The Ultimate List of Dance Types

Some of the best workouts out there? The ones where you don’t even notice the exercise because you’re having so much fun. And from grooving with a partner to gliding across a studio to low pliés to high kicks, dance is an excellent example of this fun, sneaky cardio.

Dance is arguably the oldest form of workout humans have, and since humans from all corners of the globe have developed their take on the concept of dance, there is an endless list of dance styles to learn and enjoy. 

Overwhelmed with the dancing possibilities at your fingertips? Here is the ultimate list of popular dance classes to try!

The most popular types of dance classes

One of the biggest myths to debunk about going to a dance class is you need to know how to dance already. So, don’t let something like being new stop you! As long as you’re hopping into a beginner-friendly session, you will learn everything you need to know in the class. 

And if you already have experience, there are tons of advanced dance class options to explore. You can find a class that complements your experience level, or you can learn a new form of dance to add to your skill list! 

Whether you’re looking to perfect your form or just find a fun new way to sweat, here are several popular dance classes to try out:

  • Ballet class
  • Belly dancing class
  • Hip hop class
  • Line dancing
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Salsa class

Ballet class

When people hear ballet, they either picture rigorous and rigid training for expert ballerinas or a room full of 5-year-olds. But that is not the whole story of ballet! There are excellent classes for beginner adults who want to learn simple steps and get in a safe and effective workout. 

Ballet is a great dance class option for people who want to gently target muscle tone, improve posture, and focus on form. This is a great dance class for all ages with lovely classical music and movements that can be modified to fit any fitness level. 

If you want to study before your ballet class, you can watch some classical ballet and find examples of ballet form. You can also practice beginner ballet positions to understand what you’ll learn in your first class. As for what to wear to a ballet class, you may see a mix of leotards, tights, and leggings. Some classes recommend sticking with leotards, but anything stretchy and comfortable is a great choice. And of course, ballet shoes! Most ballet studios require ballet shoes for safety reasons and have ballet shoes for rent or purchase. 

Belly dancing class

If you’ve ever seen a belly dancer in action, you know it’s easy to be mesmerized by this dance’s fluidity, beauty, and sensuality. Belly dancing has Egyptian roots and has been practiced for over 6,000 years to celebrate the magic of femininity and fertility. Belly Dancing classes may be for you if you’ve been drawn to this dance form before!

Belly dancing is a great way to tone, strengthen and target ab muscles while enjoying some light cardio. Beginner belly dancing classes offer a fun and upbeat atmosphere to learn new moves and are incredibly welcoming to newbies. 

A stretchy and movable outfit is best when preparing for a belly dancing class. You do not need to expose your midriff, though you may want to wear a tighter shirt so you and your instructor can see what your waist is doing while learning. On top of that, many studios have jingly accent scarves to wrap around your hips to add a little traditional sound and color to your workout!

Hip hop class

Hip hop classes seem like a challenging class to hop into as a beginner, but easy hip hop classes are a fantastic way to get your sweat on while having a blast. You’ll get to jam to some of the best new hip hop songs and timeless hip hop classics while an upbeat instructor gives you plenty of room to learn at your own pace and explore the moves they present. 

Hip hop class structure usually centers around learning a new dance number and repeating moves several times before adding to the set. 

Hip hop classes are very easy to dress for – all you need to do is wear something comfortable to move in. You can wear your preference for baggy or tight-fitting clothes and scuff-free sneakers. 

Line dancing class

Finally, a reason to throw on your cowboy boots! Line dancing was developed in North America in the 1800s as a twangy offshoot of European dances. This dance style is a fun and easy dance class for all ages and genders and one of the most approachable dance classes you can find.

With upbeat country and folk music to step to, anyone can get into the straightforward steps that make up line dancing. From a classic Texas two-step to the Tush Push to the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, these dance classes offer easy, repetitive dance numbers and a super welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

You can wear anything when heading to a line dancing class, especially with a western flair! Cowboy boots and hats are welcome but not required, and we recommend comfortable shoes. 

Ballroom dancing class

If there’s one thing to know about ballroom dancing class, it’s not stuffy or snobby! This classic dance form can cover anything from a waltz to tango to swing to cha cha. You can embrace the classic fluidity of waltz to flirty Latin moves of samba or rumba. You will be working with a partner (either another class member or an instructor) to find a groove and understand the differences in each dance style. 

Ballroom dancing is an umbrella term for many dance styles from many corners of the globe. Working with a dance partner can make learning something new more approachable and fun.

No tuxedos and ballroom dresses are necessary! Fitted clothing helps you move better, and many women prefer to wear dresses and skirts for the swishy and flowy aesthetic. 

Salsa class

Originating in the 1920s in Eastern Cuba, salsa quickly gained popularity in the United States and beyond when popular Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians performed the high-energy songs in New York. With roots in Latin, Caribbean, and African dance styles, salsa classes are perfect for letting loose and working up a sweat while learning a fast-paced dance. 

There is a beautiful theatricality to salsa dancing, and it can be very hard not to feel sexy and confident the moment the dance steps feel natural. Though this dance can look complex, beginner classes will help you learn the foundation of every expert dance number.

The best outfit to wear to a salsa class is a knee-length dress with leggings underneath or jeans fitted at the ankle to not have anything to trip over. 

Grab your dancing shoes and learn something new!

These dance classes are the tip of the iceberg – while these are the most popular dance classes out there, there are so many different studios, dance instructors and music to explore – and once you find the right mix, it can be magic. 

Need help finding excellent dance classes in your area? Check out all of the foot-stomping, hip-gyrating, toe-tapping opportunities at your fingertips with ClassPass.

Amanda Rouse is a freelance writer and content strategist living in San Clemente, California. When she’s not actively dodging writer’s block, she’s probably trail running, doing a crossword puzzle, or falling off of waves (She soon hopes to call this “surfing.”). Follow her and send her funny reels on Instagram.
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