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“And one, two, three, four!”
By Olga Mironenko
January in Moscow. The weather is horrible. Shake off the blues with a little salsa, or hip-hop. Here is the Passport Magazine Guide to the Best Dance Schools in Moscow.

Everybody knows that a good dancer is a good lover; think of the silent-screen star Rudolf Valentino, or John Travolta. Dance isn’t only about sex; but it is a fundamental part of being human. Dance is a means of communication; think how you use dance in a nightclub to express feelings and emotions.

New York is the capital of dance, but if you think that you have to go to Broadway to shake your booty, you are wrong. In the past couple of years dance schools in Moscow have undergone many changes. A decade ago an average dance school here looked more like a volunteer organisation, renting a sports hall in a secondary school or a community club, with one instructor offering ballroom dancing. today, you can take belly-dancing classes on Monday, classical ballet on Tuesday, Latin dance on Wednesday, hip-hop on Saturday.

The best schools now have cafes, TV sets and soft couches. The very best offer master classes with famous dancers, not only Russian, but also visiting international stars. If you have children, dance classes are a very good way for them to make new friends. Moscow is the home of the Bolshoi, so if your son is a budding Billy Elliott, or your daughter wants to follow in the footsteps of Anastasia Volochkova, then this is the city to be in.

If you yourself have decided to dance, or at least, give it a try and see how it works for you, there are two ways you can go. First, you could decide what exactly you would like to dance. For every type of dance there are a number of well-known, experienced instructors whom you could choose and whose classes you could go to. Or, otherwise, you could choose one particular dance school and give all of the various types of dance a try.

Duncan Dance School

Duncan Dance School offers a great variety of dance styles – starting from ballet all the way to hip-hop. For almost every style there are several instructors, according to the level of the group’s skills. The instructors and the administrative personnel speak English, which, probably, accounts for quite a large number of French, Italian, Latin American, Spanish and Brazilian adults, as well as kids taking, dance classes in Duncan.

Another of Duncan’s characteristics is its collaboration with foreign dancers and frequent master classes. At present a Brazilian dance show is being prepared, which also includes the Brazilian dancers giving Latin dance and hip-hop classes. There is a good client-friendly atmosphere; for example, you can watch any class if you need to decide whether you would like to take up a certain style or just to watch the instructor’s way of delivering it; in many Moscow dance schools this frequently is not allowed.

What the dancers say:

Ellie, 16, from Holland, says: “I like it here… It’s like you don’t even have to speak another language – you understand each other in dance”.

Kelly, a Brazilian dancer, 20, adds: “I come here, change, enter the dance room and everything fades away. I no longer see the rain outside or care about the rush hour in the subway. There’s just music and me and nothing else interferes.”

Washington, 23, from Brazil, seems to be caught by surprise by the question if he feels the lack of knowledge of the Russian language is any obstacle to the understanding between him and the dancers in his class. “Language? Well, I speak French and Portuguese, but I don’t think this matters here. There’s just one language that all of us use – the language of our body and the music – and we seem to understand each other perfectly.”

What is on offer: Classical ballet, hip-hop substyles, street jazz, r’n’b, jazz-modern, belly dance, Latin dance, tango, and special children’s dance groups.
Facilities: two dance halls, a small comfortable hall for rehearsals and warm-ups; changing rooms with showers, cafe.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: an hour’s lesson of classical ballet 250 roubles; other dance, 300-400 roubles
Address: Leningradsky Pr., 32/2, “Sovetsky” Hotel, 3rd floor.
Tel.: 251-0151


Mainstream, despite being quite a new school, has already become popular among lovers of hip-hop. Besides hip-hop, you will find a lot of interesting dance styles here: belly dance, strip dance, Latin dance, jazzmodern and club dancing. A notable Mainstream characteristic is that it regularly organizes dance parties in clubs, in which the best students and the instructors take part. It also organizes summer dance camps by the sea.

What the dancers say:

Natalie, 24: “That’s a really outstanding school, I’d say. The instructors here are just perfect”.

What is on offer: mainstream, hip-hop, Latin dance, strip dance, belly dance, jazz-modern, club dance.
Facilities: two large dance halls, changing rooms with showers.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: an hour’s lesson of any style 350 roubles
Address: Krivokolenny Per., 14.
Tel.: 585-6140


Model-357 provides a dancer with as many as seventeen different styles to choose from, and qualified instructors, among whom you will find American and Cuban choreographers. The school has two locations, both of which possess several dance halls with plastic floor covering, and are equipped with professional light, sound and air conditioning systems.

What the dancers say:

Irina, 18: “I tried a lot of schools, but this one is the very best for me…the variety and the facilities they offer is amazing”.

What is on offer: club dance, belly dance, Latin dance, strip dance, hip-hop, break dance, krumping, ragga-jam, jazz-modern, stretching, yoga.
Facilities: five dance halls with professional light, sound and air conditioning systems.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: an hour’s lesson of club dance is 220 roubles; Latin, strip dance is 350 roubles
Address: Novolesnaya Str., 1/49.
Tel.: 223-23-67, 773-57-66

Tatyana Timofeeva’s Dance Centre

This is a dance school noted for its classical ballet, but it also offers yoga, Pilates, belly dance and modern dance. There are also special children’s groups and a breakdance group for teens. Every six months the school organises concerts in which almost all of its students take part. The school regularly invites dancers from other countries to conduct master classes and seminars.

What is on offer: Classical ballet, yoga, Pilates, belly dance, modern dance, hip-hop
Facilities: two dance halls, a small comfortable hall for rehearsals and warm-ups; changing rooms with showers.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: 3200 roubles for any 8 classes
Address: Sivtsev Vrajek, 20.
Tel.: 244-7407

Street Jazz School

This school was created by the participants of a very popular dance group, Street Jazz, which managed to create its own style. The Street Jazz dancers themselves give street jazz classes there, so you have a good chance of taking in a priceless experience. The school has just opened – and the official opening is planned for February. By February it plans to have opened all the groups, while right now you already can try street jazz and Latin dance. Street Jazz also has special children groups.

What the dancers say:

Sergei, 22: “Street Jazz have got such an undisputable reputation of real professionals that I don’t think someone might want any arguments or proof that their school is worth it. They are simply the best; that’s pretty much all I could say”.

What is on offer: street jazz, Latin dance. (Starting from February a wide range of styles is planned. )
Facilities: two dance halls with a professional floor covering, café, solarium, massage room, two changing rooms with showers, chill-out area.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: an hour’s lesson of 400 roubles for adults, 300 rubles for kids.
Address: Strelbischensky per., 21.
Tel.: 259-9977


Todes can be called a dance school almost everyone might have heard of, since it plays a supporting role to the well-known Todes Ballet, which takes an active part in a great number of concerts and performances, and is constantly in need of new dancers. This is, probably, the only school that offers its own style – Todes, which comprises elements of hip-hop, jazz-modern and a lot more – rather than a range of various styles like hip-hop, for example, or modern dance. If you are intent on making your hobby a profession, or just trying something new, this is, in all likelihood, the school for you.

What the dancers say:

Irina, 21: “There’s nobody like us.”

What is on offer: hip-hop, jazz-modern, modern.
Facilities: 4 dance halls, and changing rooms with showers, a bar.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: 4500 roubles per month (12 classes); 870 roubles for the first class.
Address: Krasnokazarmennaya Str., 2.
Tel.: 261-10-26


TSEH is quite different from the schools listed above; it is, in fact, a dance theatres’ agency rather than simply a school. Its main business is organizing dance festivals and summer dance schools, which last for about 3 weeks and include daily master classes with the best dance instructors – Russian as well as foreign ones. They also offer regular master classes and classes of contemporary dance, which are taught by two instructors.

What the dancers say:

Maria, 18: “I’ve taken part in their summer dance school. A very high level of instruction, I surely will repeat it this summer”

What is on offer: contemporary dance
Facilities: a large dance hall, changing rooms with showers.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: an hour’s lesson is 300 roubles.
Address: Vostochnaya Str., 4.
Tel.: 221-0757

Vortex Dance Theater

Vortex is a modern, up-to-date dance school offering a wide range of dance styles. The school is well-known for staging shows and performances and holding regular master-classes conducted by foreign professional dancers, and by the school’s own instructors. Every week there are seminars where you can improve your knowledge about your particular favourite dance style. Vortex collaborates with a variety of French, American, Dutch and English professional dancers, and actively involves its students in leading Russian and foreign choreographers’ dance and educational projects.

What the dancers say:

Anna, 25: “The atmosphere here is something I enjoy a lot. And the master classes – I believe they are indispensable for anyone who decided to learn to dance well”.

Helen, 22: “Vortex is a good school. Its cooperation with foreign successful dancers is so useful for us, students here”.

What is on offer: jazz, modern, step dance, flamenco, hip-hop, ballet, tango, Indian dance, capoeira.
Facilities: five dance halls with plastic floor covering, changing rooms with showers, a fitness hall with a massage room, and a computer class.
English-speaking: yes
Cost: 300 roubles for one class; 2000 roubles for 8 classes.
Address: Leningradskoye Shosse, 58.
Tel.: 459-9842, 459-9063

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