Dance classes in Singapore: Where to get your groove on

Dance classes in Singapore: Where to get your groove on

Belly, exotic, or circus? CNNGo reader Ruchika Tulshyan shows you where to go when disco and line just don't do it for you anymore

Singapore rarely comes to mind if you’re looking for professional dance classes in Asia. Until recently, dance schools were few and far between. But a burgeoning scene in the city state is helping to shake off its staid image.

Bellydance @ Bellydance Discovery

Bellydance DiscoveryBellydance Discovery students enchant at the Youth Olympic Games 2010.Learning to shimmy a la Shakira is made easy at Bellydance Discovery.

Founder Yuki Chua has 12 years of experience and has trained “over 95 percent” of all commercial bellydancers in Singapore.

Fret not if you’ve never danced before; classes start from level one all the way up to professional lessons and students learn a combination of Lebanese, Egyptian and Turkish style.

"Bellydance is unique because the best dancers start learning later in life," says Chua. “The more comfortable a woman is in her own skin, the better bellydancer she makes, age helps develop that body confidence.”

What makes this school different from others is their insistence on getting clued up on Middle Eastern culture along with dance techniques so it's more than just bells and veils!

S$140 for an eight week course. Bellydance Discovery, 20 Peck Seah Street, No. 03-00 Nanyang Khek, Community Guild, tel: +65 6323 0508, www.bellydance.com.sg

Bollywood @ BollyBeatz

BollybeatzBollywood isn't just in the movies!Bollywood fever is a global phenomenon and you can get your fix under financial consultant turned dancer Nidhi Mehta's capable tutelage.

Music ranges from the latest Bollywood numbers to “I Got A Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas mixed with bhangra beats.

A combination of aerobics, jazz and street techniques guaranteed to get anyone with two left feet, up and moving.

“Every lesson feels like you’re in a club, and I’m burning more calories than the gym,” says Arundhati Nandakumar, who has been a student for a year. Bollybeatz also organizes a Girls Night Out event every three months to let students unabashedly practice steps into the wee hours of the night.

S$100 monthly for unlimited classes. Bollybeatz, various locations, tel. +65 8198 8457, www.bollybeatz.com

Circus @ Jitterbugs Swingapore

Jitterbugs SwingaporeGrace the heavens with Circus Dance. Ever gasped in awe while watching Cirque du Soleil performers? If you wished you could effortlessly glide on aerial hoops, you can with lessons on Circus Dancing.

You read right, that's Circus.

Gain confidence in the air and tone your body as instructor Jenileigh Sawatzke teaches you how to be graceful high in the sky. With mats to cushion your fall and reinforced equipment that's checked daily, your safety is always taken care of.

Classes start with stretching and aerobic warm-up exercises, before graduating to using props like ceiling-mounted hoops and silks, in a mini-performance, so to speak.

"Guys are always intrigued when I tell them I'm learning this kind of dance," says student Hazel Zhou.

Eight-week courses start from S$120 for Jitterbugs members, Jitterbugs Swingapore, 2 Handy Road, No. B1-08 The Cathay Singapore 229233, tel. +65 6887 038, www.swingapore.com

Exotic @ Groove

Groove Dance StudiosShake off your inhibitions with Exotic Dance.Tease and tantalize as Groove instructors show you how to loosen up your buttons.

From using accessories such as chairs and fans to courses on "naughty schoolgirl routines," nothing is left to the imagination.

Beginner courses are six weeks long and advanced courses run for eight weeks. Students master body isolation techniques and learn a choreographed routine, leading to a full performance in the last class.

The school caters only to women for maximum comfort and privacy, says founder Renee Tan. So don’t be shy; this could be the perfect Valentine's surprise for your special someone!

S$100 for a six-week course, Groove Dance School, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall Tower 3, No. 03-29C\D\E (Flagship Studio), tel. +65 6223 4813

Zumba @ California Fitness

California FitnessJoin the Zumba party!California Fitness claims they were the first to bring this Latin-inspired aerobic dance form to Singapore. Judging by how packed their classes are, they may be right.

Join scores of men and women grooving to Latin party music, in what feels like a street carnival in the gym. Zumba enthusiasts are encouraged to sing along, clap and whoop as they combine salsa, hip hop and Latin jazz dance moves.

“It’s shameless partying during the day,” says Gavin Teo, who has been a Zumba loyalist for more than a year. “I had never danced before these classes … now I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

Memberships start from S$49 per month, California Fitness, various locations, tel. +65 6337 2577, www.californiafitness.com/sg

About the author:

Ruchika Tulshyan recently returned to Singapore, where she was born and raised, after living in London, New York and Mumbai. And boy, has her hometown transformed! Ruchika can’t get enough of the local food, bar and most recently, the dance scene. She has written for Time, Forbes and Bloomberg. www.ruchikatulshyan.com

Ruchika Tulshyan submitted this piece as part of CNNGo’s CityPulse section. To find out what other stories we are looking for, go to our CityPulse page