In a world filled with fast-paced routines and digital distractions, ballroom dancing offers a timeless escape into the enchanting realm of music, movement, and authentic friendships. The term “ballroom dance” doesn't refer to a singular dance style on its own, as many may think. Rather, it is used in the dancing world as an umbrella term for various styles of partnered dances that follow a vague set of dancing rules and steps. It is quite diverse, but some common dance styles you’re likely to see are waltz, tango, foxtrot, cha-cha, two-step, salsa, swing, and polka, just to name a few.
Whether you're a seasoned dancer looking to improve your footwork, or a complete beginner taking your first steps onto the dance floor, knowing the best places to learn and immerse yourself in the art of ballroom dancing here in Kelowna is essential. There are plenty of places to hit the dance floor, so let’s take a look at our top three.
- The UBCO Ballroom Dance Club
A great option for students and beginners to first consider would be the Ballroom Dance Club at UBCO. This club meets weekly at the UNC Ballroom on Sundays, making it convenient for students near or on campus. There is nothing more rewarding than a dance party after some weekend studying. They welcome people at all sorts of dance levels, from complete beginner to advanced, making it enjoyable for dancers of all levels. Their drop-in classes make it easy for anyone to just pop in and try it out, no matter what time of the year.
The Ballroom Dance Club is filled with a nice mix of fast and slow songs to experience the full spectrum. The instructor, Chris, is excellent and will have you cracking up the whole time with his witty humour and jokes. They don't have a dress code but on special occasions, there may be a themed dance, such as 70s disco. You don’t need to bring a partner either; everyone is ready to make new friends!
What’s great is that after the lessons, they give you an opportunity to use your newfound dance moves at the after-party. The after-party is a great way to dance, socialize, enjoy snacks, and make new friends. And, at only $5 per session, this makes the Ballroom Dance Club the best place for students to dance, learn and have a ball! If you are interested, follow their Instagram page (@ballroomdancesuo) for updates and class schedules.
- UBCO Athletics and Recreation classes
Now, if you're looking for faster dances filled with rhythm and passion, you should consider the Salsa & Bachata classes that UBCO Athletics and Recreation offers. At $50 for 5 sessions, this $10/session price is still a steal! Most people have already heard of salsa, but bachata is equally as fun. Bachata originates from the Dominican Republic, and while salsa involves more forward and backward movement, bachata involves more left and right motion.
Carlos, the young and energetic teacher for these classes, really pushes his pupils to their limits in a fast-paced lesson that has you learning a ton of fun dance moves in no time. If you keep your eyes out on the UBCO Recreation website, you can also catch a free trial session at the beginning of each term. You are not only guaranteed to have a blast at these sessions, but you will also come out as a great Latin dancer!
- Okanagan Swing Dance
Finally, if you're feeling old school and looking to shake up your week with some rock and roll, check out Okanagan Swing Dance. They host dance sessions and lessons off campus, usually all across Kelowna, including in front of Rhapsody (the fountain with the dolphins) downtown. Unlike the previous two groups, Okanagan Swing Dance offers outdoor sessions that will make you feel alive as you dance in the wind, under the sun and by the lake. The main dance style taught here is called the Lindy Hop, which is a form of swing that — surprise surprise — is more bouncy and involves more hopping.
Swing sessions vary from completely free to $20, depending on the location and time of the week. The instructor is bubbly and pleasant. In swing, it's okay to make stuff up as you go along and the focus is more on having fun than mastering technique and footwork. You can find out more through their Instagram (@okanaganswingdance).
These are three of the cheapest, most fun, and most memorable dance options for you in Kelowna to consider attending. So, go and discover the allure of world-renowned ballroom dances, where expert instructors will guide you through the intricate steps of each style of dance. Step out of your comfort zone and try something exhilarating and enjoyable. It's time to let the music move you, make great friends, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Your journey awaits!