dancing in brighton

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching: A Guide to Dancing In Brighton

Published On December 18, 2015 | By Claudia Suwalski | Best of Brighton, Homepage, Music & Nightlife Features, Theatre & Arts Features

The benefits of dancing can’t be overstated; it increases fitness, encourages creativity, fights depression and – most importantly – makes you smile! There’s plenty of ways to get dancing in Brighton.

Dance classes have become increasingly popular over the past few years with TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing contributing to an explosion of interest. Then, of course, there’s films like ‘Footlose‘, ‘Dirty Dancing‘, ‘Step Up‘, ‘Magic Mike‘ and ‘Mamma Mia!‘ that make us want to forget our tiny little problems, get up and simply dance! I’m sure you now feel like busting some moves after reading those movie titles, but before you turn into the dancing queen, enjoy our guide to dancing in Brighton and discover which type of dance suits you best and last but not least, find the perfect dance school for your favourite style!


dancing in brightonWhere to dance:

Brighton Zumba (St. Paul’s Primary School)  –  Classes and Zumba birthday parties

Zumba Zone – Drop-in and members

Zumba – List of Zumba classes all over Brighton

Zumba is a fun fitness program that involves both dance and aerobic elements. It was created by a Colombian dancer and choreographer named Alberto Perez during the 90s. A typical Zumba choreography can include hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. All the different elements make up a fun and effective workout that you can either practice at home or in one of Brighton’s amazing Zumba classes. Zumba is the perfect way to workout while having a blast.

Moves: Cha Cha, Merengue, Salsa, Hip-hop, Modern, Soca, Samba, Mambo, core exercises, squats, lunges

What to wear: workout clothes (shorts, athletics trousers, tank tops, sweat trousers,…), dance shoes or trainers

Zumba songs: Zumba – Don Omar, Que Viva La Vida – Wisin, Limbo – Daddy Yankee, Moviendo Caderas – Yandel ft. Daddy Yankee


dancing in brightonWhere to dance:

MQFSM – kids and adults, different levels, introductory course

Capoeira is a Brazilian art form using elements of fight, dance and rhythm. It’s considered a conversation through movement between the players and has it’s roots in African slaves brought to Brazil in the 16th century as well as native Brazilian influences and some historians are of the opinion that it was used as a way to hide self defense training. Today it’s the perfect exercise for anyone who wants to get active, develop leg strength, upper body strength, flexibility and even learn a bit of Brazilian Portuguese.

Moves: kicks, takedowns, hand and arm strikes, defensive moves

What to wear: black or dark trousers, MQFSM T-shirt

Capoeira music: Brazilian

Capoeira Films: Ocean’s Twelve (the ‘bad guy’ uses Capoeira to get around a laser security system); Slums, Drums and Capoeira; Capoeira: The Dance of Freedom

Lindy Hop

dancing in brightonWhere to dance:

Sussex Swing – newcomers, intermediate, advanced

Brighton Lindyhoppers – (intensive) beginner, improver, intermediate

Brighton Lindy Hop Festival 2016 – Dance your heart out at Brighton Lindy Hop Festival!

Lindy Hop is one of the most famous swing jazz dances which has its roots on American dance floors. It includes a lot of fancy footwork and improvisation, but is also known for its musicality and personal styling. The Lindy Hop first emerged on the dance floors of New York and as it gained more and more popularity, travelling dance troupes started to incorporate it into their routines. It’s now a staple of the Brighton dance scene with it’s own festival!

Moves: swingout (defining dance move), aerial (dance move where one’s foot leave the floor)

What to wear: shoes with a smooth sole

Lindyhop Films: Malcolm X, Swing Kids, Hellzapoppin’


dancing in brightonWhere to dance:

Adult Dance Brighton – total beginners, beginners, intermediate, advanced, improvers 

Silver Screen Dance – beginners and improvers 

Dance Art Studio – beginners, intermediate tap, advanced adults, different grades

Dance Center – adults and juniors 

Rox Dance Studio – total beginners, beginners

In tap dance, the dancer wears shoes with a metal “tap” on the heel and toe which makes a percussive sound as it strikes the floor. There’s also a form called “Soft-Shoe” where rhythm is generated by the tapping of the feet and sliding of the feet.


Moves: stamp, stomp, brush, step, flap, shuffle, ball change, hop and leap

What to wear: tap dance shoes, simple workout wear, don’t wear long trousers

Tap Films: Singin’ In The Rain, Happy Feet, White Christmas, BojanglesThe Band Wagon


dancing in brighton

Where to dance:

Zodiac Allstars – Under 10, 10 – 13, 14 and over

Waves Cheerleaders – Brighton Students’ Union Competitive Cheerleading

Sussex Tornados Cheerleaders – Different ages and different levels

Cheerleading is a very versatile sport which originated in the United States. The focus is on audience entertainment, team motivation and impressive collaborative routines. These routines usually consist of many different components such as dance, tumbling, cheers, stunts and jumps and the time can range from one to three minutes. Cheerleaders train very hard to participate in cheerleading competitions and direct spectators of sports events to cheer for their team.


Moves: high V, low V, daggers, touchdown, stunts, jumps, cartwheel, forward roll, backbend

What to wear: cheerleading uniform, ribbon, bodysuit, crop top, skirt, shell

Cheerleading music: Cheer mixes made of popular songs

Cheerleading Films: Bring It On, But I’m A Cheerleader, Fired Up, Man Of The House


dancing in brighton

Where to dance:

Brighton Ballet School –  2 – 4 years, 4 – 6 years,  5 – 8 years, 6 – 8 years, 8 – 13 years, Teens and Adults

Wendy Whatling School of Dance – beginners to advanced

BHDA – young children, children, teenagers, adults

Bertram School Of Dance – children from 3 years, teenagers

Bird Studios – young children, children, teens, adults, Babyballet, New York City Ballet, Ballet Workout

Elite Dance Brighton – different grades  

Ballet is characterised by its highly precise set steps, gestures and graceful movements. It’s also known for its pointe shoes, vocabulary based on French terminology and the dancer’s flexibility and poise. Classical ballet originated in Renaissance Italy and developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia.

Moves: plie, relieve, sauté

What to wear: leotards, tights, warm ups

Ballet music: classical music, Swan Lake, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, The Nutcracker

Ballet Films: Black Swan, Billy Elliot, Anna Karenina, The Nutcracker


dancing in brightonWhere to dance:

Adult Dance Brighton – jazz dance, improvers

Bird Studios – Jazz Fit (different levels), Charleston (beginners)

Elite Dance Brighton – Grade 2 & 3

Rox School Of Dancing

Silver Screen Dance – Beginners and experienced

“Come on, babe
Why don’t we paint the town?
And all that jazz”

Jazz is a very energetic and fun style of dance which consists of unique moves, some fancy footwork, big leaps and quick turns – a unique blend of African dances, European classical dances and American Modern dances. In order to gain the grace and balance that it requires, top jazz dancers usually have a strong background in ballet. Jazz is actually considered the best dance to improve balance and consequently  has low fall-related injuries.

Moves: jazz square, isolations, chassé, jazz layout, jazz walk, jazz hands, fosse

What to wear: dress comfortable, tights, dance shorts or any other specific dance clothes, tight top, jazz dance shoes

Jazz music: All That Jazz – Chicago, It’s Not Unusual – Tom Jones, Too Darn Hot – Ella Fitzgerald, Some Like It Hot – Marilyn Monroe

Jazz Films: Chicago, All That Jazz

Hip Hop

dancing in brightonWhere to dance:

Streetfunk – Adult and Kids Classes (Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced)

Dancecenter – Street Dance / Hip-hop

Marina Studios – Adult Street Dance

“I said a hip, hop, the hippie,
The hippie t
o the hip hip-hop,
and you don’t stop 
a rock it”

Hip-hop is a street dance which is mostly perfomed to hip-hop music and has gained popularity through dance crews in the United States. It is a very creative and often improvised style of dance which incorporates a wide range of street styles, set to the beats of pounding hip hop music. The basic moves are performed in time to a catchy beat and called popping, locking and krumping. It’s a very expressive and free-spirited dance which is above all defined by its bounding steps, hand-standing and power jumps. Hip Hop is practiced in both dance studios and outdoor spaces.

Moves: dougie, stinky leg, body pop, helicopter, moonwalk, shuffle, nae nae, pop, lock and drop

What to wear: loose-fitting athletic trousers, tank top, wear shoes that do not grip the floor too hard

Hip-hop songs: Lose Yourself – Eminem, Low – Flo Rida, Get Your Freak On – Missy Elliot, In Da Club – 50 Cent

Hip-hop Films: Step Up series, Honey, Save the Last Dance, Make Your Move


dancing in brighton

Where to dance:

Brighton Dance Flash Mobs – Community Flash Mobs, Corporate Events, Hen Parties & Weddings

A flashmob is simply a group of people dancing a choreography in a public place. They are usually organised through social media or viral emails and are for entertainment, satire, artistic expression and pure fun! The UK’s most creative seaside town, Brighton, is known for its quirkiness and that’s why flashmobs fit right in. Flashmobs are a fun, creative and unique way to bring the Brighton community together, dance and make a lot of people smile.



Moves: big movements, easy and fun steps, raising arms, jumping, moving from side to side

What to wear: dresscode or no dresscode, costumes, props, depends on the theme

Hoop Dance

dancing in brighton

Where to dance:

Dream Spin Hula Hoop Dance Company – beginner, intermediate 

Bird Studios – Level 1 Hoop Dance Course

Live Love hoop – beginners,  intermediate

Hula Hoop isn’t just a great way to remember your childhood, it’s also a fun workout which brings numerous benefits and has a history dating back hundreds of years. A complete core workout, it works as many as 30 of your body muscles. It’s known for improving head-eye coordination and motor skills and improves your spine’s strength and flexibility. It is good for your heart and burns more than 400 calories per hour.

Moves: Head Hooping, Bounce, Chesty Fold, The Archer, Escalator Down, Chest Roll

What to wear: comfortable, tight fitting clothes

Films: Native American Hoop Dance (documentary)

Ballroom & Latin

dancing in brighton

Where to dance:

Brighton Dancing – Ballroom and Latin: Absolute Beginners, Beginners, Improvers, Intermediate, Advanced

Bird Studios – Strictly Adult Ballroom, Strictly Latin Dance Fitness

Hove Dance Centre – Adult Social Dance Class, 7 to 11 years, Variation Class, beginners 5 to 8 years, adults, improvers 9 years and above

There’s five different competitive Ballroom dances and five different Latin dances. Ballroom includes Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and Quickstep. Latin includes Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble, and Jive. The styles of these dances may vary but the foundation of each dance is a very specific and distinct sequence of steps. These couples dances demonstrate poise, power, floor craft and passion.

The Latin dances are very intense, expressive and energetic, while the Ballroom dances are more formal and the partners dance in a closed postition.

Cheek2Cheek Gay and Lesbian Dance Club

dancing in brighton

Where to dance:

Cheek2Cheek Brighton – Intermediate, Beginners, Social

The great thing about Cheek2Cheek is thatamount of great social events and that you don’t need a dance partner or any dance experience for the beginner’s class, just lead or follow! After tuition you get the chance to practice what you’ve learned and get more creative with your steps. Cheek2Cheek organises an annual New Year Ball, takes part in the Brighton Pride Parade and class members regularly take a trip to the Rivoli Ballroom in London.

Classes for Children

dancing in brighton


Bird Studios – Flamenco, Street Dance, Ballet and Tap, Baby Moves, Babyballet, Diddi Dance

Streetfunk – Minis (4-6), Beginners (6+), Under 12 Breakdance, Intermediate (8+), Advanced (10+)

Flamenco Dance Academy – Beginners and Improvers

Magic Moves – Creative Dance for Children

Most of the above dance styles have classes for kids in Brighton and it couldn’t be a higher recommended activity for little ones. Dancing is known for having many benefits in child development. It’s considered one of the best sports for children, especially for children with ADHD/ADD for they learn how to control their body and it helps set limits. It aids the development of kinaesthetic intelligence, creates opportunities for self-expression and communication and fosters the ability to better interpret interpersonal nonverbal communication. On top of that, dance education helps students develop physical fitness, appreciation of the body and effective stress management approaches; a great activity for kids to try for all round benefits and, of course, to just have great fun!

Cover photo from Salsa Brighton

Want the best content from We Love Brighton every week in your inbox? 
Sign up for our newsletter HERE 

About The Writer

is from a small town in the south of Germany and is currently an intern at We Love Brighton. Her hobbies are volleyball, running and reading. She is also very passionate about traveling and exploring new places (especially Brighton).