting a myriad of dance classes, Step Up studios offers Ballet, Salsa, Zumba, Twerk, Tango, Milonga, Full swing, Zouk Social dance, Irish dancing and healing dancing to name a few, they are all led by independent dance instructors who rent the studio to bring their culture, their own uniqueness and enthusiasm to the classes.

Dance with Alessia at Mind The Step and Temple Lane Studios, Dublin

One such instructor at Mind The Step is Alessia, an experienced Zumba instructor from Brazil who has been teaching since 2014 all over the world under her brand ‘Dance with Alessia.’ Her classes are suitable for all levels and as two GLOSS editors can attest – her classes are a lot of fun. Alessia spreads her joy and enthusiasm in all of her classes wherever they are. She began her teaching career in Brazil and then moved abroad to share her passion in London and Cyprus, all before she came to Dublin where she now teaches Zumba at Mind The Step and Temple Lane Studios and incorporates her own Brazilian music and flair into the Colombian dance. Zumba – coming from the Colombian word meaning “to move fast and have fun” – combines elements of dance and aerobic exercises to create a fun, rhythmic and energetic workout. Zumba incorporates a wide variety of dance styles, including salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, samba, hip-hop and more. The routines are inspired by international rhythms which make it a fun-filled multicultural experience. @dancewithalessia

Forró Classes at Mind The Step

Taught by various teachers at Mind The Step, Forró is a typical Brazilian north-eastern region social dance, and one of Brazil’s most popular dance styles. Each instructor hosts improvers classes, beginners classes and social classes. Forró refers to a musical genre, a rhythm, a dance and the entire event itself where Forró music is played and danced. It takes on influences from various Brazilian styles, such as samba. It has gained serious popularity all over Europe through festivals, classes and social meets. Grab a partner or meet one there, from beginners to seasoned dancers, the power of Brazilian dance will bring everyone together, so they say. Book through the Instagram page; @danadodebomforro.

Healing Dance Qigong at Mind The Step

If you are looking for a mindful and meditative class in your busy working week, Healing Dancing is a great one to try out. This is also a great class for an older contingent who would love to get moving and get deep-breathing at a slower pace. Ekaterina Voznesenskaia, founder of MindCare, has introduced Healing Dance Qigong at the Mind The Step studio.

It is an ancient Chinese breathing energy practice consisting of slow gentle movements, deep breathing and meditation – encouraging a calm meditative state of mind. Qi means air, breath, and ‘vital energy.’ Gong means skill, mastery, achievement, service, accomplishment. Qi and Gong combined together are meant to cultivate and balance life energy for your health and wellbeing. Ekaterina says moving your body in synchrony with music, and breathing with each movement allows you to connect with your deeper self and take notice of the parts of yourself which may need more love, care and attention. With our busy lives it is not often that we take this time to really feel out our bodies, and even breathe deeply – healing dance grants that opportunity. Ekaterina has attracted a community of healing and support with each class being different and special in its own way, and the best part? Everyone is always welcome. @ekaterina_mindcare

Drop Dance Studios, 5 Abbey Street Lower, Dublin

Drop Dance Studios have created a modern space, suitable and welcoming of all arts, where you can join a dance class or rent the studio for any type of performance and event. They have two rooms with a complete dancing studio structure. Once you click onto Drop Studios’ website homepage, the first message you get is “change your life dancing.” All energetic artists and dance newbies are welcome in this space where dance, art and imagination collide. Drop Studios offers classes in hip hop, FitDance (a combination of different types of fitness exercises and easy to perform dance moves), Jazz and Bachata (a style of social dance from the Dominican Republic), Breaking class, Heels class, Twerk class and Forró with specialised trainers for each. Keep an eye out for the freelance dance instructors who are renting the space too. Surprise yourself, once you try one, you will want to try them all. @atdropstudios

Fáilte Swing
Monday: 11 Montague Lane, Dublin
Saturday: Leinster Cricket Club, Observatory Lane, Rathmines, Dublin

Fáilte Swing is a Dublin-based swing dance company founded in 2019, run by the founding team Melanie, Micheal and Kozue. They host passionate dance classes which will get you grooving and smiling from day one. The team also organise socials and festivals with live jazz bands, swing DJs and swing performances. They love to collaborate on events, shows, or other projects with photographers, videographers and theatre and are all about building community by using “Fáilte” which of course means “welcome” in Irish, as they want everyone to feel welcome and inspired. Whether you have a partner to enjoy the classes with or not, the door is open and they are so happy to welcome anyone who would like to get involved.

Morning Gloryville, The Morning Rave

Evenings are booked up? What about an epic morning rave? This sober pre-work party is completely fun and community orientated, starting at 6.30am. Get up, get out and get grooving! Sober morning raves have become a huge trend – one notable one is the one Guinness hosted in their Gravity Bar with Barry Can’t Swim, to promote Guinness 0.0. Morning Gloryville is the original morning rave company who encourage head-to-toe wellness and conscious clubbing via their morning raves. Originating in London in 2013, they now host events globally and have created this global community, empowering people to “rave your way into the day!” In Dublin, they have hosted events in venues like Twenty Two on South Anne Street, and Café en Seine on Dawson Street. They encourage guests to come together in a safe and sober environment and bust a move before the working day – the most recent one being Great Gatsby-themed. At Morning Gloryville events there is also the opportunity to do yoga, get a massage, top up on coffee and cakes and get raving – all included in your ticket. Subscribe to their newsletter to find out about Dublin events and book tickets on Eventbrite. @morninggloryvilledublin

MASH House, Distillery Court, 537 North Circular Road, Dublin 1

MASH house is a multi-purpose studio space that has been designed to be an inclusive and accessible space, catering for a diverse range of creative functions. In this space there is Afro Brazilian classes, West African dance classes, Irish dancing and more.

Southside Moves is one such class. It was founded by performer and dance artist Lapree Lala in 2017. It is a dance brand that provides Afro Dance and Amapiano choreography classes in Dublin at MASH house and at Cork and Galway pop-ups. Lapree started her classes with the hopes of building an Afro Dance community in Ireland, and they have seen it grow. In the last six years they have brought together over 1,000 students from different nationalities. The objective of Southside Moves is to welcome, support, and teach African dance culture while embracing other unique styles that they collaborate with to spread the knowledge of many cultures. It is more than a dance community to Southside Moves, they are vibe creators, dancers and movers who are creating a supportive community to take part in, a space for self-expression and a network to collaborate with other creatives and dance professionals. If you are looking for an energetic and fun space then look no further cause this is where it’s at.

Dublin Salsa Bachata at Madigans O’Connell Street, Dublin 1

Join the Dublin Latin Dance Community by following @dublin_dance_bachata.
This community hosts classes and parties for beginners, intermediate, improvers and advanced – as well as salsa styling and parties most often in Madigan’s Pub on O’Connell Street – all organised via their Instagram page. So keep an eye on it for updates! This group focus on Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba, three captivating dance styles that have gained immense popularity worldwide and are now available to get involved with in Dublin. Salsa originated in Cuba and has a faster tempo than both Bachata, which originated in the Dominican Republic and Kizomba which originated in Angola. Both Bachata and Kizomba have a slower tempo and emphasise sensuality and connection. This style of dancing will really break down all your barriers and let you open up through dance. With many enthusiastic international teacher duos taking on classes here, you will no doubt get an authentic, dynamic and seriously engaging experience at any of them. Step out of your comfort zone with this one, you will not regret it. @dublin_salsa_bachata

Ecstatic Dance, Yogalab Dublin

Carmen Fernandez is a teacher and instructor of conscious dance, ecstatic dance, embodiment, breathwork as well as being an ecstatic dance DJ. Carmen hosts an event combining a cacao ceremony and ecstatic awakening dance class. Taking place in the YogaLab in Dublin regularly and often in other locations including (pictured above) Bective Mill House in Navan, Co Meath, (join her WhatsApp group to stay up to date). Carmen is encouraging self-exploration, connection, fun, healing, expanding human potential and community-building through freestyle ecstatic dance, in a very safe environment. This one will charge you up and then calm you right down, leaving you feel mindful and at one with your body. Pictures show Bective Mill House. @mokshacacaodance

Forró Dancing with Malena Juerss

Malena Juerss is a Forró teacher, photographer and event producer from Berlin. Malena organises Forró classes in various spots over Dublin City, including at the Hill 16 pub, Drop Studio and Mind The Step studio for all levels of dancing expertise. Her socials take the biscuit though. Dancing en plein air at Grand Canal Square would most likely never cross the mind of a Dubliner but these Forró socials will make you wonder why you have never tried it before. These socials have become a huge trend across the dancing community in Dublin and Malena is one of the people who make it happen. This brings people of all nationalities together to dance with a partner out in the open, encouraging you to feel the music, let loose, make friends and enjoy the surrounds of Dublin city. Malena captures these moments beautifully with her photography, and portrays the sheer joy and freedom of the dancers out in the open. Join her WhatsApp group for updates. @poramoraoforro

Dublin Salsa Academy, Custom House Quay, International Financial Services Centre, Dublin 1

Co-founded by Abel from Cuba and Alina from Lithuania, the pair are passionate about spreading line salsa, bachata and Cuban salsa to all that wish to learn about the steps, be it from a beginner level, or for those who develop their skills further, and especially for all who are looking to have a multicultural and social experience through the art of dance. Abel and Alina have made sure to carefully craft dance lessons, which are technique-packed so that you can become the dancer you have always wanted to be. From one GLOSS editor’s experience, the Dublin Salsa Academy is all about fun, meeting new people and learning about other cultures through the dance classes. The Academy offers private lessons as well as group classes for all styles of dance. Meet their experienced and enthusiastic team here:

Country Jive and Line Dancing, Cabinteely Adult Education, 18 Johnstown Road, Kilbogget, Dublin 18

Laura Nolan is a seriously accomplished professional dancer and might be most recognisable to you as a cast member of the recently completed Irish series of Dancing with the Stars. Laura teaches beginner and improver line dancing classes at Cabinteely Adult Education. Laura is so passionate about imparting the joy of dance onto others and encourages the social aspect that these Country Jive and Line Dance classes bring. She says “Line dancing is so popular again and it is great to see – dance is amazing for people’s fitness. It’s a great way to burn calories in a chilled relaxed way as it has a fun element to it. The great advantage to country jive and line dancing is that you don’t have to have a partner – I teach both sides in terms of the steps involved in country jive so that each person can then dance with anyone. It’s great, people meet others and go to social dancing and start new friendships. People are there to enjoy themselves and do a little dancing. It’s great to see dance so popular.” Laura is starting her ten week courses this spring so book here;

Well Dance at Dance Theatre Ireland, multiple locations

As well as everything else they do, Dance Theatre Ireland has been running fun and important classes for people over 55. The Well Dance for Seniors is a contemporary dance class which has seen a huge rise in popularity in Dublin, as a result of the feel-good atmosphere it creates, the physical and mental benefits, and the community spirit. Loneliness can be a huge cause of depression in older people, and these classes force you to shake off your worries and move with one another. The classes vary from pop to classical to jazz music. Loretta Yurick and Robert O’Connor are the artistic directors of Dance Theatre Ireland and they have had over 500 people come to these contemporary classes since they started in 2014. Two other classes they offer are Dance With Parkinsons and Dance With Dementia. The locations vary from Dún Laoighaire, to Shankill Tennis Club and Holy Family, Bakers Corner. These two specialised classes give the participants confidence and are a great form of self-expression with a sense of relaxation, in a very safe space. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Dance Ireland, Liberty Corner, Foley Street, Mountjoy, Dublin 1

Dance Ireland is the representative body for dance in Ireland, it works (along with its members and partners) to progress dance in Ireland ensuring a sustainable future for dance and a credible career for those committed to dance as a profession. Dance Ireland offers all types of dance classes from ballet and contemporary to aikido and jazz, Irish dancing and urban contemporary. If you are looking for something – you will find it here. Dance Ireland offers professional classes, evening classes and hosts specific community classes in which the adult community can gather to enjoy certain dance classes together.

Silver Swans Ballet Programme: One of the community classes is called Silver Swans. Its motto being “Improve your dance-life balance.” The Silver Swans Ballet programme was designed for those specifically over 55. The classes are taught by Emma Mahoney, the principal of The Odette School of Ballet. Emma is extremely passionate about teaching people of all ages about the wonderful art of ballet and creates a wonderfully welcoming and supportive environment where children and adults alike can thrive and flourish. The classes help improve mobility, posture, co-ordination and energy levels. Not to mention they are totally enjoyable and bring out a great community sense of wellbeing. The classes are suitable for both beginners and experienced dancers and have no physical or age restrictions. It is all for the love of dance. Find out more here:

Dance For Parkinson’s: Olwyn Lyons teaches a specialist class called Dance For Parkinson’s at Dance Ireland every Monday (check the running dates online). In the class, participants with Parkinson’s Disease are inspired to explore movement and music in ways that are energising, fun, stimulating and creative. Internationally, people affected by Parkinson’s Disease have benefitted from taking part in dance classes as their range and fluidity of motion, multi-tasking and balance can increase, as well as co-ordination and efficiency of movement. “Olwyn teaches wonderful dance skills but she also instils and restores diminished bodily confidence in those of us whose who deal with movement issues and other realities of living with PD. Those who are compromised physically to varying degrees, but whose imagination and creativity are wholly intact,” said Nora, a class goer in March 2023. See more about it here:

Cork DanceSport Academy, St Patrick’s Road, Ballyphehane, Cork

Cork DanceSport Academy was founded by Marek Ozóg who has been competing and teaching Latin American and Ballroom dances in Poland and Ireland for many years. He is originally from Krakow, Poland. Marek opened Cork DanceSport Academy in 2016, to spread his love of Latin American dance and Ballroom dancing with students at both a social and competitive level. In 2018, Marek organised the very first “City of Cork DanceSport Festival” in Cork’s City Hall, giving fantastic exposure of the art of dance to the people of Cork and the South of Ireland. Even President Micheal D Higgins dropped down to see what was taking place on the day.

Cork DanceSport Academy says that taking part in a social dance is a great way to establish a close relationship with another person, and states that “anytime is good to start!”. Everyone is welcome to get involved, whether you’re in a couple or single, age or physical ability does not play a role. What matters is the dance and positive energy that flows out of it. They will teach you how to lead or how to follow in the steps and will give you lots of little tips which are always effective. Photograph: @saphairni.

Galway Dance Centre, Terryland Retail Park, Galway

If you are based in Galway, or even just passing through, Galway Dance Centre places an emphasis on enjoyment, socialising and increasing your fitness with an aim to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. With a host of professional instructors, the dance centre is a welcoming community of dancers in a fully equipped studio. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an improver, you can find any level and many different classes on offer at Galway Dance Centre. You can try ballet, belly dance, contemporary, fitness-flexible, hip-hop, Irish dancing, Sean-nós (older style of traditional Irish dance ), 60s dancing, Indian classical, tango, tap dancing and waltz and jive. Find your inner dancer here too:


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