Dancing builds more new neural pathways than ANY other activity!



Be brave–we’ll help you!



Dancing is for everyone!


Quote_ SilversteinAllow yourself to fail faster.

This is a concept introduced to me by my friend Miyuki.  It’s advice she received from her father and it makes so much sense.

If you don’t take chances because you’re afraid to fail, you don’t avoid failure, you only delay it.  Unless you never take any risks at all–and who wants that life?  Entirely safe, but dull and unrewarding.

If you trust yourself, if you take chances, if you go places you have not gone before, if you’re brave, you might fail.  BUT, you will fail faster so you can get that out of the way and clear the path for success sooner.

Life is short.  Don’t waste time fearing failure.  Embrace it as a means to bringing you success faster.

THIS is what “dance like nobody is watching” means.  If you look silly, who cares?  Move, smile, laugh, have fun, & you win every time.

We can show you how.



Here’s the thing about dance classes.

If you think you dance too well to need them, you’re probably wrong.

Dance classes smooth out your basics, improve your transitions, point out your problem areas so you can improve them, keep you humble, & give you the opportunity to bring new people into your dance world.

Yes, you take dance classes to improve your dance ability.  That’s the means to an end.

You also take them to spend time with friends, meet new people, & have fun doing something you love with other people who love it, too.  That’s an end in itself.

You take dance classes for social reasons as well as for the activity.  You take them to support dance schools and dance teachers and other lovers of dance.  You take them to become a part of the dance community.

Join us.  We guarantee you’ll have fun!


img_2185There are no special requirements for dancing Forro, but relaxed Brazilian style is a good guideline.  You should wear cool, comfortable clothing that you can easily move in.  Breathable materials are best.  Flowing skirts will show off hip movements for women.

The only tricky part is shoes for the forrozeiras (girls who dance forró). Since the followers mostly dance on tiptoes, it is really important to have comfortable shoes that will support the sole of the foot and not slip off the heel. Shoes with heels common in other latin dances are not used, mostly due to the style of dancing but also because it can get dangerous on crowded dance floors. Any flat shoes that will not slip off your feet and allow you to turn easily are good.  You can also dance barefoot or in socks.

Forro is a fun party dance so being relaxed and happy are the most important thing!







Join us to find out what Sam’s Dance is all about!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm


Sunday, January 8, 2017

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm


We are a dance school with a different concept.  We are inclusive, welcoming, friendly, & we want to show you how dance can improve your life.  Dancing is good for your brain & body, for the young & older, for singles & not, to share with friends & make new friends!

Location:  Carousel Theatre, Granville Island

Program for Saturday night:

Mini-lessons in Hip Hop & Hustle

Demos & Practica after

Program for Sunday night:

Mini-lessons in Forro & Samba de Gafieira

Demos & Practica after

We will have snacks, conversation, & dancing for everyone!

Ask about our incentives for signing up for classes on this special day.


Cuban salsa

According to The Dance Training Project, dancers don’t listen to their bodies.

“Call it suffering for your art, or whatever you want, but if you don’t listen to the messages your body is sending you, there will come a time, when you won’t have a functional body to create your art with. These messages are actually really easy to interpret: Pain means stop, no pain means go (or rather, proceed with caution). Pain is generally your body telling you to slow down, and stop, because what you’re doing to it feels really bad. If you do not stop, your body will stop you, eventually, and it won’t be pleasant. You will be out of commission for longer than if you had initially listened to your body, and be stuck on the sidelines, watching your peers (which can actually be an excellent learning experience if you let it). Being stuck on the sidelines is damaging for the ego.”

As Stephanie Hanrahan points out,

“When injured, dancers are expected to watch classes. Although a few found they could learn something while in the role of spectator, no one enjoys the role. Many would rather dance on an injury instead of observe. Additionally there is the underlying stress of others improving and looking good when the individual cannot participate because of illness or injury.”

“It is clearly more intelligent to avoid injury in the first place, by not doing stupid things, but many of us must learn the hard way. There is obviously a difference between good pain, and bad pain. If you have to stop and consider whether it is a good pain or not, it probably isn’t.” [Good, she means.]

-The Dance Training Project


2016-09-03 19.17.05

Dancing NO-NOs • A Fresh Look & Straight Talk: Bright Ideas, Gentle Reminders, & Good Suggestions for Building a Community

Dancing is great for your brain, great for your body, a fun, safe social activity, and an energizing pastime. With a few simple tips, you can make it the best it can be—for you, for your dance partners, and for the Vancouver dance scene.


Your mouth is close to your partner’s mouth when you’re dancing. Use mints! If you’re chewing gum that you started chewing hours before, thinking it’s got you covered, NO-NO, think again. Pockets, tiny mints, easy peasy!


When dancing with a new partner, just take a second to say, “Hi, my name is Joe.” (Only say the Joe part if your name is Joe.) It lets your partner know you’re engaged in the partnership, no matter how brief it might be. Just grabbing a partner and dragging them onto the floor is a NO-NO.


If your shirt is drenched with sweat, change it before asking your next partner to dance. Close holds are intimate, but getting your sweat on your partner is a NO-NO.


Women have come a long way in our world. They can and they do everything. Men, how about bringing back a little old-fashioned courtesy by asking them to dance? Don’t make them come to you. Right off the bat, they will think you’re awesome! (Tip: asking someone to dance goes like this: “Would you like to dance?” with a smile and an outstretched hand. It does not consist of an elbow nudge, a head flick towards the dance floor, and a grunt. Just saying. That would be a NO-NO.)


If you’re an advanced dancer and you ask a beginner to dance, should you:

  1. Dance at your level and show off your amazing skills?
  2. Dance at your partner’s level so the dance is fun and comfortable for them, and thereby enjoyable for both of you?
  3. Not ask them to dance?

Now, here are the answers:

  1. NO-NO. You’ll look selfish, inconsiderate, and like a show-off, which is not flattering to you at all! By making your partner look incompetent, you’ll look like a clown.
  2. Yes! If you make your partner look and feel good, you will look and feel good. Not every dance has to be a showcase for your abundant talent.
  3. Tsk tsk. NO-NO. Only dancers who think they’re better than they actually are choose this answer. Partner dancing is supposed to be an act of sharing, not a contest. Try it and see how great you’ll feel!


When you’re in a class or workshop and your partner isn’t doing what you think they should be doing, should you:

  1. Stop following the teacher’s instructions and correct your partner?
  2. Keep trying to lead or follow your partner as best you can until you manage to do the move?
  3. Call the teacher over to ask them to tell your partner they’re not doing the movement correctly?
  4. Leave the class because you’re too good to dance with people who don’t know what they’re doing?

The answers:

  1. NO-NO-NO! Your job is to work with your partner to learn something new and to treat the lesson like a fun experience. Besides, are you so sure you’re not the one doing it wrong?
  2. Yes, of course! You might have a few laughs and learn something along the way. If not, you still have the laughs.
  3. Yes and no. Sure, ask the teacher, but don’t whine about your partner, just ask if there is something you’re not getting. At least half of the time, you’ll find out that your partner is fine and you’re the one with the problem.
  4. NO-NO. Go ahead if you want the Idiot of the Day award. This is such a social no-no, there is no excuse for it. Why make someone else feel bad when the problem is your vanity? Suck it up and be a good sport. Everyone can learn something new, but you have to open your mind to it. Sometimes, the lesson is just being a decent human being.


Take classes and workshops. The best dancers continue to learn and train throughout their entire dancing lives. Practice on the dance floor is not the same as taking lessons. If it has been awhile since you’ve had classes, chances are your basics are not as smooth as they could be and your movements or form may get a little sloppy. That’s a NO-NO.


If you attend many free or nearly free events and say you’re supporting the community, don’t kid yourself. Yes, it’s good to come out to events and participate. But events are only free (or almost) for you, not for the people hosting them. Events are expensive to host! If you sign up for classes and conferences, you can say you’re supporting the community. If not, be honest, we’re supporting you and that’s a NO-NO.


Before you launch into a complex, acrobatic move involving a lot of head rolls or crazy spins, dance a bit with your partner to see if they’re up to it. They may be capable, but just not interested in Cirque de Soleil movements. That doesn’t make them bad dancers. NO-NO. Some of the most impressive dancing is built from basic moves done beautifully.


Try something new. No matter how much you love a dance and your dance friends, at some point, you will realize that you are doing the same old thing with the same old people to the same old music. NO-NO. Expand your horizons. Cross the dance floor from your group and ask someone new to dance. Try a new dance style. Try classes with a new teacher. Grow.


Stop talking about your dance friends like they’re your “family.” It’s a NO-NO. We all have families, whether they’re average, dysfunctional, or absent. Family relationships are simply different than friendships and friendships are different than acquaintanceships. You can have all these kinds of relationships in your life and they can all be worthwhile, but recognize that they’re different and come with different obligations and rules of conduct.


If you really want to support your dance community, dance school, and dance event promoters, register and buy tickets early. This is the way organizations determine whether or not a project is feasible. Not everyone will have to make money on every project, but most of them can’t afford to lose money over and over. Step up, commit to your passion, be a frontrunner, not a last-minute NO-NO. There is no virtue in waiting for something “better” to come along.


Dancing does not have to be an endurance test. That’s a NO-NO. You can love to dance without going out dancing six nights a week (like if you have a job and/or a life that is more than just dance). If you attend a congress or festival, there is no need to dance for 12 hours every day. Quality is just as important as quantity. It’s not a demonstration of your devotion to the dance if you dance until your legs are swollen and your feet are bleeding. People who dance for a couple of hours when they can might love dance just as much as the competitive, obsessive, endurance dancers do. Don’t dismiss them as less committed than you are.


Being a cheapskate is a NO-NO. Almost everyone can afford to fund his or her own leisure activities. Don’t expect dance school and event promoters to subsidize your passion. If something has a fee for participating and you want to take part, pay it and stop whining. Buy a bottle of water for $2! If you’re strapped for cash, have a regular coffee instead of a latte every time you go to Starbucks. Cheapness is rarely related to a scarcity of funds. It’s usually a character flaw and it affects everything about you—your tolerance for differences, your generosity towards others, and your spirit. Don’t be this.


Looking down on the clothing choices of fellow dancers is a NO-NO. Some people like to wear short, form-fitting dresses and heels to dance. Some people prefer jeans and sneakers. Neither of these choices defines dancing ability and in a truly accepting community, all are just fine.


This has been tough, straight talk, but we hope you will understand that it comes from a good place. Vancouver is not well known as a place with a vibrant, exciting dance scene. We can change that by building a place that is an inclusive, generous, giving community to share dancing with friends and new people who just might be friends you haven’t met yet.