Which is the best lord? Lord of the Flies? Lord of the Rings? Or Lord of the Dance? Silly question, I know, because it is obviously dance. There is nothing quite like putting on your dancing shoes and strutting your stuff, is there? Even if, like me, you have very little ‘stuff’ to strut.
If you, your spouse or children haven’t shaken a money maker or got down on it for some time, it could be that you are itching to get back into it, but feeling a little ring rusty. Or maybe you are just looking for something a bit different to do around Nagoya? If this is the case, why not try out one of these dance classes in and around Nagoya?
Started in 2006, Nagoya Swings is one of Aichi’s largest groups dedicated to the ballroom dance known as swing. They hold monthly workshops for dancers of all skill levels. While their primary focus is on the East Coast style of swing dancing, they also offer lessons in others such as Blues, Charleston and the Lindy Hop. They also host a number of dance parties throughout the year such as their Halloween and Christmas events. Their Nagoya Swings Live series is a great chance for dancers, rookie and veteran alike, to try out their moves to live music from local and touring bands. To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, they’ve got a lot of fun events and interesting workshops planned.
Closely related in genre to the Nagoya Swings guys are Lindy Hop in Aichi. Based in Kariya (just three stops from Nagoya on the JR Tokaido line), they focus mainly on Lindy Hop as well as Charleston with a bit of East Coast Swing and Balboa thrown in. Meeting at least three times a month including lessons, events and shindigs, it is open to absolutely anyone who wants to dance. There is no member system, meaning that whoever wants to – ahem – hop by is more than welcome. If you want to check it out, then why not head over for their next big event on March 20th, 2016.
If you are looking for something a little bit more along the lines of formal dance classes there is Studio Zoo in Sakae. In business for more than 20 years they claim (a little vaingloriously, perhaps) to be the pioneers of Nagoya’s dance movement, however with that kind of longevity they must be on to something. With all manner of dance genres to choose from, including modern dance and hip hop, there are many lessons for all age ranges conducted in English (and even French) with instructors who have studied around the world. In fact all classes – even with Japanese speaking instructors – are multilingual with directions and counts in English, so anyone can joinin the fun.
Or perhaps you want to get really serious about things. Avex Dance Master in Meieki are providers of official Japanese Street Dance Association (JSDA) lessons for not just lovers of dance, but those who see it with a view of advancing to a professional level. With classes for adults as well as children they offer a comprehensive curriculum from beginner to advanced level. Forms that are most extensively covered are hip hop and jazz, with five different courses to choose from. There is a free trial lesson, though it is conducted in Japanese.
‘Noh’ is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century, and the music and dance is quite instrumental to how it is performed. It’s safe to say that, should you take this course in Noh Odori (Noh dance) you’ll be one of the very few of your peers who can do it. While this isn’t a regular course – rather a two hour cultural experience – it would certainly be
a feather in your cap a bone in your beautifully decorated hand fan.
There are other dance classes available in and around Nagoya. Japan Info Swap contacted these below, however at the time of going to print they had not responded to enquiries as to whether there were English language classes. If you are interested feel free to contact them yourselves, and perhaps you will have better luck.
Image: facebook.com "photo" by Nagoya Swings (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) – Modified