Clubs are sweaty places for a reason. All of those shimmies and shakes burn a heck of a lot of energy —and come with many other surprising health benefits too.

There’s a lot to suggest the way you move when you dance trains many of your body’s little support muscles and tendons, as well as the larger muscle groups like the glutes and quads.

Like yoga and pilates, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. Learning choreography has been proved to have cognitive benefits – improving memory and brain functionality. Dancing is more than just a social sport. Research dating back to the 1980s has fuelled the idea that dancing can curb anxiety. If you can relax enough to boogie in front of strangers, you’re a lot less likely to feel self-conscious when in intimidating social situations.

Here’s a rundown of some popular dance styles taught in the UK:

Ballroom dancing

TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Strictly Dance Fever has brought this traditional dance back with style. Ballroom dancing can include a waltz, tango and foxtrot, and each has specific step patterns. It is essential for both partners, the leader as well as the follower, to know the steps so they can dance together.

For more information, including classes near you, visit the British Dance Council.

Street dance

Hip-hop and breakdancing are all urban dance styles that evolved in the street, schoolyards and nightclubs. These dances are practised competitively, as well as being an art form and a great workout.

For more information, including classes near you, visit Dance Near You.


The art of ballet dates back to the Académie Royale de Danse, established in France in 1661. Ballet provides great conditioning and strengthening, as well as improving posture and flexibility through the emphasis on grace and fluidity of movemement.

For more information, including classes near you, visit the Royal Academy of Dance or the British Ballet Organisation (BBO).

Wheelchair dancing

BBC3’s Dancing on Wheels has got everyone talking about wheelchair dancing. Wheelchair dancing is open to people of all abilities, including mixed ability dance partners. It just goes to show nothing’s off limits for those wheels of steel.

For more information and to find a class near you, visit the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association.

Line dancing

Line dances are choreographed dances performed in unison by a group of people in rows, typically to country music. The steps are easy to learn and anyone can join in! As you don’t need a partner it’s a great chance to meet new people.

Find a line dance class using DanceWeb.


Salsa means “hot sauce” in Spanish, which characterises this passionate and sexy Latino dance!

For more information, including classes near you, visit Salsa Jive UK.


Zumba is a popular fitness programme inspired by Salsa. Using upbeat Latin music together with cardiovascular exercise, Zumba is aerobic dancing that’s great fun, easy to learn, and guaranteed to get the heart pumping!

For more information, including classes near you, visit Zumba Fitness.

Tap dancing

Tap dance uses shoes with small metal plates on the soles to make the dance itself part of the music. Musicals like Lord of the Dance and West Side Story have kept tap dancing a popular art form.

For more information, including classes near you, visit the tap section on the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) website.

Bollywood dancing

When the world saw Bollywood dancing in popular Indian films they needed a piece of the action! It’s an upbeat dance form with intricate hand gestures and footwork inspired by classical Indian movements, to an unstoppable beat!

For more information, including classes near you, visit the South Asian Dance Alliance.

Do you prefer to pirouette, stomp, or leap?

Gyms all over the UK are adding more and more dance classes to their timetables – check out these gyms find your favourite frolic: