Sapphire Ballroom & Dance Center
Sapphire Dance News - March 2014

As we forge on through the rest of this winter, enjoy the spots of spring here and there, and gear up for all the fun things ahead of us (read below), join us this weekend for our monthly Dance Party, next weekend for more Carolina Shag in Pulaski, and many more dance opportunities in between.

1. Sam & Denise Miller, back in May! - read more

2. More Carolina Shag in Pulaski, Register by Mar 12- read more

3. Yoga in March - read more

4. 10th Anniversary Gala, July 26th - read more

5. 10 Years of Sapphire: A Short Stancill History - read more

Join us this Saturday, March 8 , for the Gimme-A-Break Dance Party, and give yourself a break from school, from the weather, from all that is ordinary! We'll start with a West Coast Swing lesson by Lane at 7:30 - get there on time if you're never tried this crazy fun, sassy dance full of breaks.

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1. Sam & Denise, back in May!

millersIf you have danced with Millers already, you know you are in store for quite a weekend...if not, then it’s time you experienced the awesomeness yourself. Sam and Denise Miller,, have an incredible way of presenting ideas to make dance the harmonious partnership and artful expression that it should be.

We have them here in C’burg the whole weekend: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 2, 3, and 4! They will be teaching workshops in Cha Cha, Night Club 2 Step, Country Two Step, Salsa, and West Coast Swing. We are also offering semi-private lessons in both Waltz and Argentine Tango just for advanced dancers. Private lessons are available throughout the weekend and time slots fill up fast, so reserve your spot today. Check our website for the schedule as well as pricing:

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2. More Carolina Shag in Pulaski

shagAfter finishing up four weeks of Carolina Shag at the Hensel Eckman YMCA in Pulaski,, we have not only been asked to come back, but to offer two classes this time. We are thrilled!

We are offering a Level 1 class for anyone interested in joining in, the folks who missed the first session, and any current students who want a review. In addition we are offering a Level 2 for the current class to continue learning. Whether or not you live in Pulaski, you are welcome to join this Shag hungry group starting March 14.

Level 1 Carolina Shag - no experience required!
        5:45 - 6:45 pm, March 14 - April 11 (skipping March 21)
Level 2 Carolina Shag - Level 1 or equivalent experience expected
        6:45 - 7:45 pm, March 14 - April 11 (skipping March 21)

The deadline to register is this Wednesday, March 12, so don't wait! Call the folks at the YMCA today: 540-980-3671

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3. Yoga in March

YogaBased on all the good things we have had to say about our Wednesday morning Yoga, it is probably no surprise that we are continuing in March!

If you have not met Jennifer, our beloved instructor, here are some of things she has been up to. Besides having extensive training and certifications in Physical Therapy, Ayurveda, and Pilates her Yoga experience includes….

* Certified 500-hour Viniyoga™ Teacher, American Viniyoga Institute
* Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with Anna Pittman
* Integrative Yoga Therapy
* Relax and Renew® Trainer (Restorative yoga teacher certification with Judith Lasater)
* Certified YogaKids Facilitator
* Completed the Yoga for the Special Child Training Program
* Member of the Yoga Alliance - 500 Hour Yoga Teacher
* Member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists

Jennifer brings her love of creative movement into her classes and helps the participants take what they are doing and learning into their daily lives, whether work or play. If you have questions about this class feel free to respond to this email or contact Jennifer directly at

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4. 10th Anniversary Gala, July 26th

It has been our honor to offer partner and social dance instruction and community-building dance events in our downtown Christiansburg studio for 10 years this summer, and we think this is reason to celebrate!

We hope you will join us by participating in our 10th Anniversary Gala Showcase and Dance Party on July 26. Students can show their love of dance to their friends, family, and other members of the dance community and then dance the night away.

While July seems far away, now is the time to begin preparing our demonstrations and routines. We would love to have all levels and styles of dance represented. This means that even if you are a beginner, you have something wonderful to add to the celebration.

We will be finalizing the details such as entry fees and time schedule as we get closer. But this is a nudge to talk to your instructor ASAP about being a part of this celebration of an amazing decade!

In the meanwhile keep reading below to hear a tale of a city girl from Richmond being swept off her feet and brought to Christiansburg to forever change the face of partner dancing in the NRV.

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5. 10 Years of Sapphire: A Short Stancill History

Sit back with me (Lane) while I tell you a story.

Linda-DailIt was a blustery day outside in February of 2000, but it was warm inside Dance Masters of Richmond, Va. That was because Dail Stancill had just been met with the warm smile of his future bride, Linda Burnette….

Okay, for real. Dail was living in Christiansburg but working in Richmond for VDOT and decided to pass his free time by finding a place to dance. Being from North Carolina, he had grown up dancing Carolina Shag and wanted to expand his dancing. He sought out a place to dance and found Dance Masters. Now enters Linda. Fate had it that she was his instructor that day for his first private lesson in Country 2 Step. Sparks flew (the good kind).

Skip ahead 2 months and they were engaged. Yup, you heard me right! Dail is a smart man. They married in November of 2000 and started their life together right here in Christiansburg. With Linda’s background in dance and love of teaching she had big plans. class at the stancill houseWith the help of Dail’s initiative, she began running classes out of the Christiansburg Recreation Center and the Blacksburg Community Center, four nights a week. She also began working on her MBA at Virginia Tech which she received in May of 2004. Once she and Dail put a dance floor in their house, she taught private lessons from home as well.

It wasn’t long before Linda had built up the momentum to start the studio. She invited some of the prominent dancers in the area for a round table discussion on what approach to take and what this area needed. She communicated her vision with them and rallied support. They even helped her settle on the name “Sapphire.” So with the encouragement of Dail and the backing of many dancers, including two dancers willing to teach with her (Dennis & Debbi), she opened the doors in July of 2004 and hosted her first social dance the 4th Saturday of that month. The same weekend we are now planning to celebrate this year!

Linda teaching - who's the blonde?Linda’s vision all along has been to provide a quality of instruction that she had not found anywhere else. She wanted students to feel comfortable no matter their age, budget, or whether they were single or attached. This meant looking for ways of teaching and formatting classes that make dance approachable to anyone. This also meant steering away from the traditional contract studio and allowing students flexibility in buying smaller amounts of dance lessons and giving more affordable options. She also felt it was important to stay up to date with current trends and techniques, seeking training from outside coaches whenever possible.

She started the studio with these goals and more in mind, imparted them to her staff and still today (10 years, 3 kids, and opening of another studio later) she strives to improve her relationship-centered approach to teaching and continues to better her own understanding and ability in dance. When I take a look around, I see these underlying intentions woven in all that goes on here.

Patti-DailAnd other people have noticed too. You will hear people talk about being struck by Sapphire’s desire for their students to actually learn, not just go through the motions...the desire for you to look AND feel good. Our students will sometimes express that they came through our doors in a bad mood but after dancing for a hour they have forgotten their worries. We also get surprised reactions on seeing so many age groups represented at our dances as well as the fun variety in music and styles of dance. Singles often show up expecting to feel out of place, but find that our community is full of singles and people are used to rotating partners and love dancing with new people. Because of all of this we frequently get people from out of town who are willing to drive because of the welcoming atmosphere and fun dancing.

Linda and LaneBut of course I am biased. Having worked with Linda for 8 years, there is a lot I could say about the values that Linda has built into the studio, her staff, our students, and the whole community. The only real way for you to know for sure is to come see it and experience it for yourself! And, you don’t have wait until our anniversary to be a part of this gem of a studio (pun intended), you can do it today!

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Sapphire Ballroom & Dance Center

30 W Main Street, Suite C, Christiansburg, VA  24073 - 540-382-8782