Sapphire Ballroom
Sapphire Ballroom News - April, 2019
Let us Explain...

Inigo Montoya "Splains"We feel like we have some explaining to do.

With all the fun things we have in store for you this month including Group Classes (new sessions starting this week in Blacksburg and Christiansburg!), new kinds of group classes on the schedule, and a new Dirty Dancing Dance Party, we thought we'd take a minute and explain what these new classes are, how they are different, and why we still need the traditional classes.

In addition to our traditional, fun, subject-based dance classes (held mostly at the Blacksburg Community Center), you will find that we have added more “Sweetheart” classes, a couples-only format new to Sapphire. These classes are for those of you who want to dance exclusively with your sweetheart which begs the question... can you do that in other classes and why would you ever want to do anything else? Read on to delve into the ins and outs of changing partners (or not) in our classes.

You've probably noticed our “Dirty Dancing” Dance Party… and I bet you all have the soundtrack playing in your head as you think about it. It’s a dance party you don’t want to miss and we want to tell you all about our special relationship with Dirty Dancing and the location where it was filmed - Mountain Lake Lodge - below.

Spring time is so full of promise and possibility. We hope you will ride that wave of good vibes onto our dance floor soon. Check out our calendar of events to see beginner classes starting on Tuesday and Wednesday, Upper Level Workshops and classes, social dance opportunities, and all your choices on how to get down and boogie this month!

Skip to Coming Events.

To rotate or not to rotate… that is the question

Rotating partners in a group class is always different depending on the class. The class's size, lead-follow ratio, the instructor, sense of community, and your personal preference all contribute to the decision, so it can seem kinda complicated. In all Sapphire classes and workshops (except the Sweetheart classes), the instructor will encourage rotation and yet always make it optional because of a few things. As teachers we love to see dancers making friends and building a heathly, supportive dance community; to help our students improve and build their skill level; and to see everyone having fun.

Friday Night Beginner WorkshopFrom a sense of community standpoint, making our classes and Dance Parties inclusive, welcoming, and productive spaces for beginners, singles, and groups is a top priority at Sapphire. The best way to include new people (singles or couples) in the community, and the best way to join a dance community, is to change partners freely and frequently. None of our dance lessons get into the kind of steaminess you might see pros engage in on TV, so dancing with someone you've never met should not make you blush.

Dancing at Steppi'n' OutFrom a skill-improvement standpoint, it depends on your goal as to whether or not you choose to rotate. But if you have a regular partner, wouldn't sticking together be your best bet for success? No, not really. If you are looking to work on a routine, or get ready for an event (like a wedding!), then staying with your partner DOES make sense to get as much time together as possible. But, if you are looking to work on being a better dancer, understand your patterns more fully, improve your leading or following, and be able to improvise and adjust on the dance floor, then you are missing out if you don’t rotate partners. You can’t help but fall into routines and habits (not necessarily good ones!) by always dancing with the same person. Dancing with someone new can really give you insight and feedback on what you are doing. You also get the experience of dancing with people at different points in their dancing journey than you, which helps you become a more versatile dancer.

Blacksburg Group ClassFrom a fun standpoint, meeting new people and making dance friends is always fun. When you are on a date, feeling like you're coming down with a cold, or feeling like you just need to dance with your special someone: these are all exceptions and we totally get that.

Even though changing partners is encouraged for all these reasons, rotating is NEVER required in our classes. And, rotating once does not obligate you to rotate the entire lesson, all the classes in the session, or vice-versa. The choice is yours and you can change your mind as many times as you want. Liberating, isn't it?!

Mike-LindaSo, you can probably see now how Sweetheart Classes are different from the Friday Beginner Workshops or Blacksburg Group Classes. Sweetheart classes are for couples who are preparing for an event or want a class where rotation will not come up much, if it all. If this is the type of class that interests you, check out our Summer Sweetheart Class, which will feature Carolina Shag and Rumba... perfect for that summer romance! Also, we have three different Sweetheart classes geared towards wedding couples, but any couple can join.

If you are still feeling unsure about this whole rotation thing, you can always chat with your instructor before class to let them know your preferences and/or concerns. We are here to help you feel comfortable and have a blast while learning to dance!

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“Dirty Dancing” Dance Party - Saturday, April 13

Dirty Dancing Rumba performance“It was the summer of 1963...”

Actually, it's been every summer since 2006...

Sapphire's Dirty Dancing Crew - it changes every year, but they are always Debbi's Kids...Dancers and instructors from Sapphire get to travel up to Mountain Lake Lodge to teach and entertain the guests at the Dirty Dancing themed weekends. We are there Friday evening and all day Saturday, 3-5 times a year. We teach group classes and private lessons, dance with the guests (and each other), and perform a ballroom-style montage to music from the movie. It's exhilerating, exhausting, and soooo much fun. If you are looking for a great weekend full of nostalgia, dancing, and all the other fun activities Mountain Lake has to offer, you should definitely check it out. There is never a dull moment and the music from that era never gets old.

Chris Teaching at Dirty Dancing Weekend So, after being part of the Dirty Dancing legacy for years, we have decided to bring a little bit of that to you for our April Dance Party!

On Saturday, April 13, starting at 7:30, start the evening with a Single Time Swing lesson, easy peasy to start, and crazy cool by the end. Single Time Swing is the dance that best fits most of the music on the soundtrack (which of course we will be playing). We will pull out other oldies but goodies that have that same “summer romance” vibe. We will share a few numbers from our performance at Mountain Lake (it's fun for you and helps us to practice!); many of you long-timers will recognize choreography from our classes and workshops. I bet you will be quoting the movie and re-enacting scenes before the night is over. Don’t worry, we have plenty of corners for Baby to sit in. Yes, there will be watermelon.

Dirty Dancing Dance PartyIf you enjoy that sort of thing, it would be totally awesome for people to dress as someone from the move: not only Baby and Johnny, but Lisa (the sister), Penny, Billy (aka “Cuz”), the Schumacher's, Max or Neil Kellerman, Vivian… they all had their own look for you to imitate.

So come out and celebrate one of the most iconic dance movies with us! Are you ready to... wait for it... “Have the time of your life?”

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Calendar Graphic

Coming Events:

Events are hosted at the Sapphire Studio on Main Street in Christiansburg unless specified otherwise.


Friday Night Beginner Workshops (CTAM) - every Friday this month, 7:00pm
Start your weekend off with a unique and fun expereince. No partner or previous experience needed.

Upper Level

American Tango Workshop - Monday, April 1, 7:00 PM
Give your Tango even more flair with this exciting workshop. Level 2 prerequisite.

Upper Level

East Coast Swing Workshop - Monday, April 1, 8:00 PM
Find new ways to bop with your baby with the big daddy of swing styles. East Coast Swing Level 2 prerequisite.

Group Classes

Level 1 Hustle - Tuesdays starting April 2, 6:15pm
Come out and add another swing style dance to your dance repertoire! Taught at Blacksburg Community Center.

Group Classes

Level 3 Swing - Tuesdays starting April 2, 7:15pm
Ready to step up your Swing knowledge? This is the class for you. We’ll be learning more intricate and advanced patterns. Knowledge of Level 2 Swing required. Taught at Blacksburg Community Center.

Group Classes

Level 2 American Tango - Wednesdays starting April 3, 6:15pm
Taking the drama up to Oscar level. Taught at Blacksburg Community Center.

Group Classes

Level 1 Carolina Shag - Wednesdays starting April 3, 7:15pm
This dance is like a day at the beach in dance form! Taught at Blacksburg Community Center.

Group Classes

Salsa Spins - Wednesdays starting April 3, 8:15pm
Spice things up in your Salsa with some fun spins! No chips required. Taught at Blacksburg Community Center. Level 1 Salsa prerequisite.

Group Classes

Sweetheart Class: The Wedding Series - Saturdays starting April 6, 10:30am
Haven’t decided on a song or a style to dance to for your wedding? That’s okay! These group classes are tailor made for couples getting ready for their first dance. We’ll be kicking off this series with Ballroom styles like Waltz or Foxtrot.

Upper Level

Level 2+ Bolero - Mondays starting April 8, 7pm
Didn’t get enough of the Level 1 Bolero? Then this class is for you; we’ll be working on more Bolero technique and "cool moves" in this four week class. Level 1 Bolero required.

Upper Level

Charleston Workshop - Monday, April 8, 8pm
This class is the bee’s knees! Level 2 Swing required.

Dance Party

Dirty Dancing Dance Party - Saturday, April 13, 7:30pm
It’s time to dust off your Keds and get those skirts swinging! We’ll start the evening off with a Single Time Swing lesson and then rock the night away with songs from the 60’s. Dressing to theme is always appreciated but not required.

Upper Level

Waltz Workshop - Monday, April 15, 8pm  
Bring out your inner Fred Astaire and glide on down to this Waltz workshop. Level 2 Waltz prerequisite.

Upper Level

West Coast Swing Workshop - Monday, April 22, 8pm
Who said too much of a good thing is bad? Come and join us as we take another look at a studio favorite! Level 2 West Coast Swing prerequisite.

Upper Level

Nightclub 2-Step Workshop - Monday, April 29, 8 pm
Swing and sway the Nightclub 2-Step way! Level 2 Nightclub 2-Step prerequisite.


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Thanks for reading; we hope you found something you liked. Until we see you again, happy dancing!

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Sapphire Ballroom & Dance Center

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