Dance workouts at Pony Sweat are not about perfection. They’re about moving your body to the music in a way that feels good. | Image by Pony Sweat

The best dance workout in L.A. is in Glassell Park, and that’s just one of NELA’s dance offerings

2022 Arts & Culture Business Editions Health & Fitness More News September

By T.A. Hendrickson

When the Los Angeles Times went looking for the best dance workouts in L.A., it found Pony Sweat in Glassell Park. Described by its founder Emilia Richeson-Valiente as “fiercely noncompetitive,” the twice weekly workout won raves from the Times for its great play list “designed to help you let go of any idea of perfection and simply move your body in a way that feels good.” Each month, songs and steps repeat, so regulars easily get lost in the music while newcomers can follow along or invent their own moves.

Pony Sweat classes are held at 10 a.m. every Wednesday and at 12:15 pm Saturdays at Live Arts Los Angeles (LALA), a former warehouse in Glassell Park that has been transformed into a spacious and inviting dance and performance space.  (LALA is located at 4210 Panamint Street (off of Eagle Rock Blvd, just south of El Paso Dr.) |Suggested donation for a Pony Sweat class is $18, though a sliding scale of $10 to $25 is available and no one is turned away for lack of money. Learn more and register here.

The spacious Studio 1 at Live Arts Los Angeles (LALA) in Glassell Park | Image by LALA

LALA is also the venue for a variety of dance classes for dancers of all levels, including beginners. To name just a few: There’s Basic/Elementary Ballet for adults | Wednesdays | 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. | $15, taught by Helen Nasillski, the director and owner of the Silver Lake Ballet School. For more info, go to or email Helen at mshelen@silverlakeballetschoolcom.  Another option, on Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., is “Ritual,” a class of contemporary/lyrical movements taught by professional choreographer Shannon Janet Smith. Ritual is open level, meaning that all levels are welcome but having some technique is a plus. | $15. | For more information, contact:

You can dance and party for free most Fridays and Saturdays at Zebulon in Elysian Valley starting at 10 p.m. Dance parties this month include Reverberation Radio DJ Night (Sept. 16), Dance Party with DJ Ryan Sawyer (Sept. 23),  and Queerspace: Free Dance Party with Aura t-09, Noise PupSevyn and Gloworm (Sept 24).


T.A. Hendrickson
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.