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Get your groove back

What month is it?

This Sunday, Counseling Connect, PLLC, a downtown Christiansburg business neighbor, will be joining us at Swinging on the New (our outdoor sodial dance workshop and party) to promote the mental and physical health benefits of social dancing. And next week we will share an article from Rae Burgess, head of Counceling Connect, PLLC, about why so many of us are completely justified in calling our time at Sapphire "Dance Therapy."

In the meantime, here's some of our thoughts about using dance to help relax and de-stress, and get your groove back. Some of this material has been published in our email newsletter previously (it's like being stressed is a long-time theme in our lives, yes?), but I recently reread them and thought it's worth repeating.

You can keep up with our news on Facebook at SapphireBallroom and Instagram at SapphireBallroom. We appreciate early registration for our dance parties whenever possible and require it for group classes. You can let us know you're coming by email or phone message, or by paying ahead at

The calming power of dance drills

Practice Time is good for your brainIt’s 7:20ish on a Monday evening and the lovely folks attending that night’s What’s Next Workshop are all focusing on a particular type of turn. I say, “Everyone face the grey wall - we’re going to do a drill.” And predictably, everyone groans, at least a little. “It will help; I promise!” And (for the most part) they believe me, but no one is looking forward to it.

My experience, after watching hundreds of students over the years doing hundreds of drills, is that most drill-engaged people fit in one of two groups: the Bored who don’t put enough into the drills to really benefit from them and the Resigned who try to focus on all the details the drill will help improve and sometimes get overwhelmed.

I want to add a new group - the Zen.

A drill is a way to practice a specific motion, over and over, until the bits and pieces come together into a well-oiled, well-rooted whole. Usually the motion is simple but challenging even so. For example, take a slow step forward. Start with extending your leg, then roll through your foot starting with your heel connecting to the floor and ending, balanced and in control, over the ball of that same foot. Try doing that over and over again. It’s like a mantra - a physical mantra. Change feet and repeat, over and over again. Your muscles can (and should) get tired - that’s part of the point. Your mind can wander - it's ok. Just keep repeating it. Once you have absorbed that feeling (it will take several repetitions - 8, 10, 20?), increase your focus to include your upper body - keep your core lifted, use contra body motion, involve your arms. You should sweat, breathe a bit harder, get tired. Stop thinking about your phone.

It reminds me of that exercise where you lie on the floor and focus on one part of your body at a time, releasing tension as you go.

The next time your teacher suggests a drill, see if you can claim the Zen. Immerse yourself in the drill. Do your best, but acknowledge that it's hard and that's why we are working on it. Remember - we love feedback. If your instructor preceeds too quickly for you to achieve the zen, speak up. We are happy to either go slower and practice more or to suggest things you can do in your own time.


A casual afternoon outside, dancing

Summer Road Trip
April Nesselrod Dance April Nesselrod Dance
April Nesselrod Dance April Nesselrod Dance

This Sunday, June 11 - 4-6:30pm

Dancing on the New at Nesselrod on the New

Combine the mental heath benefit of time outside with the brain health benefits of learning a new skill, and you've got the perfect afternoon of fun self care. Surrounded by trees, with the sound of the New River flowing nearby, you'll forget about the rest of the world as you spend quailty time with loved ones and friends. Learning to swing dance is something you can take with you everywhere you go - the good kind of baggage.

This month 's Nesselrod Party will feature a lesson in East Coast Swing and Carolina Shag - a little heavier on the Shag than April's Dance. Both lessons are beginner friendly, but will progress into something intriguing and a little challenging for repeat dancers. We'll keep things cool and light, with lots of humor and good music.

Bring a drink, share a snack (if you feel like it), and connect with other human beings while creating life long memories.

These outdoor, afternoon dances at Nesselrod on the New in Fairlawn/Radford will be on the 2nd Sunday on even numbered months through October (to complement the in-studio dance parties on odd numbered months).

Spots are filling up, so don't wait to save your space!

This event is outdoors but well sheltered, so rain and other weather won't be a problem (one less thing to stress about). The floor is smooth concrete - splendid for my second best pair of dance shoes. It's the perfect outdoor venue for us dancers!  



Relaxing Rumba Playlist

Laptop LoveWhat is a relaxing Rumba? As a Latin dance style, Rumba (at its apex) is full of fast, precise movements; spectacular spins; and striking, almost aggressive steps. And if you're going into a competition or planning to perform, that's what you're striving for.

But Rumba doesn't have to be like that. With a slow (not too slow) pace, a reliable rhythm, and tons of fun moves that don't require tons of athleticism, Rumba is a fantastic choice for a relaxing dance.
Need a minute to switch gears from a stressful workday before starting your lesson? Rumba.
Muscles are sore from yesterday's workout and need a gentle warm up? Rumba.
You really want to forget your to-do list and just dance in the kitchen? Rumba.

To help make all those things possible, here's a sampling of some of my favorite, relaxing Rumbas.

To see the Relaxing Rumba Playlist, visit us on YouTube at

To see our full Rumba Playlist, visit us at

See all of our YouTube Playlists at
These playlists are always changing. If you have a suggestion, I’d love to hear it! Send me a link at

You've Got a Friend

You've Got A Friend by James Taylor

I Just Want to Dance With You

I Just Want To Dance With You by George Strait

Satisfy My Soul

Satisfy My Soul by Paul Carrack

I Got You

I Got You by Jack Johnson


Moonglows by Lou Rawls

My Cherie Amour

My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder

In My Life

In My Life by The Beatles

Memories of Us

Memories of Us by Keith Urban

My Girl

My Girl by the Temptations

We Have All The Time In The World

We Have All The Time In The World by Louis Armstrong

Wonderful Tonight

Wonderful Tonight by Michael Buble

Note: the Eric Clapton version of this song ( is an incredible Nightclub 2-Step. Both versions are great to dance to, but only the Rumba fits the theme of this list.

If you read our newsletter frequently, you know by now that we publish a playlist of dance music every month, usually with some kind of quirky theme (like songs about rivers). But do you know we also have a large library of music just for you to practice to?

Visit our YouTube Channel “Songs for Practice” and you’ll find 20+ playlists organized by dance style. There’s one for Waltz, one for Bachata, a big one for West Coast Swing, one for almost every style we teach. And they are always growing and improving. We'd love your input - if you have a suggestion, let us know by email at or Facebook message!



Schedule Highlights

Summer Road Trip

Saturday, July 8

Summer Road Trip Dance Party

This was my favorite dance party last year! Start with a Country Two-Step lesson and keep cruising until we get to Margaritaville.

Reserve your space today.

Want to help make events like these success? Bring your friends, share the Facebook event, like our Instagram posts. It all helps!

More details, as well as online registration at and



June 2, 9, & 16 - RUMBA! As relaxing as you want it to be. :)

Friday Beginner Workshops

Start your weekend off on the right foot (or left foot if you're a leader)!

Rumba is the Prince Charming of Romance. Slow, not too hard, easy to use, it's a definite upgrade from that stand-and-sway thing you started doing in middle school.

These workshops do occasionally sell out, so be sure to register ahead of time to save your space. Details and registration online at

A new style will start June 24 - what would you like to see? Carolina Shag? Country Two Step? Salsa? Something else entirely?

NRV Historic


Tuesday, June 13
Learn to dance like Jane Austin, but in casual clothes

Keep the jeans and sneakers. Or even the yoga pants and slippers. You don't need to dress up to enjoy the elegance of historic dancing.

Details and online registration at


Spring Sale

Line Dance


Spring Line Dance Sale - 6 workshops for $36! Still on through June 21!

You’ve heard of line dancing. Maybe you’ve done the Electric Slide or the Wobble. But there’s so much more! More music, more moves, more variety - and now, it’s on sale.

Through Summer Solstice (June 21), the last “official” days of spring, you can buy a package of 6 Beginner Line Dance Workshops for just $36! Share them with friends, family, or keep them for yourself - it’s up to you. Registration for any particular workshop is required by noon the day of that workshop, not at the time of purchase. So, you can take advantage of the sale now, then take your time, choose the nights that suit you, and learn to line dance. The dance floor is waiting for you.

Sale is for Beginner Line Dance Workshops only. See the spring (I mean, really summer now) schedule on our webpage at Please use your Spring Sale workshops within 6 months of purchase.


Sapphire's group classes and workshops are always small, low stress, and fun. They are a great way to meet other people who have also decided to learn to dance, as well as get to know our teaching staff. It doesn't take any long-term investment to get started, no special clothing or shoes - just something comfortable to wear and a sense of adventure. So, take the plunge and try it out.

All classes (in person or online) require registration by noon the day the class starts. We are happy to add late-comers if we can, but classes may be cancelled or rescheduled if registration is low.

Five ways to register, just choose one and we'll take care of the rest:
1 - reply to this email;
2 - register and pay at the same time at our online store at;
3 - talk to your favorite Sapphire Staff member;
4 - give us a ring at 540-382-8782;
5 - Blacksburg Group classes are best registered through the Blacksburg Community Center webpage.

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


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540-382-8782 -  
30 W. Main Street, Suite C, Christiansburg, Va.