There’s more than one way to get fit. And if you think being a grown-up means you have to limit your dancing to those times when you’re alone at home (hairbrush microphone, anyone?), think again. Atlanta has dozens of places where you can shake your tail-feather and get fit at the same time — no experience necessary. Here are five of the best.
Dance 101 invites you to “dance freely among other adult children.” The classes are fun and innovative, the studio is lovely, and sessions in yoga, high-intensity interval training, free-weight training, boot camp, and circuit training mean you can actually ditch your gym membership.
Difficulty: Whether you’re a prima ballerina or an absolute beginner, Dance 101 has a class and a welcoming vibe for you. Admittedly, some of the mixed-level classes can be a bit intimidating if you’re a newbie to the dance scene or have been out of it for a while. Some of these people can seriously, seriously dance. Stick with the “Discover” level classes until you get your feet under you. There are four levels above that to choose from.
Classes: Dance 101 offers classes in just about any dance discipline: jazz, ballet, bellydance, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, Caribbean calypso, flamenco, musical theater, and dance-related fitness, to name a few. Between the Buckhead and Alpharetta locations, Dance 101 offers more than 160 classes every week with more than 30 different instructors.
Cost: From $14 to $20 per class, depending on how many classes you purchase. Monthly memberships are also available for $79 (10 classes per month) or $125 (30 classes per month).
Location: Loehmann’s Plaza, 2480 Briarcliff Road in Buckhead
Good to Know: Every year for Halloween, they get together and dance to “Thriller.” That alone is pretty much worth going, right?
Gotta Dance Atlanta has been in business for more than 20 years and draws revered guest choreographers like Anthony Burrell —who has worked with Beyoncé, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, Brandy, and Ke$ha — to teach at their 9,000-square-foot facility.
Difficulty: Gotta Dance Atlanta caters to fitness enthusiasts, recreational dancers, and professional dancers. Classes are labeled GDA FIT, Explore, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Pro so that you can easily choose the right level.
Classes: Ballet, Zumba, hip-hop, burlesque, jazz funk, dancehall, and a variety of fitness-related classes are on offer, seven days a week.
Cost: Get an $8 introductory class if you’re a new student. After that, it’ll be $15/class unless you buy a multi-class pass, which can take your cost down to as little as $10/class. Weekly and monthly unlimited passes are available for $75 and $175, respectively.
Location: 1778 Ellsworth Industrial Drive
Good to Know: They have a work/study program that allows students to get free or heavily discounted classes as well as a scholarship program that is awarded based on financial need and artistic ability.
Valeo’s focus is on fitness, with classes designed by fitness professionals and medical specialists.
Difficulty: You don’t need any previous dance experience and they cater to all fitness levels, but you’d better be ready to work.
Classes: The classes are focused on fitness rather than highly technical, advanced dance choreography.
Cost: Your first class is free. After that, it’s $60 to $99/month for unlimited classes (depending on how many months you buy).
Location: 2715 Peachtree Road in Buckhead
Good to Know: The ValeoFit 1000 class claims to burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour by pairing dance with things like weighted hula hoops, resistance bands, med balls, and free weights.
Pole dancing has come a long way in the last decade or so, gaining momentum, popularity, and yes, even a touch of respectability along the way. Spinarella offers a sexier way to get fit and may be best for those who are, ahem, not especially bashful.
Difficulty: You’ll get a serious core and arm workout on the pole, but the laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make everyone feel welcome.
Classes: Spinarella offers classes with sassy names like Vixen and Jiggle as well as ballesque (a pole dancing/ballet hybrid) and abs/flexibility classes. There’s some twerking involved from time to time.
Cost: Classes are $15/class for drop-ins, $99 for a four-week series, $125 for a six-week series, $195 for a nine-week series. There are a number of options for monthly memberships ranging from $85 to $180/month.
Location: 1427 Mayson Street
Good to Know: Sign up for your classes at the beginning of the month, when the schedule is announced, or risk missing all the good stuff.
Dance It Off’s beginner-friendly, non-competitive environment make it a good choice for nervous newbies.
Difficulty: Unlike other studios on this list, Dance It Off does not offer advanced classes for professional level dancers, choosing instead to focus on beginner and intermediate dancers.
Classes: The studio offers a huge range of classes — barre, restorative yoga, cardio dance, funk, Broadway, tap, “dancing yoga,” tabata fitness training, Zumba, classical ballet, pilates, lyrical dance, Bollywood, and much more.
Cost: Your first class is $7. After that, they range from $8 to $13, depending upon how many you purchase at once. Classical ballet classes are a bit more: $18 for one class, $75 for five, or $140 for 10.
Location: 6780 Roswell Road, Suite D201, Atlanta 30328 (Sandy Springs)
Good to Know: They’ve got a GroupOn deal running at the moment, $20 for five classes.