Whether you fancy a bit of a tango, some contemporary street dance or just want to keep in shape with a bit of structured movement, you can find an assortment of dance classes in and around Kobe to suit all ability levels. Here is a guide to some of what is currently on offer and where to find it.
Ballroom dancing has experienced a growth in popularity in the past few years and there are a number of places in Kobe running classes where you can try different styles no matter what your skill level. The American franchise Arthur Murray Dance Studios has locations in Kobe and Osaka, offering a range of dance styles including waltz, tango, cha-cha-cha and salsa at levels from introductory all the way to gold advanced. Studio Joy in Sannoyima offers more of a local experience with Japanese instructors teaching both beginners and experienced classes. Individual classes are 3,600 yen for 25 minutes, while group sessions are cheaper. The Hayosaki School of Dance in Motomachi holds “bright, fun and easy to understand” classes for both adults and kids. Prices range from 1,000 – 5,000 yen, plus there is a membership fee of 1,630 yen. Society Elegante in Sannoyima is another local-run studio offering everything from rumba to waltz with a free lesson offered to beginners. Finally, Swing, which is located close to Tarumi station, offers both ballroom and swing dance sessions at all levels from 5,150 yen per person with a free trial session offered.
For those wanting something a bit more modern and “urban”, there are a few studios specializing in street dance that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Lab 3 in Kobe’s Motomachi shopping district has been offering street dance lessons since 2002. There is a wide range of styles to choose from including hip-hop, freestyle, jazz, krump, reggae, breaking and capoeira. Private lessons and kids sessions are available with costs starting at 1,050 yen per class plus a one-off joining fee of 3,100 yen. GD Kingz, located 5 minutes from Sannoyima station, runs sessions every weekday evening plus Saturdays where you can learn styles including hip-hop, jazz and break. Way Studio has two locations in Kobe – Studio A and Studio B – where a team of specialists teach hip-hop, break, New Jack Swing and more. Yoga sessions are also on offer.
Ballet is a slightly more technical form of dancing with not the same breadth of appeal as the likes of ballroom and street dance, but there are a couple of opportunities in Kobe for budding ballet dancers or those who want to give it a go. The Sadamatsu and Hamada Ballet Company is a professional ballet organisation formed in 1965 that has performed worldwide. The company has 25 classrooms across Kansai. Its Kobe venue is close to Oji Park station. Classes are available for infants, high school students and adults. Morning and evening sessions are offered. Way Studio also offers ballet and classical dance tutoring alongside its street dance program. Classes are offered for children already accustomed to ballet who are interested in pursuing it further, plus there is a foundation ballet program for adults who want to give it a try.
If you’re up for something a bit more experimental – either watching, participating or perhaps both – Dance Box is a contemporary dance project that gives performances and workshops in both modern dance styles and theater from its art studio space 10 minutes by walk from Shin-Nagata station. If you don’t want to take things too seriously and are just looking to have some fun, meet new people and stay active, Biodanza Kobe is a dance meet up that uses dance, music and movement to improve health and increase enjoyment of life. Finally, fans of northern soul should look out for regular club nights at the Jam Jam Club where DJs spin classic tunes from the 60s and 70s.