Why Sam’s Dance?

Many people have asked me why I started my own dance school. Good question! (I ask myself that on the discouraging days.)

Although I’ve taken various styles of dance classes for decades, they were all community centre classes in basic styles: Ballroom, East Coast Swing, Tap, Belly Dancing, Jazz, Hawaiian, Line Dancing. Whatever was available at the right time and place. I did it for fun and exercise and to spend time with my Mom.

It wasn’t until I went to Cuba for the first time three years ago that I really got excited about learning salsa. When I got home, I started taking classes.

I loved the teachers and the classes, but some things bothered me right from the start and continued to bother me. First, I noticed that the students who were already known to the teachers were treated differently. Second, I noticed that the new dancers who needed a bit more time and attention didn’t receive it. Most of the attention was awarded to the better dancers. Third, I noticed that students arrived, changed shoes, took a lesson, changed shoes, and left. There didn’t seem to be any socializing outside of the actual class. I thought of dancing, particularly partner dancing, as a social activity.

Once I tried going to social dance events, I noticed that the people there tended to dance exclusively with people they already knew. That shuts out new dancers. I noticed that the only time dancers spent more than one song together was when one good dancer was with another good dancer. New dancers, if they were lucky enough to be asked to dance, experienced the unspoken one-song rule. Leaders rarely asked new dancers to dance. The whole experience felt like a high-school sock hop where only the popular kids danced and the rest stood and watched. The dance community felt stagnant.

I decided I wanted to create something different. Sam’s Dance is inclusive, welcoming, friendly. We make everyone feel like they belong there, whether they’re good dancers wanting to learn more movements, practiced dancers wanting to learn a new style, or dancers that are just starting from scratch. We spend time with all the students before and after classes and encourage them to spend time with each other. We invite them to bring their friends and family to experience the joy of dance. When we hold events, we make sure everyone who wants to dance gets the chance to dance, even if it means we have to introduce them to each other.

All this takes time and energy, but this is what makes us different. We’re interested in our dancers—who they are, what they do, how they found us, what they want to learn. We think this is the way to build a community of diverse people, initially brought together by a common interest or curiosity, but on a journey of discovering other commonalities. A community.

Open House • January 7 & 8, 2017



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!



Still on the Road

I still take classes. Lots of them. I like learning. I’m probably a beginner for life, but that’s okay. I’m trying to be more comfortable with social dancing and stop thinking of it like junior-high-school dances where only the few popular kids danced and the rest of us watched in fear of being asked to dance AND not being asked to dance. It might take me awhile, but I’m working on it. When I do dance, I have fun on the dance floor. And that’s the idea. Come dance with us and find out! And find out more about my Road to Dance.  It’s unpredictable, infuriating, but interesting & never boring…


WHY should I take dance lessons? I can dance!

Quote_ carpe dancem

Hey, I can dance—WHY should I take lessons?

We’re glad you asked. There are a lot of good reasons and only one of them is just so dance schools can make money.

First, ALL great dancers continue to take lessons and train and learn. Dancing is not a skill you can learn, then leave on a shelf until you want to use it. It requires constant practice to maintain your skills. To improve your skills, you need lessons.

Second, your TEACHERS should continue to train and learn to maintain and improve their skills. Nobody knows everything when it comes to a skill like dancing. There are always things someone else can teach you.

Third, lessons are NOT just the means to the goal of becoming a good social dancer. They are also the END goal. Here is why:

  • You meet new people when you take lessons;
  • New people expand your dance world;
  • Lessons can teach you new moves or old moves done differently;
  • You can never learn all the styling you need;
  • You have a chance to smooth out your fundamentals, which everyone needs;
  • Your dancing will improve if you spend time dancing with partners at different levels;
  • If you’re older, younger people can teach you to be more adventurous and try new things;
  • If you’re younger, older people can teach you patience, precision, and timing;
  • You can learn new dance styles;
  • You can find new opportunities for networking;
  • Lessons are good exercise and great for your brain; and
  • Lessons are a fun activity!

Lastly, dance schools need your support if we are to continue to provide very inexpensive dance socials and practicas as well as FREE events. For us, nothing is free—we pay to provide these forms of entertainment. We do it because we love dance, because we want to build community, and because we’re trying to fill a need we see in our city for people to connect with each other.

While we’re building this dance world for all of us, we want to know what you think. Talk to us. Tell us what you like and what you don’t. We’re listening. We hope to see you on the dance floor soon!

Dance Quote of the Day #36

Quote_ miss boyfriend

Come to us!  We can teach him to dance!!

Robson Square Summer 2016

We took a chance and experimented with two Saturday nights at the wonderful Robson Square. We wanted to see if we could bring people from different groups together and have them enjoy dancing.  We had younger & older, locals & tourists, & many ethnicities represented.  It worked.  They danced!  We had fun.  There will be more.


Dance Quote of the Day #30

Quote_ Silverstein

See?  It’s okay is your dancing is loony-goony!

Dance Quote of the Day #59

Quote_ swingers

That’s the first step.  The next step is to dance!