Glen Echo is somewhat legendary among dance aficionados. The beautiful Spanish Ballroom hosts social dances every Thursday through Sunday, typically with live music. And, for the cost of admission (between $5 and $20), you'll get an introductory lesson to bring you up to speed. Expect styles ranging from contra and waltz to ballroom and Argentine tango. Once your skills are really up to snuff, head to the monthly ballroom-dance event, which involves afternoon tea and a live orchestra.
7300 MacArthur Boulevard; 301-634-2222. See a full list of events here.
Chevy Chase Ballroom
To learn how to properly waltz, tango, and foxtrot, check out Chevy Chase Ballroom, which offers private or group classes for beginners. Bonus? Your first lesson is free. There’s also an ongoing events calendar with learn-to-dance and show-off-your-skills parties.
5207 Wisconsin Avenue NW; 202-363-8344. See a full list of classes here.
Maybe it’s all those years of watching Dancing with the Stars, but we think few styles are more impressive than swing — plus, it’s a great full-body workout. And, D.C. is the perfect place to learn this high-energy style, thanks to traveling dance troupe Gottaswing. The company organizes lessons at gyms, nightclubs, studios, and ballrooms across the DMV. You can take weekly classes, attend one-time events, or register for private lessons.
Times and locations vary. See a complete schedule here; 703-359-9882.
Joy of Motion Dance Center
Confession: We are truly, deeply intimidated by the thought of belly dancing. But, there’s nothing our core needs more than the serious Tracy Anderson-esque moves that come free with this kind of class. Learn the basics at Joy of Motion Dance Center, where you can also take hip-hop, tap, jazz, or flamenco classes. We recommend trying a workshop; our favorite is "Single Ladies," where you’ll learn the choreography of Queen Bey’s hit.
1333 H Street NE; 202-399-6763. See a full list of classes here.
Some of us need to learn the most basic steps in a place where we can flail our arms and legs in private, safe from the ogling eyes of strangers. So, naturally, we love that Dance Factory in Arlington offers specials on private lessons and a course on “Survival Dancing." That should get you through your brother’s wedding in one piece.
954 North Monroe Street, Arlington; 703-527-4400. See a full list of classes here.
At Dance Place in Brookland, you can take advantage of single classes for quick how-tos in modern, hip-hop, salsa, Cuban, and African dance for $10 to $15 a pop. If you're ready to commit to the dancing lifestyle, buy a 10-class pass for $120 and embrace your inner Shakira.
3225 8th Street NE; 202-269-1600. See a full list of classes here.