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Top Tips for Dancing in the Wild
plus Our Spin on Gift-Giving

December 2023

WildA question has been surfacing at the studio, in many different forms.  How do we use what we’ve learned out there, in the real world? At a wedding, my office holiday party, in a bar, at a concert? 

Dancing in the wild will feel different than at the studio.  Flooring and shoes make a big difference.  The music won't be selected with your dance-needs in mind. Your teacher is not there to help you figure out which dance to do.  There’s no space, or too much space and people can see you. People ... you ... know.

Don't freak out. We've been there. We've done that and had those same thoughts. We danced anyway and you can too.

Here are the top tips from some of the teachers at Sapphire for those times when you find yourself at a festive occasion with space to dance and some enticing tunes. We can help you make the transition from the safe studio to the real world. It's not so scary once you've done it. And it gets easier every time.

LizLiz's Tips

When Liz travels, she dances.  She’ll find a local Shag club, USA Dance Chapter, or Country bar and pop in for fun. Sometimes, she just stands up and dances between the tables at a restaurant.  It’s awesome. Liz has this advice for you:

I use the try it before you buy it approach.  Try a few steps of a possible dance style.  Does it match the character and the tempo?  Do you like the way it feels with music?  If no, then try another style.  If yes, just keep grooving. This is one of the reasons you might want to learn a few dances styles rather than sticking to one or two.   

My next advice is to remember you’re there to have fun, too.  You have just impressed your coworkers at the holiday party with your smooth moves.  You may be asked to demonstrate with all eyes upon you.  Or to teach them how to do the thing you did.  If you are comfortable with being the center of attention, say yes. But if not, a polite “thank you for the compliment but no thank you” is completely OK.  I am giving you permission to say no. You have put in time and money to learn this skill.  It's yours to share or not.

ZachZach's Tips

Zach tries to dance several nights a week, both in his role as an officer for Ballroom Dance @ Virginia Tech and at any social dancing he can find. Zach has this to say about dancing in the wild:  

Start slow.  Don’t use your hardest moves right away, but build up to them. Really, this is good advice for any leader in any situation, but especially when dancing in the real world where the floor might not be what you’re used to and maybe you just met your partner.

I also feel like you should always ask before you dip.  If you go dancing anywhere you might end up dancing with someone you don’t know, good for you!  But also, remember that different people have different comfort levels with dancing and especially with dips. As a follower being dipped, you have to give up a lot of control of your body and that takes a lot of trust. Leaders can earn that trust by not pushing the issue.  Ask before you lead a dip. 

BrittanyBrittany's Tips

Brittany is our Beginning Line Dance Teacher.  She dances frequently with friends in Roanoke or when she visits her family near Chesterfield. Of all of us, she probably dances outside the studio the most.

When line dancing, watch for the basic steps to decipher the "fancy dance" from the one you might already know.  If you can separate the extra spins from the basics moves, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out what’s really going on and picking up the moves.

There are no line dancing police.  Unless you actually run into someone, you are the only one who knows when you mess up. Dance through it, smile, laugh, and no one will know. Don’t worry about getting it right - make each dance your own and have fun!

Also, there is no “back of the room.”  If you want to be sure to have someone to watch, plant yourself in the middle, so that when you face a new wall you don’t suddenly find yourself in the front of the group.

DebbiDebbi's Tips

Debbi is Sapphire’s senior instructor, and so she dabbles in all the dance styles.  She agrees with what all the other teachers said, but also adds a few more thoughts:

Let your instructor know if you’re going to an event so that we can help you prepare. I know it makes it sound like studying for a test, but I promise that it’s part of the fun.  If you’re going to a wedding and you’ve been learning to Hustle, we can write down the names of a few of your favorite Hustle songs.  We can hook you up with Line Dance step sheets so that you don’t have to remember all the steps all the time. 

And we can even teach you to dance to “the wrong music.” Let’s say you’ve learned to Swing and Rumba, but not all the music at anyevent will fall neatly into one of those two categories. We’ll play some Cha Cha or Shag music and let you practice Rumba to it.  We can show you how to modify the Swing you Chalkboardalready know so that it will work to really slow music or really fast music. 

Once you'’re there, it’s ok to sit one out. If you’re just not feeling the song, take a break. I always sit down during “Apache” by the Sugar Hill Gang because I enjoy watching people (especially my friends) dance to it more than I enjoy dancing to it myself.  And I need to sit sometime. 


Just one more thing to remember. You are awesome. Your dancing may not be perfect, but it will be wonderful. And, as long as you are having fun and no one gets hurt, it will be a success. So, go ahead and Salsa, Hustle, and Rumba your way through that office party. It's way better than sitting.

Our Spin on Gift-Giving

Gift StackLooking for that perfect gift where you don't have to guess size or color, it won't take up space in the attic, and it is actually good for your loved one? Like every year, we are here to say, “We’ve got it covered.”

Dance lessons are fun, active, social, and fulfilling. And they are easy to share with your friends, family, sweethearts, and co-workers. And they help fulfill hundreds of New Year's resolutions.

Every class, workshop, and private lesson we offer has a gift option. That means Friday Beginner Workshops, Line Dance Workshops, Private Lessons, and more. 

Gift vouchers can be delivered electronically by email or as a paper certificate for pick up at the Studio in Christiansburg. Yes, we are happy to mail gift certificates too, but do not guarantee timely delivery.

So, it's time to get started. Make your list and get in touch. You can brouse our Square store at or email us with your thoughts and we'll make it happen. Phone calls work too.

We will be taking gift orders through Dec 21, so you do have plenty of time. (No promises for that necktie or golf club koozie you were thinking about.) But why wait? Get the peppermint ball rolls and check one more thing off your list.

To give you some ideas, here’s a snapshot of the popular options, but if you want something you don't see (like double date options), let us know. We would love to make it happen.

Friday Beginner Workshops

$9 each

Beginner Line Dance Workshops      

$9 each

Private Lessons

$67 each

4-Pack Private Lessons


Gift Cards

Any value

Online options are available.  Contact us for details at

Large purchase discounts of up to 1/3 off are available. Think - a beginner workshop for everyone in your office, volleyball team, or church group… yeah we have a discount for that. Where else are you going to find an awesome gift for $6?


Schedule Highlights



Well. Fall is flying past. We are already planning classes and events for next spring - hints of what's to come in the schedule below! And 2023 is winding down in the process. Check out for more details about all the coolness coming with 2024.

In the meantime, here's a preview of the next few weeks. I'm always working and devolping our schedule - feel free to make requests! I looove requests.


Holiday Cookie Munch
Bring Your Favorite Cookies to Share

     Sunday, December 10, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
     Like, share, or invite friends on Facebook

Looking for an escape from the holiday madness? A mellow meeting of fellow dancer-people? This practice session is just what you need. It's not quite a Dance Party: it's in the afternoon, and there's no lesson. But it is a nice, relaxed chance to practice some of your favorite dance moves as well as share holiday cheer. Cookies are not required for admission, but they will get you extra hugs!

Starting in January, we will be returning to monthly Dance Parties: second Saturdays at 7:00 (they were at 7:30).    


SalsaBeginner Line Dancing - No partner? No experience? No problem.

    Tuesday January 2, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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First and Third Tuesdays are Beginner's Line Dance

Advanced Line Dancing - getting jiggy with it.

    Mondays, December 18 and January 8, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Monday Line Dancing is not for the faint of heart.



SwingWaltz - Date Night Dance Class in Blacksburg

     Wednesday, January 10 , 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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SalsaHistoric Dance in comfortable clothes

     Tuesday, December 12, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Join us on the second Tuesday of January too!


SwingExercises to Improve Balance

     Monday, December 18, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Friday Beginner WorkshopSalsa - Let's take winter for a Spin

     Friday, January 5 and January 12 , 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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FBWs will be taking a break for December, but we'll see you again the first Friday of January with Salsa. What a great way to warm up on a cold winter weekend!     


What's Next Advanced Workshops

Dive into Bolero - Monday, December 4, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Climb Higher, Dive Deeper (more Bolero) - Monday, December 11, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm   

Sound like fun? Sign up today! Please register by noon the day of the event online at or by emailing us and paying at the event - just reply to this email with your name and the names of anyone you plan to bring.

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

Remember, you can keep up with our news on Facebook at SapphireBallroom and Instagram at SapphireBallroom.

Back to Top.


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.