Parisians love to dance, and as cosmopolitan European city it’s not hard to find almost any kind of dance style with a simple online search, but there’s a particular affinity for tango, salsa, swing (aka “rock and roll” dancing) and traditional Breton folk dancing. For those who like to dress up, there are also regular period balls, including the annual Bal de Versailles just outside Paris.
Le Centre de Danse du Marais
41 Rue du Temple , 4th
tel 01 42 77 58 19
Open weekdays 9am-9pm, weekends until 7pm.
This is one of the most popular dance schools in Paris , offering classes for all levels in baroque dance, tango, African dance, Irish tap, ballroom dancing, salsa, Oriental dance, Egyptian dance, classic ballet, flamenco, jazz, hip-hop, rock-and-roll (swing), yoga, and even Japanese Buto. Buto. The entrance is located at the end of a courtyard next to the Café de la Gare theatre. Most instructors speak English. A “passport” lets you sample five different courses for €75, and there are summer deals, too. Those with an excess of talent should check out the professional audition notices posted in the hallway directly across the courtyard from the reception.
La Tanguedia de Paris
3 rue des Vignoles, 20th
tel 09 83 52 20 11
Luis Bruni and Pascale Coquigny are professional dancers and choreographers specializing in Argentinean tango and fusion tango. They offer classes, summer workshops and practices three times a week in their studio near Nation (metro line 1). English, French and Italian spoken.
La Casa del Tango
11 Allée Darius-Milhaud, 19th
tel 01 40 40 73 60
Ready for your first tango in Paris ? The “House of Tango” organizes classes, workshops, tango balls, tea-time dances and acts as a cultural center for Tango lovers from all over the world with exhibitions and literary events in a very “Buenos Aires” atmosphere right across from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Every month is an initiation weekend course for absolute beginners, and there is always a shortage of single males! Check the website for the latest schedule and events.
GOING OUT DANCING
Square Tino Rossi, Quai St Bernard, 5th
There’s something magical about dancing on the banks of the Seine , the swirling couples lit up by sightseeing boats and Notre Dame Cathedral in the background. Four small amphitheaters welcome tango, salsa, swing and even Brittany folk dancers of all ages and abilities. Every evening May through September, from sunset through midnight. Free entry.
Rosa Bonheur sur Seine
Port des Invalides, 7th
Tel 01 47 53 66 92
The original Rosa Bonheur guingette opened in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont (19th), but this location on a boat moored near the Pont Alexandre III is one of the most scenic locations to dance away the night. Every week they host traditional dance parties, either swing dancing, pop-rock classics, or Spanish Sévillanes with live musicians. Free entry, but get there early if you want to get in at all. From 8pm.
19-21 Rue Boyer, 20th
tel 01 46 36 07 07
Open since 1877, this laid back concert venue, dance hall, restaurant-bar and generally fun event space in East Paris hosts many dancing events each month, including swing and tango, simply check out the monthly agenda on their (partially) bi-lingual website. Most events have a small (under €20) cover charge and dress code is dressy-casual.
8 rue Vandamme, 14th
Tel 01 40 47 63 69
This is one of the more popular salsa clubs in Paris, where you can come early and take a lesson before the dancing begins. Cuban, Bachata, and Porto Rican soirées, depending on the agenda. Expect a crowd dressed to impress, entry €10-€15 (coat check €2). There are memberships for the classes if you plan on coming regularly.
9 rue de Lappe, 11th
tel 01 47 00 07 87
Open since 1936, this authentic dance hall with the historic Parisian street scene decor was where French crooners like Edith Piaf used to sing. Couples and singles decked out in vintage duds come on Wednesday nights for the ‘40s and ‘50s swing-rock evenings (€12-€15 entry includes one drink). Tuesdays and Thursdays are for salsa dancing (€15 entry with one drink). And of course there’s the traditional “Thé Dansant” (a French mix of afternoon tea and ballroom dancing to accordion music) on Monday afternoons 2-7pm (free entry).