Sapphire Ballroom
Sapphire Ballroom News - June, 2019
Dancing through the Summer

Hello JuneMay was full of fun and adventure: a big thanks to everyone who danced with us at the downtown Christiansburg Wine and Artisans Festival, one of the three dance parties, or at any of the workshops held at the Studio this month. We are working on getting pictures up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so watch that social media in the next few weeks. Yes, May was lovely, but now we're ready for June.

After all that excitement, we are getting back to our usual, comfortable schedule in Blacksburg with a new session of group classes starting this Tuesday and Wednesday. The ever-popular Friday Night Beginner Workshops are still on track to liven up your summer weekends (especially the rainy ones!). Upper Level Mondays are expanding to Thursdays, just for the summer, so if you've been dancing awhile, be sure to check them out.

And don’t forget to get “in the groove” of summer with Night Groove Dance Party on Saturday, June 8.

In this issue:
Staying Cool when the Dancing is Hot
5 Current Songs Great for Dancing
International Rally West Coast Swing (IRWCS)

Skip to Coming Events.

Staying Cool when the Dancing is Hot

Burks and Linda dnacing at the Ice Cream SocialStaying cool when you're moving a lot is always challenging, especially when you are surrounded by lots of fellow dancers adding to the atmosphere. Dancing adds the extra challenge of trying to dress up and look nice when you go out, making the cooler clothing you might wear jogging inappropriate. So what can be done?

Your first line of defense is our air conditioning, which we kick into high gear to give it a head start when we expect the studio is going to heat up. Sorry for the chill when you get here, but you’ll thank us later in the evening. Meanwhile, you might want to bring a light sweater to wear until you get warmed up.

Now - things that you can do to stay cool while dishing out your hottest moves.

Water Bottles1 Stay hydrated. To help with this, you might want to bring your own water bottle. Having your favorite water bottle handy will make it easier to identify which water is yours and help us save cups, thereby helping the environment as well.

snacks2 Watch what you eat. Although those lemon bars and chocolate chip cookies are truly delectable, snacking on fruits and veggies will actually help lower your body temperature.

3 Dress for the Heat. In some way this seems obvious, but have you thought of wearing athletic clothing to dance in? Golf pants, “activewear” polo shirts, and moisture wicking tops and dresses all come in styles that would look right at home on the dance floor.

Fans of Fans4 Bring a fan. Old fashioned, yes. Wonderful on a hot evening? Oh heck yes. It only takes a few minutes to get the motion down pat (it’s all in the wrist). Before you know it, you’ll have your own, private air conditioning unit. Just remember to put it down before you start dancing.

Do you have a favorite technique for staying cool? Let us know! Comment on our Facebook page.

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5 Current Songs Great for Dancing

It’s common to think you need special music for ballroom dancing. While some songs do work better than others, you can definitely dance to the music you listen to! This month we are highlighting current, popular music. Next month might be about 1960’s music, or country music. Have a vote? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Here are five songs you are likely to hear on the radio this afternoon, what to dance to each one, and why we like it.

Maroon 5 Girls Like You by Maroon 5 - Rumba
With its steady, easy-to-hear beat, this song is practically made for dancing. The slow pace and heavy hitting “3” make it a great pick for American Rumba.
Panic! At the Disco High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco - Hustle or Tango
Again, we have an easy beat, but this time with more of a march feel. There are few highs or lows in this song’s rhythm, making it a good match for Hustle, but that march feeling also makes it a fun and light-hearted Tango. (Is a light-hearted Tango even a thing? I guess it is. )
Marshmello Happier by Marshmello - West Coast Swing/Slow Cha Cha
Here we have another song with a dual dance identity. The slightly more complex rhythms of Happier suit the complex steps of West Coast Swing and Cha Cha. The speed makes both selections on the slower end of the spectrum.
Ed Sheeran Perfect by Ed Sheeran - Nightclub 2-Step
Ed Sheeran is almost annoyingly good at writing love songs and songs we love dancing to. And now he has accomplished both in one lovely song. The video is downright adorable too, so maybe you should go watch it.
Ally Brooke Low Key by Ally Brooke - Cha Cha
The obvious Latin influence of Ally Brooke’s new release cries out for some saucy hip action. Although you could mellow it out and make this song work for a Rumba, Cha Cha is really the best option. But, if you go looking on iTunes, you will find a faster version perfect for you Salsa dancers.

Want more song ideas? Check out Sapphire’s YouTube channel. We’re building a whole library of practice songs. It’s a work in progress, so be sure to check back often!

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International Rally West Coast Swing (IRWCS)

2018 International WCS Rally performed at SapphireYou’ve heard of a flash mob, yes? It’s a surprise dance choreographed in secret and then performed by a group of people somewhere very public. People stop their shopping or evening commute, pull out their camera phones and enjoy a little entertainment. The performers frequently get to “say” something like “come to our play,” “visit your local farmers’ market,” or just “life should be fun.”

Well, since 2014, a couple in Lyon, France, has been choreographing a flash mob routine every summer specifically for West Coast Swing dancers (aka - Westies). Virginie & Olivier Massart choose the music and provide the moves for people around the world to learn and then dance on the same day. Last year, they changed from a flash mob to a “Rally” feeling like the surprise/secret part of the flash mob really was not what they cared about. Instead, as Olivier says in his introduction to the 2018 Rally, it’s “where everybody meets and dances together around the world on the same day.”

This summer, we are scheduling a series of workshops that will teach you their choreography so that we can perform it with the rest of the world on Saturday, Sept 7. Whether or not you want to perform, the routine has a lot of really cute and usable material to add to your WCS repertoire. The workshops will be on Mondays at 8:00pm in the Sapphire Studio (Christiansburg). The goal is to make each workshop as “stand-alone” as possible so that you can come to the ones that suit your schedule. More details are available at

Some YouTube links for your viewing pleasure:
Virginie and Olivier dancing together
The International Flashmob from 2016
The first year the WCS Flashmob was a thing (2014)

And their Facebook Page.

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Coming Events:

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


Friday Night Beginner Workshops (CTAM) - every Friday this month, 7:00pm
Never danced before? Perfect! Come out this Friday and learn the basics of two different dance styles with no commitment. No partner or previous experience needed.

Upper Level

Salsa Workshop - Monday, June 3, 7:00 PM
What do you get when you add an egg-breaker spin to your Salsa? Some really tasty variations! Level 2 Salsa is a prerequisite.

Upper Level

Waltz Workshop - Monday, June 3, 8:00 PM
Will you go to prom with us? How about on a promenade? Level 2 Waltz prerequisite.

Upper Level

Level 1 Hustle - Tuesdays, starting June 4, 6:15PM
Get your sequined shirts out and turn that mirrorball on! Come learn the basics and some foundations of this iconic dance. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Level 1 Nightclub 2-Step - Tuesdays, starting June 4, 7:15PM
Looking for a slow dance that you can do at weddings and parties? This dance is for you! Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Level 3 Tango - Wednesdays, starting June 5, 6:15PM
Level 2 or equivalent experience required. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Level 1 Waltz - Wednesdays, starting June 5, 7:15PM
Ever wondered what it would be like to dance like a classic romantic movie star? Try this class out! Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Level 1 Bachata - Wednesdays, starting June 5, 8:15PM
Do you enjoy a nice, laid back dance with a Latin flair? Give this dance a try. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Cha Cha Workshop - Thursday, June 6, 7:00PM
Get ready to step up your Cha Cha in this workshop. Level 2 prerequisite.

Group Classes

Wedding Series: SWING - Saturdays starting June 8, 10:30am
These group classes are tailor-made for couples, those getting married and those that just like dancing together!

Dance Party

Night Groove Dance Party - Saturday, June 8, 7:30pm
Get down and groovy while you dance the night away with us. Nightclub 2-Step lesson at 7:30.

Upper Level

Bolero Workshop - Monday, June 10, 7:00PM
Re-exam some of the “Cool Moves” from the recent Bolero classes. Level 2 Bolero prerequisite.

Upper Level

West Coast Swing Workshop - Monday, June 10, 8:00PM
Let’s talk technique, turning technique! Level 2 West Coast Swing prerequisite.

Upper Level

Rumba Workshop - Monday, June 17, 7:00pm
Join us for an adventurous lesson in Rumba. Level 2 Rumba prerequisite.

Upper Level

International West Coast Swing Rally - Mondays, June 17, 8:00pm
Olivier and Virginie have done it again! Come and join us as we learn the choreography for IRWCS 2019. This is a series of 8 workshops - come to any that you can! Level 2 West Coast Swing prerequisite.

Upper Level

Country Two-Step Workshop - Thursday, June 20, 7:00PM
Get ready to step outside your comfort zone with this fast moving dance. Level 2 prerequisite.

Upper Level

Hustle Workshop - Monday, June 24, 7:00pm
Head over to the Boogie Wonderland. Level 2 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