In South Africa, dancing is very much part of life and culture. From an early age, children are usually exposed to dance and movement through school. This is because dancing is simply a fun activity and also because it can be used as a tool for early childhood development and even therapy.

Apart from this, some people are just born with a passion and talent for dancing and this can really be developed through dance lessons.

When you dance, the purpose is not to reach a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way." - Wayne Dyer

So whether you are an absolute natural or whether you would like to take up dance classes for any other reason, in this article you will find out about how to begin dance classes regardless of your age.

Why You Should Take Up Dance Lessons

The benefits of learning how to dance are numerous, but one of the main ones is that it is a great sporting activity and creative way to keep fit or get into shape. And apart from the confidence it will give you on any dance floor, it’s a great way to stay mentally healthy too.

Most dancers have truly enviable bodies, but remember that these are a result of hours of dance classes, much practise, and dedication.

If you are thinking about becoming a serious dancer with all the benefits that come with it, then consider starting with an online search. Simply perform a Google search and the results are bound to inspire you into action.

For additional health and fitness results, dance classes could be complemented with other lessons like dance fitness, cardio sessions, Zumba or aerobics.

How to Search for Dance Lessons

Most cities in South Africa have a number of dance studios, dance academies or private tutors on offer, but finding just the right place for you is really important.

Location is also important so when you searching online, it’s quite handy to add the words ‘near me’. For example dance classes near me, dance schools near me or dance studios near me.

Young girl learning traditional Indian dancing with dance teacher
We are fortunate to live in a multicultural society, where lessons in different dance styles are easily accessible. - Source: Unsplash

On a platform like Superprof, private tutors are actually organised by location so it’s really easy to find someone to give you dance lessons near your home or office.

One of the benefits of finding a tutor online is that very often their first introductory lesson is free and this will help you to decide if they are right for you.

If meeting people is one of your objectives, then group dance classes or workshops are an ideal opportunity. Learning how to dance in a group can be very encouraging as students are able to help and support each other along the way.

Depending on your age, ability and preferred dance style, here is a list of the kinds of places available to learn to dance in South Africa:

  • As an extra-curricular activity at primary or high schools.
  • Private dance studios
  • Private dance academies
  • Cultural centres
  • Gyms, like Virgin Active
  • Other private leisure centres
  • Universities.

Some students prefer to go the route of private dance lessons through a tutor. Private tutors are a great choice when you would like flexibility in terms of the lessons and training. And if you are shy and want to build up some confidence before dancing in a group a private tutor is a great way to learn how to dance.

Private tutorials are very personalised and are available for all ages, all levels of ability and all types of dance. In fact, private lessons can really help the student to work on their individual choreography and technique without slowing down a group of dancers. To find a private dance lesson near you, check out the following:

  • Online tutor profiles
  • Community noticeboards
  • Newspaper adverts
  • Recommendations via word of mouth
  • Social media platforms.

While some private lessons take place in the dance teacher’s studio, very often the tutor will come to your home and this can be a wonderful benefit to you.

What Do Dance Lessons Cost?

Of course like anything in life, dance lessons can vary depending on the complexity of the lesson as well the qualifications and experience of the teacher.

It’s important to take a little time to do some research against certain criteria, to make sure that you find a fair price for the level of dance lessons you require.

As mentioned, many private tutors offer their first lesson for free which can help you to decide before you commit to dance classes with them. In South Africa, private dance tutors can start at R150 per hour for various types of dance.

Often, the more demand there is for a type of dance lesson, the higher the price. Here are some of the types of dance you could expect to find.

  • Ballet
  • African Dance
  • Gumboot dancing
  • Hip Hop
  • Breakdancing
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Belly Dancing
  • Tango
  • Spanish
  • Jazz
  • Tap.

Another consideration when searching for dance classes is to keep your geographical location in mind,  as this can also have an effect on the cost of your lessons. Prices in big cities can differ to smaller towns considerably. The best advice is to hop online and use a dedicated tutoring platform or search for dance classes near me.

In many cases, dance studios will charge a monthly, term or annual fee – this can really depend on the institution.

The decision to go with a private tutor or dance school also depends on your own goals. For instance, if you are looking for an intermediate classical ballet class where everyone is likely to be graded at the same level, a dance studio or academy will work well for you. However, if you need to focus on a particular technique like posture or footwork, then a private tutor would be a good option.

The great thing about learning something new is that there are usually price options available for every budget!

Learning How to Dance on a Budget

Your dance class budget really depends on your goals!

modern dancers dancing on stage
If you just want to have fun, why not try contemporary dance? - Source: Unsplash

If you simply want some extra confidence and a fun way to spend some leisure time, then you don’t need a professional dance teacher with world-class qualifications. You could even learn to dance with a student who is teaching part-time.

Alternatively, you could also learn to dance online, for free!

YouTube videos are a good place to start looking for free online dance lessons.

Finding a Dance Tutor

There are dance tutors for everybody.

No matter what type of dance you are interested in, or your level of ability, you will find a tutor near you.

When doing research into finding a dance teacher, look out for reviews and testimonials. Personal recommendations are also helpful. What works for one student, might not work for another which is why private dance lessons are becoming so popular.

Here are some of the things you should take into account when searching for your tutor:

  • Dance qualifications
  • Experience
  • Reputation
  • Rates
  • Levels
  • Equipment and resources
  • Flexibility
  • Location
  • Teaching style

A free introductory session with an online Superprof tutor, for instance, will really give you the opportunity to ask questions and observe their teaching style.

Encourage your tutor to explain how they prefer to teach. Think of this session as an audition for your teacher as it’s really important that you find a tutor who suits your personality and really understands your dance lesson goals.

Some people are looking for a private dance tutor for a once-off occasion. You guessed it: these days many couples are enlisting the help of a private dance tutor to help them choreograph their first wedding dance.

latin dance couple
Take private dance lessons to polish up your footwork ahead of a special occasion. - Source: Unsplash

And let's be honest, practising a choreographed dance for a special occasion is a great way to make the most of a memorable moment and to have the confidence to go with it!

More Reasons to Dance

If getting into shape is one of your key goals for learning how to dance, you might have more options than you realised.

Have you heard about Barre?

It’s a form of exercise using ballet techniques and form that is very popular in South Africa today. Not only will it get you into shape, but it’s a wonderful introduction to traditional dance.

Barre classes will shape and tone up your shoulders, legs, abs, buttocks and after some dedication, you are sure to notice a dancer’s body start to emerge.

Barre classes can be found at private studios, Pilates studios, leisure centres and gyms.

There’s no doubt that learning how to dance is extremely good for you, but if you would really like to be convinced, check out these other benefits.

If this has inspired you to get out there and improve your dancing or start something completely new, why not get online and begin your search for dance classes near me.

There are so many options and so many dance teachers, if one is not right for you, simply keep trying until you find the one you absolutely love.

Need a Dance teacher?

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.