Dance Classes for Adults

Parent Q&A

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Help me dance my butt off!

Dec 2012

The rains are going to cause a quick shut-down of my outdoor exercise routines. I love dancing. Know of a good dance studio or aerobics studio or classes anywhere in the East Bay where I can drop in, get a groove on and dance my butt off? rain rain go away....come again some other day....

Check out BB Borowitz's Dance Your One Wondrous Life on Thursdays from 8-9:30 pm at 7th Heaven! Terry
Hi there, I run and teach Zumba classes at the El Cerrito Community Center. It is a really good time, you dance and sweat and hardly notice when the hour is up. It's mostly latin rhythms, we turn up the music and have a lot of fun. Drop-in fee is only $7, and there is a monthly option as well. Check us out! If you have any questions please email me at stephanie4zumba [at] Stephanie
Try Jazzercise! I love it and have been doing it for 10 years. Good music and choreography, fun atmosphere, total body workout. Jazzercise fan
The Berkeley Y has a ton of dance work-outs, and the Albany Y has a few. There is also a really fun Bhangra workout (Indian dance, like in Bollywood movies) at Ashkenaz on Saturday morning and at a studio on Telegraph on Thursday evenings like to dance, too

Dance classes (not ballet) for older women?

May 2011

I'm looking for dance classes (anything but ballet), ideally Berkeley or Albany or El Cerrito, suitable for a rapidly aging female, for fun and to give me a reason to get moving before I wake up and find I can't move any more. All suggestions welcome!

Try Jazzercise! It is fun, affordable, and a great work out (cardio, strength, and stretch). Jazzercise Fan
Check out Berkeley Adult School. They offer a few adult dance classes. I used to take a tap there once per week and the class had women of many ages (20s to 60s+) and a few men. It was a fun way to get moving. Jessica
What about belly dance? I have done American Tribal Style (ATS)for 10 years (I'm in my mid 40s) and am often in classes with women in their 50s and 60s. I take classes with Wendy Allen at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda ( Wendy is a member of the Fat Chance Belly Dance troupe (, which teaches ATS, a group improvisational style. The costuming is more ethnic than caberet (you can see pictures on the FCBD website), and while it is traditionally midriff-baring it somehow never feels immodest. FCBD's ATS style is less flirtatious and more assertive than other belly dance styles, incorporating some flamenco elements and posture. The Rhythmix class is Wednesday at 7 pm. There are other belly dance classes in the East Bay, although I am not as familiar with their style. Suhaila Salimpour is well known has a studio in El Cerrito. Carrie
For dance classes in the East Bay, I'd recommend checking out Shawl-Anderson in Berkeley near College Ave and Alcatraz Ave. They offer a variety of classes at different levels for all ages in a welcoming atmosphere You could also take a look at the Albany Community Center, they offer dance and movement classes, too. This is the link to their Summer Guide: Happy dancing! Helena *** Kinetic Swedish Massage helen
I believe the El Cerrito Senior Center behind the library has ''tea dances.'' I used to take ballroom lessons at the Emeryville dance studio right off I-80. It has a wide age range but plenty of ''mature'' dancers. Check other Adult Classes in Albany and Berkeley. We used to take Ballroom in Albany through Adult Education. There are also many classes at Ashkenaz on San Pablo. I recently had a great time at an Israeli Dance class. Other suggestions: yoga, qi gong or tai chi for balance and flexibility. Keep moving! It is great for your heart and makes you feel happy! cocosar
You can always try the Albany YMCA on Kains near Solano. They have a small selection of dance (and workout) classes on a dropin basis, which are definitely attended by older women. Very supportive place! Nia Dance, Hip Hop, etc
You mentioned ''all suggestions welcome'', i recommend DanceCo. on Hayward/CV border. I took adult tap with Ms. Feder for several years before i got tied down to the house with a new baby recently. I look forward to the time when i can return to the enjoyment of dancing again. kelly Here is info. direct from the website ( Dance Co. is a school for dance and fitness. We offer all popular forms of dance at convenient times to best suit our students. We offer Cardio Kickboxing and Personal Training to assist in attaining and maintaining your fitness goals. We offer both group and private classes! Dances for Weddings/Quinces/Super Sweet 16 too!!
I took classes at the Berkeley YWCA, located on Bancroft, right across from campus. I took Salsa several times which was great and all ages were there. Here is the website, wow they offer a lot more than they used to!! Have fun

Dancing for fun and weight loss

June 2008

I'm looking for recommendations on East Bay dance studios offering beginning adult classes in salsa, swing, jazz, etc. - just about anything fun really. My roots are in dance and I'd like to get back into it. Mostly for fun but also for weight loss. The gym route just isn't working for me. Thanks! Jacki

I love my Jazzercise classes! The typical class consists of a warm up, about 40 minutes of aerobics, and then 20 minutes of strength training using hand weights, mat work, tubes, etc. The routines are professionally choreographed to current tunes. They throw in everything from hip-hop to country to rock. Very easy to modify for various fitness levels. My classes range from super-in-shape college students to heavy first-time exercisers. There is even one inspiring 80-year-old woman who has been doing Jazzercise for years and years. Check out Jazzercise Fan
For more than 20 years, people have been coming to our weekly circle dance group in Berkeley. Simple folk dance in a circle. We teach each dance before we do it, so no experience needed, and we dance in a circle so no partners needed. Every Friday. Details at No fixed cost, $4 or $5 donation appreciated. John Bear
For something a little different, try the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance at the bottom of Heinz. They offer Polynesian Dance, Middle Eastern Dance and Balinese. They also provide class space to one of the premier Kathak dance schools in the world. You can try drumming and traditional Hawaiian oli (chant) also. Lots of supportive folks, lots of fun, and group events. A dancer at heart.
I do Irish ceili (pronounced kay-lee) dancing on Monday nights in Alameda. It's a lot of fun, so I can forget that I'm getting a good workout! There are beginning and intermediate/advanced classes (I sometimes teach the beginning class). There is also a group that dances at the Starry Plough, but they have a cement floor which is hard on the body. This group is at the Alameda Ballet Academy (1402 Park St near Central) which has a wooden floor, which is much better for dancing. It costs $5 per session, and bring shoes that won't scratch or mark up the floor. Class from 8-9 pm, dancing, including dances for beginners, from 9-11 pm. Talia

Dance without a partner classes

Jan 2008

Can anyone give me a recommendation for dance classes? I am specifically interested in classess that don't need a partner. I just want to dance for fun and a way to get exercise. Recommendations in San Francisco downtown area or Berkeley/Elcerrito would be great. dancing girl

Try MUCID (the Mahea Uchiama Center for International Dance, in Berkeley (Heinz St below 7th). Rhythmix Cultural Works ( in Alameda has belly dancing, as does Fat Chance Belly Dance ( in San Francisco's Mission District (near BART). Also in San Francisco in the Mission is ODC Dance Commons ( Carrie
For dance classes for adults in downtown San Francisco, I recommend both the Sports Club LA in the 700 block of Market Street and the Lines Dance Center at 7th and Market. The Sports Club requires a monthly membership of $150 per month, and classes range from ballet to Zumba. Lines Dance Center offers everything from ballet to modern dance to hip-hop and the cost is $15 per class. Ballerina
Katie's Dance Studio has adult classes--tap, jazz, hip hop, and Jazzercise, I think. It's a well-run studio with great teachers. It's across from the Guitar Center on San Pablo in El Cerrito. heidi
This class is not in the area that you specified, but there are some great classes at the Piedmont Adult School. I know about the Scottish Highland Dance class which does not require a partner. It is one of the better dance class deals in the Bay Area. Another class that may be fun is at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. They have Irish Figure Dancing, and no partner is required, but you dance with partners. Most people come alone. Both classes are on Mondays at 7. Christy
I highly recommend Roger's Jazz class at The Beat in Berkeley. Great exercise and lots of fun. His routines are great and he chooses fabulous and varied music to dance to. It takes several classes to get the routines down (many students have been going a long time and know the routines - but no pretention - everyone's great & they'll all tell you it took some time to learn the routines), but he repeats songs/dances often in his classes & eventually you'll get it and get a great workout. There are also lots of other classes offered through The Beat - it's worth checking out. But Roger's classes are really the best! It's a testament to him that he has so many students that have been with him a long time. Good luck! Love to Dance
I like Shawl-Anderson ( and Berkeley Ballet Theater ( for ballet classes. I've also taken one ballet and one modern class through Lines ( in SF off of Market St. I liked both, but don't go regularly because I live in Albany. --Albany Ballet
Hey Dancingirl- Are you interested in Ballet, Jazz or Modern Dance classes? If so, I'd recommend Shawl-Anderson on Alcatraz at College on the Berkeley/Oakland Border. It's family friendly and great for adults at all levels. Enjoy! Former Dancer
If you might enjoy folk dancing, there are at least two possibilities in the Albany/Berkeley area. Friday nights at the Albany Y, and one Wednesday evening per month at Ashkenaz. Both provide teaching early in the evening, followed by request dancing (you can learn a lot by watching, trying, and asking others to help). It's lots of fun and great exercise! Check out their web sites for details. folk dance enthusiast
I am taking a great Adult Ballet dance class at Berkeley City Ballet taught by the BCB Artistic Director. Before starting, I had not taken a ballet class in 30 or so years and it is fun to be doing it again. I have built up a lot of strength and flexibility since starting and it is also good mentally to have to concentrate and remember those combinations! The class is a good balance between serious ballet technique instruction and a relaxed atmosphere for those of us that haven't danced in years. There is a range of dancers in the current class from those that studied ballet seriously as a teen and haven't danced in many years to those that took up ballet as an adult or studied ballet just a bit as a child. The class meets Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 am for the Adult level advanced beginner/intermediate. A very beginning Adult ballet class is also being formed for Thursday, 11:30-1:00am. Either class may also meet Tuesday morning, depending on interest. For more information, call Berkeley City Ballet at 510-841-8913 or berkeleycityballet [at] BCB is located at 1800 Dwight (at the corner of Grant) Berkeley

Fun dance class for adults

November 2006

Hello. I am looking for dance classes for adults. I am not interested in couples dancing, as much as a fun dance class that would also be a good workout. Jazz, tap, hip hop, african, carribean, or whatever. Ideally not too far from temescal/North Oakland where I live. thank you anon

The jazz classes at Shawl Anderson Dance Studio (on Alcatraz near College) are wonderful, especially the classes with Zafra Miriam. I have been taking classes there for about a year and am loving them. They are a great workout, but are fairly advanced, even the beginning classes. Don't let this scare you, though - Zafra differentiates to all dance levels. The Beginning I classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30pm. They cost $12 for single classes, but you can also buy passes. Good luck! Jazz Dancin in Berkeley
The Malonga Casquelord Center for the arts is one of the best places to find great African-based dance classes, good instructors, drop-in policy, and mostly live music. Look here: Lauren
I would highly recommend ''The Beat'' dance studio in Berkeley, on Ninth St. between Parker and Dwight. I have been taking tap dance there for years, but they also offer all sorts of other types of dance such as jazz, hip-hop, samba, belly dance and more. The studio is almost entirely geared to adult classes and it has a fun, community environment. Here is the website: Marie
I have been taking Lynn Brilhante's Friday night jazz class at The Beat for almost two years now, and it is wonderful. It is listed as ''Jazz 1'', but it is not ''Intro to Jazz''--in other words, you should be comfortable with very basic ballet and jazz technique (know first position from fifth position, etc.) But if you have had an introductory class before, Lynn's class is a great workout. She also has a large following in the dance community, and professional dancers who take her advanced classes in SF will occasionally attend the Friday night Jazz 1 in Berkeley just for the workout and extra technique practice. However, don't let this intimidate you!! Even if you are not flexible at all, or are a near-beginner, Lynn makes everyone feel welcome and encourages students to adjust the steps to their own ability (ex. some may be practicing multiple turns, others just singles). In any case, Lynn's class is my favorite workout of the week and I try not to miss it! Wendy

Pre-Wedding Dance Instruction

April 2006

My sister-in-law is looking for private dance instruction for her and her fiance in the East Bay (Oakland, Orinda, Berkeley etc.). He is not very psyched about the idea. An ideal instructor would have a good sense of humor and experience putting together and teaching a simple dance routinue. Thanks! Maya

A great resource is ''Dance Instruction for Shy People and Klutzes'' in Oakland near the Grand Lake Theater by Laurie Ann Lepoff 444-4621. She's great. She knows how to lead and follow so that she can teach each part to each person. She'll make your routine as simple or dressy as you want it to be. I've been totally happy with her as an instructor. JM

Nightclub dance lessons for two left feet?

Feb 2005

I've seen the dance lessons recommended on the archives, but they are for ballet or ballroom or other specialized types of dance lessons. I am nowhere nearly that ambitious. I have two left feet and am getting married this fall. Remember the beginning of the Steve Martin movie (I think the Jerk) where he's the only one in the family that has no rhythm? Well, that's me! I need to take some crash courses in just basic social dancing, otherwise, I fear that I will be a horrible embarassment on the dance floor at my wedding. Can anyone recommend either classes or preferably private lessons for someone that might be able to teach me to at least ''fake it''? I don't need to know anything fancy - just learning how to move with the music would put me way ahead of where I am now! Help me!

I highly recommend Laurie Ann Lepoff (Social dance for shy people and klutzes). My husband and I took private lessons from her before our wedding, and we ended up wowing the crowd. My husband was (is) pretty phobic about dancing in public, so it was quite an accomplishment. Ms. Lepoff is (or was) located just E of Lake Merritt in Oakland. She has a website, Carrie
Ashkenaz in Berkeley has dance lessons in the evening before the music starts, usually for an hour. You could also probably find a private teacher there.

We took a ballroom dance variety class through Richmond Adult School last year. The teacher then was Amy Ewing (may be spelled wrong). You could probably find her through Richmond Adult School or the phone book. It was a great class. There was a 7- 8, and 8-9 PM session once a week for 6 weeks. We went over basics of Latin and Swing dances, the waltz, fox could stay with the same partner or switch partners. There were all levels. For those who were more advanced she'd work with you separately and show you cool stuff.

Amy also taught through El CErrito Community Center. Good luck. Have a blast. Dancing is so much fun. anon

I don't know if it's still there, but there used to be a place called Allegro Ballroom in Emeryville, which has dance classes followed by dance nights to practice your skills. It seemed to me like a really safe, fun, easy place to go. jan