Whether you've been partner-dancing for years or you've only just turned your hand to a new dance style, you may well be looking for opportunities to take to the floor, practice your moves, and meet some new people in the process!
You're in luck! London is home to some world-renowned regular Social Dancing events, giving you the chance to place your talents alongside those of the very best. Here is our run-down of the finest Social Dancing events in the capital; read on and you could find yourself on some of the city's most esteemed dancefloors very soon...
BALLROOM & LATIN
Ballroom tutor (& Head of Dance) Shawnna Cope recommends:
Sundays at the Rivoli Ballroom | First Sunday of the Month | 350 Brockley Road, SE4 2BY
On the first Sunday of the month the beautiful Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley hosts a typical social dance. Prepare to be whirled across the lovingly restored 1950s floor to waltzes, foxtrots and Viennese waltzes, keeping company with people of all ages. A great place to work on your floorcraft and worth a visit just to experience the venue!
Pink Jukebox at La Cantina | Second & Fourth Sunday of each month | 4 Wild Court, WC2B 4AU
The Pink Jukebox is a Ballroom and Latin dance club for members of the LGBT community and their friends. Events take place on Sundays with social dancing running from 4.30pm until 7pm. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pink Jukebox later this year, dancers will be competing for the Pink Jukebox trophy at a competition at the aforementioned Rivoli. Entries are open now.
Royal Opera House – Tea Dance | Selected Fridays | Bow Street, WC2E 9DD
The ROH has been hosting monthly dances on Friday afternoons for some time, but following the final event of the season on 5th February, these are due to take a hiatus due to restoration work. Advance tickets have sold out, but never fear! - 16 tickets are available on the day for the next two events. Dances take place in the Paul Hamlyn Hall where the Royal Opera Dance Band play waltzes, tangos, quicksteps and cha chas.
Waldorf Hilton – Tea Dance | Selected Sundays | Aldwych, WC2B 4DD
Take a turn around the beautiful Palm Court at the Waldorf Hilton at one of their monthly tea dances. A live five-piece band lead the dances which take place on Sunday afternoons. Price includes afternoon tea and dress code is smart. It's a pricey affair (at £62 per person), but as a one-off experience it's an unforgettable one.
JIVE & SWING
Jive Party at the Rivoli Ballroom | Third Saturday of the month | 350 Brockley Road, SE4 2BY
The Rivoli Ballroom gets another mention, this time for its Jive nights, and for good reason! The venue really is legendary - it's featured in lots of period films and TV shows - and each month it hosts Jive Party, a swinging night of high energy dancing where live bands and DJs entertain an enthusiastic crowd (of all abilities). Make sure you wear loose fitting clothing as it gets very hot!
Cakewalk Cafe at Passing Clouds | Every Wednesday | 1 Richmond Road, E8 4AA
Join North East London's finest every Wednesday for an evening of live jazz, blues and ragtime at Passing Clouds. Entry is free before 9pm and the place is open until 1am, so there's plenty of time to practice all your steps!
Tango tutor Adrian Del Arroyo recommends:
Friday Night Milonga at Negracha
Spread over two floors, and attracting over 200 dancers each week, Negracha is the place to show off your salidas and to watch some seriously good dancers! With a traditional tango in one room, and a mixed selection in the other, you're sure to find something to your taste.
Salsa on Sundays at Royal National Hotel | Every Sunday | 38-51 Bedford Way, WC1H 0DG
Former 'Club of the Year' winner Salsa On Sundays (better known as SOS by the regulars) is a night that the salseros flock to in their droves. This weekly fixture is the antidote to your Sunday night blues and is well-attended by Londoners and international dancers alike. With a friendly atmosphere and top-notch dancing and music, it has all you could ask for in a salsa night. Sunday nights will never be the same again.
Pexava at Conway Hall | Every Thursday & Saturday | 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL
Located in the heart of Central London, Conway Hall boasts a balcony, a fabulous wooden floor, and industrial fans and ventilation to keep the place cool when the dancing hots up! Socials take place on Thursdays and Saturdays.
El Bembe at the Bottlescrue | Second & Forth Saturday of the month | 33 Foster Lane, EC2V 6HD
Twice a month, London's salseros and salseras descend on St Pauls to dance salsa and bachata well into the early hours. Large wooden floors make for ample space to dance, and the well stocked bars keep patrons refreshed!
Flamenco tutor Carlos Otero recommends:
España on Fire at Ronnie Scott's | First Sunday of the month | 47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT
On the first Sunday of every month, flamenco dancers (and the house band) really raise the roof at Soho's Ronnie Scott's! After a show from some of London's top performers, audiences throw off their shackles and hit the floor. A great place to try out some of those new moves, and get some tips from the experts.
Peña Flamenca de Londres | Various | Church Hall of Holy Apostles, Cumberland Street, SW1V 4LY
While not strictly a social dance night, this definitely deserves a mention. The Peña Flamenca de Londres is a flamenco club offering regular events where people of all levels are encouraged to participate, accompanied by a professional singer and guitarist. This is the only place you'll get this kind of opportunity in the UK, so brush up on your skills and get down there!
Want to master the style before you try Social Dancing? Click here for information on all City Academy Dance Classes.