Sapphire Ballroom
Sapphire Dance News - May 2016

Did you know that the United Kingdom celebrates the month of May as National Smile Month? We think that’s awesome... and appropriate! Everyone is smiling around here having just come off an awesome weekend with Sam & Denise Miller, anticipating a really fun (and brand new to Sapphire) dance party this weekend, and gearing up for Summer classes. Come dance with us… and smile! (The queen says to.)

Read below to see all the grin-worthy dancing happening this month:

Queen Elizabeth, smiling       
  1. Black and White Ball, this Saturday, May 14 - read more

  2. Tango and Bachata featured in the Upper Level Monday line-up - read more

  3. Summer Sampler Intro's FREE! - read more

  4. High Powered West Coast Swing, Take Two! - read more

  5. Teen Dance Camp: Week #1 starts June 6 - read more

  6. Friends of Sapphire: Latin Vinyl Night and Fundraiser for Ecuador - read more

  7. Returning to the basics: a sign you're getting good. - read more


Calendar GraphicDates to remember:

Lots coming up - get out your calendar and take some notes!

Monday, May 9 - Bachata joins Upper Level Mondays
Wednesday, May 11- Latin Vinyl Night and Fundraiser for Ecuador
Saturday, May 14 - Sapphire's first ever Black and White Ball
Wedensday, May 25 - Summer Sampler: Free Intro Lesson
Friday, May 27 - CTAM Beginner Workshop canceled
Saturday, June 11 - Summer Sizzle Dance Party with Salsa Lesson
Monday, June 6 - Summer Dance Camp for Teens begins
Monday, June 6 - High Power West Coast Swing begins
Tuesday & Wednesday, June 7 & 8 - Group Classes begin in Blacksburg
Monday, June 27 -another session of Summer Dance Camp for Teens begins

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1 - Black and White Ball, this Saturday, May 14

Black and White BallFor our May dance party, Sapphire is throwing a Black and White Ball.

“What is a Black and White Ball?” you might wonder. Well, according to Wikipedia, it was a masquerade ball thrown by Truman Capote on November 28, 1966, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City and commonly cited as pinnacle event of New York’s social history. Since then, it has been recreated time and time again, focusing on themes of dressy, black, white, or the combination of the two. Pretty cool, huh!

Want to dress up like the high society of New York in the sixties and dance the night away? Even if you don’t feel ready for the Plaza, throw on your fanciest black and white, whatever it may be, and join Lane for a high-class Bolero lesson at 7:30. You'll feel rich and famous….rich in friends and famous on the dance floor. : )

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2 - Tango and Bachata featured in the Upper Level Monday line-up

ULMondaysWhere do you go if you want a one-night blast of information, some exciting patterns, and thoughtful technique in your favorite dance style? Sapphire Ballroom on Monday nights of course!

Three things that are always the same about Monday night workshops: they are always upper level (Level 2-3 and up, and up), they are always designed to stand alone so you can come for just one night, and they are always awesome. What doesn't stay the same? The topic!

For May you will see Tango and Bachata at the 7pm hour. It will stand beside the 4 week Viennese Waltz that is going on at 8pm. The line-up for June is more varied, including romantic Rumba, smooth and flexible Fox Trot, sassy Salsa, and elegant Waltz. Read below to see what 4-week class will accompany the June workshops. I will give you a hint….it starts with West and ends with Swing.

Find the full schedule at or pick up an Upper Level Mondays rack card from the studio.

Take note that we will not be having class on May 30th due to Memorial Day!

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3 - Summer Sampler Intro's FREE!

Blacksburg group classes are on vacation for May. It’s our tradition to take a break during May to let everyone celebrate graduations, moms, the beginning of gardening season, and all the other transitions that seem to collect in this merry, merry month.

Summer SamplerBut June is just a few weeks away, and so are Summer Group Classes. We will be kicking off the summer session on Wednesday, May 25, with the ever-fun Summer Sampler, a FREE kick-off/introduction/Q&A session for Blacksburg Group Classes.

It’s a relaxed, no-commitment evening where you can ask questions (is Carolina Shag for me?), see dance styles (wow, Salsa looks like fun), and get a taste of what a class is like (what do you know, I can Polka!). The Sampler is also a great chance for regulars to join in the fun and welcome the new kids. Everyone should come, if only to take advantage of the $8 per class discount available to anyone who signs up for a class that night. - Put it on your calendar and invite your friends!

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4 - High Powered West Coast Swing, Take Two!

The West Coast Swing class in April had such a good time that we are re-creating the “POWER” in June. This will be another four weeks full of patterns and concepts to add some more juice to your Swing dancing. You do not need to have attended the first class to join this one... we just ask for you to be comfortable with the basic sugar push, left and right side pass, tuck turn, and whip. This class is intended to break you out of your “same old” sequences and get you charged up with creativity and flash on the dance floor!

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5 - Teen Dance Camp: Week #1 starts June 6

Junior Ballroom @ Sapphire
Our first Teen Dance Camp is right around the corner and we are so excited!

Jr Ballroom KidsJunior Ballroom @ Sapphire, the teens-oriented program of classes, is leaving the studio for the summer and moving to the Blacksburg Community Center. Sapphire Staff will be teaching three different weeks of dance camps for 12-18 year-olds, each teaching 3-5 dance styles. Sign your kid up to learn some cool dances as well as practice some social graces.

The first week of camp starts the first week of June! June 6 - 10, 4:30-6:00pm, Lane will be teaching Carolina Shag, Salsa, and Tango…a nice variety of really popular dance styles. By Friday the teens will be ready to turn loose and use what they’ve been learning with an informal dance party that parents and friends are welcome to join.

Jr Ballroom SmilesThe second week will be June 27-July 1, and we don’t know what styles yet. Have ideas? We’d love to hear them!

Details are available at

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6 - Friends of Sapphire: Latin Vinyl Night and Fundraiser for Ecuador - Wednesday, May 11

In light of the recent earthquake in Ecuador, there will be a Salsa Night Wednesday, May 11, at Rising Silo Brewery to raise support for the town of Canoa, Ecuador.

Latin Music will be provided by SPARK ARRESTER of Boogieburg Recordings. Playing a mix of Vinyl from the surrounding countries of Ecuador including Colombia and Peru, with Latin beats of Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and more!

There will be an intro to Salsa lesson by Sapphire’s Lane Mattox at 7:30 with the dancing and music following at 8. The cost of the event is a sliding scale donation of $10-$20 dollars. All proceeds will go directly to a campaign raising money for the town of Canoa.
Food will be available for a donation.

Canoa, a small coastal town, was 90% destroyed by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in Ecuador recently. Due to its small population, sufficient aid might not reach the area. Several campaigns have been started to raise money specifically for Canoa. For more information on the campaign that this fundraiser will be supporting visit:

Come enjoy an evening of Vinyl Latin beats, groovy salsa dancing, tasty fare and local brews while supporting the country of Ecuador.

More information available at

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7 - Returning to the basics: a sure sign you're getting good.

If you have been dancing for any amount time, you may have noticed the cyclical nature of learning. You start with the basics then learn new patterns and then continue to more and more complicated sequences and then… Bam! You are back working on your basic.

If you haven’t experienced this yet, you should probably prepare for it. : )

Oh no! Not again!It can feel alarming and seem like you are back tracking, but you should actually consider it to be the exact opposite! Being able to go back to your basics and refine them means you're beginning to understand your dance on a new level. From the perspective of you instructor you are moving forward.

While it is always exciting to learn a new pattern - and it’s certainly important to have nice variety - if you don’t continue to improve upon your foundations, you may find that those really cool patterns you are trying never quite feel right on the social floor.

When troubleshooting extra challenging patterns with students, we usually find that there is something off with the frame, connection, energy, etc, that is causing the issue. And end up returning the foundations to make the improvements necessary to support the next level. Yes, it’s humbling to return to the basics, (we go through the same process ourselves all the time), but making your foundation more solid allows you to absorb You Rocknew moves, harder moves, more quickly. Sounds great, right!

So, when you find yourself going back to that box step, sugar push, walking step, what-have-you...rejoice! You’re on the path to dancing with more style, musicality, and awareness than ever before! Patterns are for fun. The technique is where it gets real.

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Sapphire Ballroom & Dance Center

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