Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Where to Dance around the world

I like to dance whenever I'm on the road traveling. Whether in an open public space or in a dance studio. Dance is the one constant thing in my life that I've had since I was about 4 years old as a young ballet student. Having grown up and lived around the world, there is nothing that grounds me more than the freedom of movement. As a dancer, I've danced/performed or taught in Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Manilla, Kuala Lumpur, Claremont, Los Angeles, Durham, Oakland, New York City, Houston, Washington D.C., Toronto, Guangzhou, Edinburgh. I love the dancing traveling life! (Book me for teaching workshops!)

I'm currently creating a Dance Film project with Laura Lamp, longtime dancer and collaborator with my dance company (A.H. Dance Company); we exchange physical postcards and film short dance scenes from different parts of the world. The postcards and the text greetings serve as a backdrop or soundscape for the short dance scenes. This is an ongoing project and if you would like to send us a postcard please send us an email.
Check out our Letters Project  to see a few of our videos!

Barcelona, Spain

Lisbon, Portugal

Sydney, Australia

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
My Favorite spots to Dance outside and take Dance pictures:

1) Washington Monument in Washington D.C., USA
2) Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn, NY, USA
3) Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain
4) City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain
5) Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
6) Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria
9) Tate Museum and Southbank in London, UK
10) Battery Park in Manhattan, NY, USA

The best places have always had an open space plan. I adore wide open spaces because all I want to do is run, skip, turn, jump, leap, and dance around. I also love stunning architecture and the old palaces of Europe always have these large grand halls where the ceilings are beautifully adorned.  You can just imagine all those amazing ball gowns that the ladies of the court used to wear.

Plaza de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Valencia, Spain
Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn, NY
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn Palace gardens, Vienna, Austria

Where to Dance in...
I like to take dance classes while I'm on the road and checking out new teachers, classes, and studios is quite fun! Especially when on the road for many weeks, a dance class or yoga class really grounds me and makes me feel at home.
If you want to take dance classes when you travel these are MY favorite places 

1) Dance On Us Studios - These studios has a a variety of freelance teaching all kinds of classes from Zumba to Classical Ballet to Street Dance. The location of these studios are right by Orchard Rd so its extremely central and easy to get to. 
I teach contemporary dance classes at these studios and private lessons as well. If you want to know more about my classes. Join my Facebook Group: Alaine's Contemporary Dance Classes

2) Goodman Arts Center - This arts centre houses Frontier Danceland, Dance Nucleus, and T.H.E. Dance Company all of which has workshops, classes, open company classes regularly. 

3) Dans Festival at Esplanade - Every year, the dans festival at the Esplanade hosts different visiting and local dance companies for performances in their theaters. In addition to the performances, there are a variety of workshops offered in the dance studio (stunning views of the marina bay), outdoor stage, and in the hall between the two large performance venues. 

The beautiful studio at Esplanade overlooking the Marina Bay

1) Henny Juriens Foundation at Chasse Studios - The classes are hosted at a refurbished church that is run by Chasse studios and offers daily high level dance classes for intermediate to advanced dancers. 

2) Chasse Dance Studios - For multi-level dance classes for children, youth, adults, I recommend checking out the class offerings of Chasse studios.

Chasse studios/ Henny Jurriens Foundation

1) Yantra Academy - The classes are taught in French but I really loved the lofted studio and they have a variety of classes available throughout the whole day. 

2) Ultima Vez and PARTS - I haven't actually been here but these two facilities are world-renowned in the contemporary dance world.

Yantra Academy

1) Sceneindgangen - It was quite the adventure to get to this studio. Located in Nørrebro district on a residential stretch and down a little alley. I was pleasantly surprised with the space. There are two large studios in this space and a beautiful lofted reception area. I really enjoyed taking the contemporary dance class here. Jenny Major is the owner of the studio and teaches contemporary classes here. It was one of the best classes I have taken in a long time. I hope to return and take classes with her again when I'm in Copenhagen.

A bit tricky to locate but so worth the adventure! Sceneindgangen

1) Rambert Dance Company - I was staying in Southbank on one of my trips to London and passed by a flyer for open dance classes at Rambert Dance Company. I ended up taking a class that evening and loved it! The classes are more casual and geared towards young professionals and former dancers so it isn't the usual pressure of being in a class with other advanced / professional dancers. I always make it a point to stop by and take a intermediate ballet and modern class when I'm in town because the studios are wonderful to dance in and the teachers are so lovely here. The modern dance style is a cross between classical modern and release technique with very punctuated and specific movements.

2) Greenwich Dance - The best thing to do to get over jetlag, especially if I wake up really early is to have light breakfast and coffee then head to dance class at Greenwich dance. The advanced / professional dance classes in the mornings here are taught by guest teachers. I usually end up feeling inspired to dance and to dance with other dancers is such a treat. Even though, I will sometimes leave feeling really sore. The classes remind me of my dancing days as a dancer in New York. There are also classes geared for non-dancers in the evenings and the dance space is in a large hall. I don't know if you noticed but the space in which I choose to dance in really matters.

The very large studio at Rambert Dance 

1) Chunky Move - I was a little excited to take classes at this company's space because I've seen some of their performances in the past and really enjoyed the movement. There are classes for the general public and for professional dancers throughout the week offered at their studio in the arts district of Melbourne. I was only in Melbourne for a few days so found a dance class to take that fit into my schedule. They seem to have a rotation in the teachers so check the website.

Chunky Move is in a really cool district with lots of galleries and performance venues

1) Sydney Dance Company - One of the most beautiful spaces I have ever danced in. The classes here are quite popular with the after work crowd so get there a bit early to secure a spot in class. I arrived really early for the class and had plenty of time to explore the grounds around the space. It is overlooking the harbor and if you walk along the pier around the building, you can see the Harbor Bridge. I ended up filming a short scene for Letters Project  here while I warmed up and waited for class to start.

Warming up early before class at Sydney Dance

This view! Just around the building at Sydney Dance

Dance is like breathing for me. Wherever I am in the world, if I have an outlet to dance and move, I am home. Home is not a place for me. It is the memories and moments of the past, present, and future. 
- Alaine Handa

Where am I dancing next? 
Koh Samui, Thailand! Come join me: August 9-13, 2017!
Social Zen Retreats curate retreats full of authenticity, creativity, and balance!


  1. How absolutely fun! Plus what a great way to stay active!! I would love to dance but I don't know picture worthy it would be, LOL! Love this!!

    1. :-) Thanks. I love meeting other professional dancers around the world because like networking, you never know who will be your future collaborator.

  2. Love this! I wish I had the courage like you to bust a move especially abroad!

    1. Oh, you can always dance anywhere! I have always had a habit of tap dancing while waiting in lines, waiting for the bus/train, especially if its cold... keeps me warm and something to do ;)

  3. What a fun idea to dance everywhere you go and take dance classes. I guess that is like some people who like to take food courses when visiting other countries. I like the postcard project you are doing! What a over all fun concept.

    1. I go on wine tastings as much as I can as well when I travel. (And search for the best places to eat ;) )

  4. I'm not much of a dancer, but I love this post. The idea is fabulous and the postcards add to the fun.

    1. Thanks! Yes, be on the lookout for the videos as they are posted!

  5. That's so cool!! I love to dance too! Although not any professional dance..

    1. As long as you enjoy it! :-) Just keep on dancing!

  6. Wow you have been and danced in some amazing places!! My legs don't work as well as I'd like so make the next dance for me 😙😙😙😙 your dancing around the world is inspiring xxxx