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A step in the right direction: Top 10 reasons why Columbus is great for dancing

Downtown Columbus
Downtown Columbus

Ohio in general has a bland reputation in the line up of states. Of course, Ohio has the Buckeyes, but other than that most people think Ohioans are living in cornfields next to the cow barn. That statement can't be fully denied, but Ohio and namely, it's capital city is blessed with an abundance of not-so-country hot-spots, venues and recreational activities. Dancing and dancers aren't what most people think of when they think Columbus, Ohio, so here's a bit of food for thought to change your mind. Maybe next time you hear the world "Ohio" you'll think about grabbing your dancing shoes instead of grabbing the remote to watch the next Buckeye's game.

  1. To start things off, Columbus offers a variety of dance styles to learn. If you want to learn ballet, modern, jazz or any other traditional single person dance style, check out the BalletMet Columbus. If you’re interested in ballroom, Columbus offers numerous independently owned and chain ballroom dance studios where you can learn from qualified instructors. One studio in particular, the Columbus Dance Centre, not only offers ballroom dance lessons but also ballet and hip-hop. They’re not just limited to dancing though, you can even take music lessons there!
  2. By way of partnered dancing, Columbus has multiple clubs and organizations dedicated to each individual style. TangoCATS (Columbus Argentine Tango Society) is for those interested in the seductive ways of the tango. CapCity Salsa & JC Entertainment host a few nights a week for salsa lovers. Swing Columbus and the Mid-Ohio Boogie Club are for those dancers who just can’t get enough of the vintage swing styles. Not to mention that the Ohio State University has numerous clubs just on it’s own. For starters try the 3D Urban Dance Team (hip-hop & jazz), TangoOSU, DanceSport at OSU and the Swing Dance Club at OSU.
  3. Speaking of the Ohio State University...Did you know it’s one of the nation’s top schools for dance? Well, it is!
  4. U.S. Representative to the World Professional 10-Dance Championships and Rising Star Latin Champion Svetlana Iskhakov and Four-times U.S. Latin Champion and two-times World Finalist Bill Sparks live and teach ballroom dancing right here in Columbus.
  5. Sure, Ohio loves its Buckeyes, but Ohio loves the arts too. Once a month art lovers a like flock to the art galleries for Short North’s gallery hop. But this isn’t just for artists, critics and connoisseurs of fine art; Salsa and swing dancers gather along the streets to show off their love for a different kind of art – dancing.
  6. Not only does Columbus have fun clubs, varied studios and exceptional dance teachers, but it also offers social dance venues to fit every need and style. Ballroom dancers can hit up the Elizabeth Blackwell Center on Saturday nights. Those who adore salsa can flock to Martini Park in Easton on Tuesdays, El Vaquero Restaurant on Olentangy Road on Thursdays or La Fogata in the Short North on Fridays for their fix of latin music. Also, many dance studios in the area offer social dancing nights on Friday evenings.
  7. One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious ballroom competitions is held right here in Columbus. It’s called Ohio Star Ball and is often the host for the World Pro/Am Championships and World Professional American Smooth & Rhythm Championships. To make this competition even better, it’s televised on PBS. 
  8. Ohio even has it’s own organization fully dedicated to promoting and recognizing all forms of dance in Ohio. For more information about how to support dance in Ohio, or to just find out about great dance performances, choreographers and dancers in Ohio, click here.
  9. BalletMet Columbus is not just a place to take lessons, but it’s also a professional dance company. Popular ballet performances for the company this season contain classics such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But the BalletMet isn’t just for those lucky to call Ohio their home. The BalletMet also tours! They’ve been to 28 U.S. states, Egypt, Canada, Spain and Poland. It’s also one of the Nation’s largest dance companies and their Dance Academy is one of the largest professional dance training centers.
  10. So what’s the best reason for why Columbus is so great for dancing? It’s the dancers themselves. They are a passionate and dedicated bunch that thrive on the sport (or hobby may the case be). Fun-loving, always ready to learn and always ready to teach, Columbus area dancers are some of the best people to be around. As the Austrian writer Vicki Baum put it, “there are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.” Columbus dancers, they get that.


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