My number one recommendation for fun, casual dance classes for adult beginners in Melbourne is The Space Dance and Arts Centre in Prahran. They offer beginner classes in lots of different styles from tap and Broadway Jazz to Capoeira, Latin, Argentine Tango and Modern Jive (or 'le Bop'). The staff at the desk, as well as all the instructors, are very friendly and accommodating of newcomers. All classes are run on a casual attendance basis, so there is not need to book or commit on a regular basis. Styles that include partnering are taught with members of the class (male or female), there is no requirement to bring a partner. You simply need to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled class time to pay and be directed to your class (there are several studios in the complex). A single casual class is $15, and any additional class in the same session (morning or afternoon) is $8 – I recommend trying out a second style to see which you prefer. They also offer a $55 First Timer Pass, which gives you 6 classes at $9.16 each and is valid for 12 months.
Not far away on Church Street, Richmond is Forever Dance; another great place to try out a few moves. Forever Dance is a ballroom-focused studio, offering classes in styles such as New Vogue and Latin - just like the ones you've seen on Dancing with the Stars! They offer a free introductory session during which you can chat to one of their friendly instructors over a coffee and learn a few basic steps to get you started.
There is no need to bring a partner - in private lessons your instructor will serve as your partner as well, and in group lessons there are plenty of people to dance with! The Introductory Program at Forever Dance consists of 3 private lessons, 4 group lessons and 1 3 hour social night, at which you can use the new skills you have acquired. The cost of this program is $207 (including GST). If you would like to learn with a partner, the Introductory Program includes 5 private lessons, 6 group lessons and 1 3 hour social night for both of you. The cost of this program is $355 (including GST).
Another recommended option for your first steps in the ballroom is Rio dance studio in Prahran. They too provide private tuition, group classes and social dance events to all ages and abilities. Offering a vast range of ballroom styles including Waltz, Foxtrot, Jive, Samba and Cha Cha, Rio also offers a free introductory session where you can tour the studio and chat about what style/level might suit you.
Rio's Single Person Introductory Program includes 3 1hr private lessons, 3 1hr group classes and 1 2hr Dance Party Pass, at a cost of $210.00. The Couples Introductory Program includes 5 1hr private lessons, 10 1hr group classes and 2 2hr dance party pass at a cost of $360.00.
For any dance session, be sure to wear comfortable clothing you can move (no denim) and bring yourself a water bottle. Soft or leather-soled shoes are ideal, but at most venues runners or sneakers are fine to start out with. If you choose to continue long-term, most studios will be able to recommend what you will need (shoes and clothing) and where to buy it, but if you are keen to get the gear right away, www.blochworld.com is a great place to start for products and store locations. But remember, the most important thing to bring is a relaxed attitude and a readiness to have a ball!