Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and the best of Toronto’s pop star–inspired dance classes

Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and the best of Toronto’s pop star–inspired dance classes

best-of-the-city-beyography Beyography.
 Photography by Liz Bedall

Before YouTube, if you wanted to learn the choreography to your favourite song, you needed MuchMusic Countdown, a VCR and a whole lot of repeat viewing. Nowadays, diehard fans (and aspiring back-up dancers) can learn the moves from the pros in dance studios across the city. Here, six pop star–inspired dance classes anyone who’s ever dreamed of pulling off Beyoncé’s booty rolls, Justin Bieber’s dance hall stylings and Drake’s oddball gesticulations.

 

Beyoncé

Leave it to Queen Bey—the ruler of the booty shake, the hair flip and the sexy strut—to launch Toronto’s music-video dance-class craze. In 2013, local performer Nicky Nasrallah created Beyography, a weekly two-hour class that runs through the moves of a different Beyoncé song. On the docket in June: “Countdown,” “Mine” and a best-of from her video-meets-art-film “Lemonade” (minus the smashing car windows with a baseball bat.) Throughout June at Elevation Dancentre Studio, 979 Bloor St. W., and Steps Dance Studio, 1 Gloucester St., beyography.com.

 

Justin Bieber

Beliebers of all stripes can groove like Justin: newbies can enroll in the Beginner Justin Bieber class at the Underground Dance Centre, where instructors will teach you Biebs-inspired choreography to songs such as “No Sense,” “Roller Coaster” and “Somebody to Love.” More experienced dancers should sign up for Elle Fitness and Social’s “Sorry” workshop, a high-energy, two-hour boot camp that will guide you, step-by-step, through the lively video. Beginner Justin Bieber: throughout June at Underground Dance Centre, 220 Richmond St. W., theundergrounddance.com. Sorry: June 26 at Elle Fitness and Social, 580 King St. W., ellefitnessandsocial.com.

 

Drake

Now you too can learn the steps that launched a thousand memes. Dancer and DJ Diana Reyes (better known as Fly Lady Di) can help you perfectly achieve Drake’s so-bad-they’re-good dance moves from “Hotline Bling” and “One Dance.” Prepare for deep knee bends and cha-cha steps fused with plenty of Reyes’ own original choreography. June 19 at Steps Dance Studio, 1 Gloucester St., facebook.com.

 

Boy Bands

We’ve come full circle. It’s once again cool to dance like your favourite boy band. In the Underground Dance Centre’s Beginner Boy Bands class, wannabe J.T.s, A.J.s and Nicks (both Carter and Lachey) can groove to hits from Backstreet Boys, ‘NSYNC and 98 Degrees. It’s up to you whether or not you come wearing a fedora–silk shirt combo.
 Throughout June at Underground Dance Centre, 220 Richmond St. W., theundergrounddance.com.

 

TLC

Throw on a pair of boxer shorts and baggy jeans and you’re ready to channel the coolest girls of the ’90s: Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Chili and T-Boz. Fly Lady Di will teach hopefuls how to get the swagger of the R&B trio’s 1994 hit single, “Creep,” all without the use of a wind machine. (The video above is from a dance class in Denver, but you get the idea.) 
July 3 at Steps Dance Studio, 1 Gloucester St., facebook.com.

 

Britney Spears

Thanks to the city’s excess of dance classes, you can tap into whichever Britney era you prefer: the classic shimmy shake of teen Britney’s “Baby One More Time” (at Elle Fitness and Social) or the sweaty body rolls of steamy Britney’s “I’m A Slave 4 U” (on offer at both Elle and the Underground Dance Centre). I’m a Slave 4 U: June 18 at Elle Fitness and Social, 580 King St. W., ellefitnessandsocial.com; Underground Dance Centre, 220 Richmond St. W., theundergrounddance.com.