Life & Style

Dance For Fun

Casual, drop-in dance classes in an inclusive, supportive, and fun environment

As we navigate adulthood, we often find ourselves reminiscing about those hobbies and sports we enjoyed as kids. We commonly drop them as we grow older, even though they bring us so much joy.

Enter Dance For Fun, a Newcastle-based casual, drop-in dance studio where adults can rediscover the joy of movement.

dance for fun newcastle

Dance For Fun is all about exactly what its name suggests – dancing purely for the fun of it. There’s no end-of-year concert, no eisteddfods, no costumes, and no lock-in memberships – it’s simply a space to unwind, express yourself, and most importantly, have fun.

Founder Kahli Saunders created Dance For Fun back in 2018, when she and two friends got together, hired a hall, and danced because they missed the art form.

dance for fun newcastle
Dance For Fun founder Kahli Saunders

Fast forward to 2024, and Dance For Fun is a fully-fledged professional dance studio, offering multiple classes a week across a range of styles taught by both Kahli and choreographer Maria Karmaniolos.

dance for fun newcastle
Dance For Fun choreographer and teacher Maria Karmaniolos

Offering contemporary, commercial, hip hop, heels, and Broadway jazz, as well as private lessons, wedding dances, hens parties, and workshops, there’s a style of dance for everyone to enjoy. The routines change up fortnightly, so you get the chance to learn plenty of fresh choreography. Plus, Kahli often brings in guest choreographers from other cities and runs holiday masterclasses which are a great opportunity to try something new and finesse your skills.

For Kahli, Dance For Fun is more than a place to learn dance routines – it’s an inclusive, supportive space for people from all walks of life.

“The philosophy behind the business from day one has always been making sure everyone feels like a valued part of our community,” Kahli said.

dance for fun newcastle

“There’s so many things that make dancing a hard thing to commit to, and for me, my focus is making everyone realise that at the end of the day we’re just dancing, we’re just enjoying movement, whether we’re at a professional skill level or not – everyone can enjoy dance or movement in some form. I want everyone to feel like they can do it and can be a part of the artistry.”

After training and working professionally in Sydney, Maria noticed Dance For Fun on social media and wanted to check it out for herself.

dance for fun newcastle

“I moved back home and began taking classes – I loved the environment Kahli facilitated and wanted to become a part of it,” Maria said.

“Dance For Fun revolutionised the dance scene in Newcastle and Kahli is truly a pioneer for this community, offering dance styles and a space that was not available to Newcastle dancers before.”

dance for fun newcastle

Dance For Fun isn’t just for people who have danced before – beginners are always welcomed and supported at the studio, with a dedicated beginners commercial class running every Wednesday. 

Kahli knows trying dance for the first time can feel intimidating, but encourages people to book in for a class and give it a go.

“At the end of the day, the hardest part is getting you to book in and walk through the door. Once you make it through that point, then we have your back from there.”

dance for fun newcastle

Chatting to Kahli had me thinking about my own experience as a dancer returning to dance as an adult. As someone who danced for my entire childhood and stopped in my teens, I felt the pull to return in my mid-twenties and stumbled upon Dance For Fun when I was searching for a studio.

In each class, everyone cheers each other on and has a blast, regardless of their dance experience. It’s a place to let go of the stressors in your life, and just spend an hour getting sweaty, laughing, and learning – Kahli says it’s a “form of mindfulness.”

dance for fun newcastle

“I don’t care if you don’t get the choreography amazingly. It looks perfect on Instagram but there’s a lot of imperfections in class, and I don’t mean that as a negative thing – but we make mistakes, and it’s okay to make mistakes,” she said.

Whether you're a seasoned dancer or taking your first steps onto the floor, at Dance For Fun, everyone can move, learn, and grow together.

Dance For Fun