Sapphire Ballroom
Sapphire Ballroom News - July, 2019
Take your dancing with you

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Hello JuneWell, summer is officially here and with it all the fun activities of the season. Here at Sapphire, our summer is full of couples getting ready for their wedding dances, preparing for our 15th birthday next month, starting to make plans for the fall, and of course, lots of classes. (If you know someone getting married soon, dance lessons make a great, creative gift. Just sayin'.)

This summer, as you head to the beach, take in an outdoor movie, or have a drink on the deck, remember that dancing can go with you. All it takes is a bit of music, comfy shoes, and some adventurous friends.

In this issue:
Super secrets to asking someone to dance
Dancing in the Park
Wow, I can dance to that?!

Skip to Upcoming classes, workshops, and parties for July.

Super secrets to asking someone to dance

Asking is the hardest partI spent the day yesterday asking people to dance. Lots of people. All day long, people I had never met before. It really drained my social battery. Yet, I did it and they almost all said yes. So, what’s the secret? Here are my tricks to asking people to dance and getting a “yes” in return:

1. Look like you are already having fun. I bounce and groove across the dance floor on the way to my intended partner, smiling the whole way. I make sure not to sneak up on them, giving them plenty of time to witness my antics before I get to ask for my dance. Now, this may sound like a uniquely “me” thing; I am something of a goofball. But I have watched several other dancers employ the same tactics: men and women who are clearly enjoying themselves and the music, making their way to their next partner. Invariably, the most enthusiastic people get the best responses. But even if you’re more serious than silly, you can show how much you are enjoying yourself by tapping your fingers and nodding your head while walking over.




2. Once I get to my soon-to-be partner, I make eye contact, raise an eyebrow, and extend my hand, still smiling the whole time. Lots of times, I find the music is loud enough that non-verbal communication is actually better, especially if one of us is sitting. Once they take my hand, I lead them to a nearby spot on the dancefloor and begin. If they are with a spouse or significant other, I try to include them in the fun by making eye contact and smiling at them whenever I can.

3. Sometimes it takes some urging. Especially if you are at an event where people might consider themselves “non-dancers.” Reassure them that you don’t care if they know what they are doing or not, you just want to enjoy a song with them.

4. Know when No is No. There are plenty of good reasons why a person may not want to dance with you - they need to sit down, have already been asked to dance, have on bad shoes, etc. Just give them a pat on the arm and say “No worries. Let me know if you change your mind.” That lets them know that you really don’t hold their response against them, which will generally make them more comfortable and more likely to say yes the next time.

A few other things to consider:
If you’re at a dance party alone and just want to dance with someone, anyone, a good place to start is with a host, teacher, greeter. If they are unavailable, they can usually point out another good candidate.

If you are deliberately seeking out the wall-flowers (good for you! Thank you for helping to build our dance community), you might have more of a challenge ahead of you. But those shrinking violets are worth seeking out and inviting, even if they are too shy to try dancing with you at first.

There you go. Those are my secrets. Now go out and ask the gal or fella to dance. You have a the chance to have a lot of fun and so little to lose.

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Dancing in the Park

It’s summertime and the outdoor festivals and concerts are all around us. Steppin’ Out, Summer Solstice Fest, Fridays on the Lawn, Wilderness Trail Festival: they all provide a fun opportunity for dancing, but not on the best dance floor. Sidewalks and grassy areas are not a dancer’s friend, but when the music is just so good, you gotta dance, right?

So here are some tips for getting your groove on outdoors and not regretting it later.

1. Come prepared with shoes that attach around your ankle. Keds, Tivas, any kind of loafer or sandal that secures to your ankle or around your heel will work. Flip flops will fall off, leaving your poor skin exposed to the rough sidewalk, which can literally tear your skin off.

2. Watch your sunglasses/purse. Both tend to go flying while you are dancing. Stick your glasses in a pocket and secure your purse as close to your body as possible to avoid whacking your partner.

3. Choose your dance style wisely for the crowd. Salsa, Swing, Rumba, and Hustle lend themselves well to crowded spaces. Dances like Fox Trot, Cha Cha, and Nightclub take up more space and sometimes move unpredictably to your neighbors.

4. Keep your expectations realistic. You and your partner will not turn as fast as you would on a smooth dance floor. Skip that double spin and acknowledge that you’re only going to do slow-moving material for this song. That’s ok, you’re still dancing.

So go on and get funky. Enjoy the beautiful imperfection of dancing in the park.

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Feet on the Street
Feet on the Street
Feet on the Street
Feet on the Street


Wow, I can dance to that?!

In My LifeThe other day a wedding couple was practicing at the studio and In My Life by the Beatles came on for a Rumba. He sang every line to his soon-to-be wife, who had never heard it before. It was the sweetest thing to watch. Afterwards, he said, “It never occurred to me that I could dance to that song.” And that, right there, is the theme for this article.

Last month, we gave you a sampling of current songs that make great dance music. This month, we’re diving into the past, looking at songs we’ve known for ages and now know they make great dance tunes. Sapphire students and staff contributed their stories and song ideas, giving a great variety of songs from our pasts.

Houston Houston by the Gatlin Brothers

Carol, who is always asking for music from at least 2000 or later, came up with this song as soon as I asked for her input. “Houston” is a great Country Two-Step from 1984. But, she said, “no one will know that song anyway.”
All I Have to do is Dream All I Have To Do Is Dream by the Everly Brothers

When asked, Caitlin said her mom always played Everly Brothers and Elvis in her car whenever they went to pick up her brother from school. Her mom would always have some sort of candy for him (irrelevant, but I always thought it was cute) and they would listen to the music all the way home. This song makes a good Rumba or a relaxed Hustle, but you might have to sing along as you dance.
Sunshine of my Life You Are the Sunshine Of My Life by Stevie Wonder

Chip piped up with this song right away. He says, “I danced with my daughter to Sunshine of My Life at her wedding. You can’t find a more precious song.” Turns out it’s a lovely, slightly fast Rumba.
Songs About Rain Songs About Rain by Gary Allen

Road trips in Kayla’s life always become sing-alongs and Gary Allen is one of her favorites. Songs About Rain is an excellent Fast Waltz or a slow Viennese Waltz.
So Far Away So Far Away by Dire Straits

Kevin was (and still is) really into the overall sound of Dire Straits and especially Mark Knopfler’s voice. This song was a favorite from the start and now he knows he can Rumba or East Coast Swing to it. Someday, he’ll try West Coast Swing, too. :)
Misty Mountian Hop Misty Mountain Hop by Led Zeppelin

Featured on the first album Adam ever owned, Misty Mountain Hop is an unorthodox but fun Hustle. The song was first released in 1971, which is before Adam was born. But that’s just a sign that it's a classic, right?
Man In Motion Man in Motion by John Parr

One of the many excellent songs on the St Elmo’s Fire soundtrack, this was the first “ear worm” Bill experienced as a teenager. It’s a fun East Coast Swing with an inspiring message that we can all sing along to. If you want to know more about the “Man In Motion” back story, check out the WikiPedia Page.
Father Figure Father Figure by George Michael

While several of the songs on this list could be Rumbas, this song is without doubt an incredible Rumba. Liz loved it from the first time she heard it in 1987 (during her clubbing days), but never knew what to dance to it until she started coming to Sapphire.

Even though we have a ton more ideas that we could offer (Stairway to Heaven and Hotel California are both great songs for a Nightclub 2-Step), we’re going to stop there. But the conversation doesn’t have to. What’s your favorite childhood song? Do you know what dance would fit it? Contact us and maybe we can make a date to dance along.

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Calendar Graphic

Coming Events:

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

No Beginner Workshop on Friday, July 5, and no Advanced Workshop on Monday, July 8. Enjoy your holiday!


Friday Night Beginner Workshops (CTAM) - every Friday this month after 7/5, 7:00pm
A great way to spend your Friday evening! Learn the basics of some of our most popular dances without any commitment. No partner or previous experience needed.

Upper Level

Nightclub 2-Step Workshop - Monday, July 1, 7:00pm
Sliding doors lead to a beautiful new landscape of Nightclub moves. Level 2 Nightclub prerequisite.

Upper Level

International WCS Rally Workshops - Mondays, July 1, 15, 22, & 29, 8:00pm
Whether or not you want to perform, learning the choreography is a blast! Don’t worry if you can’t make it to all of them - this class is designed as several individual workshops. Level 2 West Coast Swing prerequisite.

Upper Level

Level 1 Swing - Tuesdays, starting July 9, 6:15pm
Get ready to jive and wail in this toe-tapping class. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Level 2 Nightclub 2-Step - Tuesdays, starting July 9, 7:15pm
Continuing to develop our vocabulary in this beautiful, slow dance. Level 1 Nightclub prerequisite. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Waltz Your Fox Trot - Wednesdays, starting July 10, 7:15pm
Ever wondered what it would be like to dance like a classic romantic movie star? Try this class out! Previous experience with either Waltz or Fox Trot required. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Level 1 West Coast Swing - Wednesdays, starting July 10, 8:15pm
Saucy, sassy, and full of fun, what more can you ask for in a dance? Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Dance Party

Beach Blanket Bash (Dance Party) - Saturday, July 13, 7:30pm
It’s a mini vacay, right here in town. Carolina Shag lesson at 7:30.

Upper Level

East Coast Swing Workshop - Monday, July 15, 7:00pm
Are you ready for a better Texas Tommy? Level 2 ECS prerequisite.

Upper Level

Level 4 Tango - Wednesdays, starting July 17, 6:15pm
Level 3 or equivalent experience required. Taught at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Fox Trot Workshop - Thursday, July 18, 7:00pm
More tips on gettign funky in your Fox Trot. Level 2 Fox Trot prerequisite.

Upper Level

Bachata Workshop - Monday, July 22, 7:00pm
Breaking out of the slot and whipping up some fun. Level 1 Bachata prerequisite.

Upper Level

Waltz Workshop - Monday, July 29, 8:00pm
3/8 turns make a “whole” lotta difference. Level 2 Waltz prerequisite.

Upper Level

Viennese Waltz Workshop - Thursday, August 1, 7:00pm
Get ready to step outside your comfort zone with this fast moving dance. Level 2 Viennese Waltz 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