Think great dancing is just something from a movie featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey? Think again! There are all sorts of opportunities for aspiring dancers, no matter what kind of dancing you’re into. From two-stepping to salsa to ballet, there’s something for everyone. Too nervous to hit the floor right away? Why not try a class? There are ample opportunities for that, too.
Malaga Tapas Bar: Like Flamenco? Then you’ll love to visit Malaga on the first and third Wednesday of every month, when Austin-based The Spirit of Flamenco takes over with spirited singing, guitar playing, dancing and hand clapping in which the audience is invited to join in. The festivities are held from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., which just happens to coincide with $12 carafes of house wine. Arrive early, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., for an $8 drink and tapas pairing. 440 W. 2nd St.; (512) 236-8020; www.malagatapasbar.com
Ballet Austin:Don’t let the name deceive you: The class options at Ballet Austin, which also puts on quality productions throughout the year such as The Nutcracker, are varied. Among the options on the roster: Ballet (obviously), modern dance, hip hop, hula, jazz and musical theatre. There are also lots of exercise themed classes such as ballet fit, Broadway fit, body stretch, yoga, Zumba and pilates. One of the greatest things about the way the classes are set up is that you simply purchase a class card and may participate in any and all classes you like. The card prices range depending on how many classes you want, but a 20-class option is $220, which works out to $11 a class. Not bad, considering many other dance institutions can charge upwards of $30 a session. Ballet Austin also offers a variety of family, children and teen classes that are just as affordably priced. Check the Web site for details. 501 W. 3rd St.; (512) 476-9051; www.balletaustin.org
Broken Spoke: This place is a local – and national – legend known for its wonderful Texas honky tonk music, country vibe, warm, generous people and killer chicken fried steak. It’s been featured in countless movies and TV shows, but a little known fact about this Austin gem is that it also offers free dance lessons Wednesday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Just show up with your dancing shoes on and hit the floor with a well-trained instructor. Then, when the band goes on at 9:15 p.m., you’ll be ready for action. Trust me, you won’t want o miss the chance to spend an evening here. Closed Sunday and Monday. 3201 S. Lamar Blvd.; (512) 442-6189; www.brokenspokeaustintx.com
Ruta Maya International Headquarters: A beloved Austin coffee shop, Ruta Maya in recent years has expanded to be a hub of all things cool and artistic in Austin. Recent featured events have included a free reggae and arts festival, free kids concerts and even free guitar lessons. If you like to dance, however, you’ll want to go on Wednesdays, when free Salsa lessons are offered from 7:45 p.m. to 8: 45 p.m. Then, stay and test out your skills when a live band goes on at 9 p.m. Salsa lessons are also offered on Sunday for a slight fee. 3601 S. Congress Ave.; (512) 707-9637; www.rutamaya.net
Dallas Nite Club: Open Wednesday through Saturday, Dallas Nite Club is a great place to go for a night of boot scootin’ two-steppin’ with your buddies. But if you’re sure you’re qualified to spank the planks just yet, Dallas has you covered with free nightly dance lessons. Country lessons are offered Wednesday at 7 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Salsa lessons on Thursday at 8 p.m. Dallas also offers 90-minute Zumba classes on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a $10 cover charge, with free light snacks provided. Drink specials include $1 drinks from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, $1.75 drinks from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and $1 drinks from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. 7113 Burnet Rd.; (512) 452-1300; www.danceatdallas.com