Sapphire Ballroom
Sapphire Ballroom News - October 2019
Finding Better Balance

SeptemberWell. Fall has not delivered on the weather (yet!). But regardless of the neverending summer, signs of Fall are everywhere. Pumpkins in the garden (pretty!), candy in the stores (yum!), and bunches of holidays on the way to consume your time and energy.

In this newsletter, we're going to talk about how ballroom dancing can help your balance (mental and physical) as you approach the "happiest" and busiest time of the year. You'll also get to hear another Sapphire Story, this one tells of a couple that danced around a bit before they made Sapphire their dance-home. And to lighten the mood a bit, some seriously goofy music that is great for dancing.

As always, there’s a great big list of events at the end of this newsletter that you should be sure to check out. Of special interest, Eddie + Adela will be returning to Sapphire on Saturday, November 9. The last time they were here, everyone had a fantastic time and several new people were bit by the West-Coast bug.

All Sapphire events, including the WCS Workshops with Eddie + Adela, are also on our webpage, Google Calendar, and Facebook events page. We do our best to keep them up-to-date with lots of details about what is going on.

Skip to the list of upcoming classes, workshops, and parties for September.

Looking for better balance: Mental, Physical, or Emotional? Dancing can help.

BalanceIt seems like everyone is looking for easy tips and fun ways to achieve work-life balance in our increasingly fast-paced world. Here’s how dancing can help you two-step closer to this elusive balance as you hustle through life.

Time Away
Dancing provides structured, scheduled time away from work, chores, and everything else that’s stressing you. Most classes are about an hour long and occur on a predictable weekly schedule, so you can pick an option that aligns with your schedule and then know that play time is waiting for you as you go through your week. If you work in the evenings or on a varied schedule, workshops and private lessons can accommodate almost any schedule without adding stress if you have to miss a week.

Brain and Body Workout
Ballroom dancing is both muscle- and brain-building. Faster styles like East Coast Swing, Cha Cha, Lindy Hop, and Salsa can provide a high-energy cardio workout, while dancing any style will encourage core muscle development and balance refinement. Add to that, learning anything exercises your brain. As adults, we tend to lose the learning skills we developed while in school. Learning dance moves exercises your memory, your problem solving skills, and your communication skills, all at once.

Mental WorkoutCreative Juices
While any type of dance is usually creative, social dancing is almost constantly pulling on those mental juices. Leading is both a logical and intuitive process of invention and sharing, building the dance step by step, one piece at a time. And following is both reactive and artistic, requiring the follower to read input from their leader and choose their preferred way to execute each motion while adding to the dance. Both parts require attention and focus, and whether you are leading, following, or switching back and forth, social dancing allows you to exercise those parts of your brain not typically used elsewhere.

A New Focus
When you're on the floor, the rest of the world disappears. It doesn't matter if your boss needs a report, a customer is demanding an update, or a supplier didn't come through for you that day, for those moments when you're dancing the only thing that matters is the fun experience you're creating with your partner. Having your attention focused on dance can reduce stress and provide a refreshing break, particularly if you have a highly “connected” job that encourages you to check in when you aren’t at work.

Friendly chatLow-Stress Friends
Laughter and quick chats over shared interests outside of dance are common at the studio, and many students develop these fun interactions into lasting friendships. Particularly when you join a multi-week class or become a regular at weekly workshops, you become part of a community. This can provide a low-stress level of accountability – sort of like having a gym buddy who doesn’t pressure you, but notices when you miss a session, and is there to welcome you back.

AbbottsUs Time
Have a special someone in your life that deserves more of your attention? Many of our students view dance lessons as a date night with their significant other. This "us time" and learning together builds trust and provides a fun way to develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills between partners. You’ll find “dancing” around your loved one while preparing dinner easier after learning how to dance with them around the ballroom floor. And who knows? That figurative dancing may actually become an actual dance, once your casserole is in the oven.

Back to Top.

Adam and Kayla’s Story (mostly from Kayla's POV)

Adam and Kayla are pillars of the Sapphire community: always there to help out with special events, willing victims when I need a demo partner, and ready to crack a joke or send the squirrels running. -Debbi

I have been dancing in one form or another for as long as I can remember – in fact, my first stitches were the result of a toddler-imitating-ballet-in-the-living-room accident.

After a much-despised cotillion debut, Adam really dove into partner dancing during a high school swing club in Charlottesville.

I was thrilled when I discovered he could lead, and on more than one occasion, would borrow Adam for a spin around his apartment when I was dating his roommate. (Yes, that’s a story for another time!)

After many years of “adapting” our limited collection of swing moves to whatever song was playing, we started ballroom dancing in 2016. My parents had made a deal to take lessons when my dad retired, and we joined them for the class at New River Community College to make sure he held up his end of the bargain. One semester was all it took for us to catch the dancing bug and soon we were exploring dances and workshops all over the region. We admired the grace and more extensive styles some of the other dancers like Pam Umberger showcased during those evenings. So to Adam’s slight surprise, my search for a studio was on!

Since several folks had mentioned the quality of the instruction offered in Christiansburg and we both work in Blacksburg, Sapphire’s offerings at the Community Center were a natural fit. Adam wanted to make sure our foundations were solid before attempting anything fancy, so we settled on starting with Level 1 Waltz. We knew we had found the right studio and set of instructors when Debbi started fixing our technique in a way that made the dance and our height-challenged partnership more comfortable from the very first session. It also helped that she immediately nicknamed Adam “Loki.”

Before long, we were not only repeating entry-level classes, but also tackling the challenges offered in Monday night workshops. Which led to begging Debbi for a spot in her private lesson calendar, so we can try to remember all the things we forget as fast as we learn them! We’re both pretty introverted, but everyone at the studio is so kind and supportive that we both feel comfortable enough to come out of our shells, especially when the puns are flying. Even though Adam is fairly sure his brain is full and can’t possibly hold anything more, our next goals are to focus on musicality and to expand our Latin repertoire.


What's your Sapphire Story? Would you like to share it? We'd love to hear from you and to include your story in an issue of Sapphire Dance News and on our webpage. Email your story to to be included.

Back to Top.



Sapphire's Anniversary Party

Star Wars night

Goofy Gold Music

Since this is the month of the year that so many of us like to play dress up, eat too much candy, and otherwise engage in some very silly behaviours, I thought I would focus on silly songs for the playlist this month. So here we have a list of songs that tickle the funny bone, while still being fun to dance too. I tried to limit the parodies and stick with original songs, but one did sneak in. I hope you enjoy!

To listen to the whole list, plus a few bonus tracks not included in the list below, visit our YouTube Channel
Playlist: Goofy Gold Music.

What Does the Fox Say?

Ylvis - The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) - Hustle

I love this song. It’s not afraid to ask the really tough questions. Truly, how will you speak to that horse?

Bare Necessities

The Bare Necessities (from The Jungle Book) - Single Time Swing

Of course this song has to be on the list. Super fun, catchy rhythm, and a nice philosophy, until you have to pay your bills. But what a great thought, right?

The Cows Came Home

Joe Diffe - The Cows Came Home - Country Two-Step

A classic tale of a person with too much confidence getting a hefty dose of reality. I’m sure we all know someone like this guy. I just hope they all receive their reality check with as much humor as he does. :)

Danger On The Dance Floor

The Cog is Dead - Danger on the Dance Floor - Tango

Something about the natural drama of Tango invites a bit of melodrama, don't you think? And here we have an excellent Tango with an over-the-top plot line.

Word Crimes

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes - Cha Cha

Well, I just had to put something by Mr Y in my list. This song, along with being grammatically correct is also a righteous (self-righteous?) Cha-Cha.


Harry Nilsson - Coconut - Rumba

Originally recorded in 1971, this little ditty has been entertain kids and adults alike with it’s mellow sound. The repetitive lyrics make it easy to sing along while dancing a groovy Rumba on your deck.

Purple People Eater

Sheb Wooley - The Purple People Eater - East Coast Swing

The poor purple people eater - he just wants to get a job in a rock n’ roll band. I wish him luck and in the meantime, catch a fun swing to his ballad.

Back to Top.

Calendar Graphic

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 except 10/11 (see below!), 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

Tango Workshop: Scorpion Kick - Monday, 10/7, 7:00pm
Revisiting and adding on to Caitlin’s now semi-famous Tango move.
Prerequisite: Level 2 Tango

Upper Level

Intro to Salsa and Merengue: 4 Week Class - Tuesday, 10/8, 6:15pm
Get ready to spin a swirl in the high-energy Latin dance favorites. Not the easiest class for beginners, but anyone with a sense of adventure is welcome. Held at Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Learn to Waltz: 4 Week Class for Beginners - Tuesday, 10/8, 7:15pm
A great class for beginner, you can learn to dance like a Disney Princess. Held at Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Do the Hustle: 4 Week Class for Beginners - Wednesday, 10/9, 6:15pm
Get up and boogie! This class will have you “dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'” in no time. Held at Blacksburg Community Center.

Upper Level

Bring out the Barrels: Learn to Polka, a 4 Week Class for Beginners - Wednesday, 10/9, 8:15pm
Tired of watching other people dance? October is here and it’s time to feast on this delightful dance. Held at Blacksburg Community Center.

Special Event FREE Lessons during Rockin' Main Street - Friday, 10/11, 6:00-8:30pm
Visiting Downtown Christiansburg for Rockin' Main Street? Stop in and get a free lesson while you’re here. Singles and beginners always welcome.

Dance Party

Jungle Love Dance Party - Saturday, 10/12, 7:30pm
We're taking a walk on the wild side for this year's Halloween hootenanny: animals everywhere! Singles and beginners are always welcome.

Upper Level

Waltz Workshop: In the Flow - Monday, 10/14, 7:00pm
More ways to glide down the dance floor. Prerequisite: Level 2 Waltz

Upper Level

West Coast Swing Workshop: Yes and… - Monday, 10/14, 8:00pm
A few hijacks and how to respond to them...
Prerequisite: Level 2 WCS

Upper Level

Rumba Workshop: Double Crosses - Monday, 10/21, 7:00pm
Doubling up on Cross Over Breaks and Cross Body Leads, maybe even a few cross-hand positions. It’ll keep you on your toes, cross my heart.
Prerequisite: Level 2 Rumba

Upper Level

Mambo Magic - The Dirty Dancing Mambo Routine - Mondays, 10/21, 8:00pm
Join us for a 4-week class to learn the short but challenging routine performed by Johnny Castle and partner at the Sheldrake Hotel. Members of the class will have the chance to perform at a Sapphire dance party, if they want, or to just take it for the fun and mental exercise.
Prerequisite: Level 3 Salsa (or Mambo)

Upper Level

East Coast Swing Workshop: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart - Monday, 10/28, 7:00pm
It’s about time we broke your swing, don’t you think? Don’t worry, we’ll fix it again.
Prerequisite: Level 2 ECS

Special Event West Coast Swing with Eddie + Adela - Saturday, Nov 9, 2:15p - 10:30p
Join us as we learn, laugh, and dance with these two awesome people. Private lessons, afternoon workshops, then the dance party and pre-dance lesson. Details will be available on-line and on Facebook soon!

Back to Top.


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

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please reply to this address with “Remove me” in the subject line.  If you would like to change the subscribing address, reply with “Change My Address” in the subject line. Thanks!

To subscribe to Sapphire Dance News, our monthly e-newsletter, visit us at

Sapphire Ballroom & Dance Center

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