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Class Descriptions


Samba Line Dance Workshop

Core Program
International Program
West Coast Swing
Argentine Tango
Advancing to the Next Level
Advancement and Pre-requisites


Core Program

The Calgary Dance Club’s core program covers the most familiar ballroom smooth and latin dances, including Cha-Cha, Rumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, and East Coast Swing.

Within this program, you’ll learn skills and patterns from the DVIDA dance syllabus. Our four dance levels progress through American Pre-Bronze, Bronze, and American Silver materials.

If you would like to pursue certification within this syllabus, we’re excited about your level of commitment and enthusiasm, however as a social club, we do not offer examinations or certifications at this time.

Dancers who would like a DVD of dance steps can purchase them from the following link: http://www.prodvida.com

Dance 1

This class is perfect for newcomers who have never danced before, or for those who would like to revisit or solidify the basics. Dance 1 will give you a good introduction to American Style dances (Cha-Cha, Rumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, and East Coast Swing). You will learn the basic patterns and work on timing, lead and follow, and basic technique – enough to get you comfortably around the dance floor. We encourage you to take this level for at least two years, as our instructors provide material suitable for multiple stages of learning within their classes.

Are you ready for Dance 2?

Dance 2 is designed for dancers who have mastered the various patterns of Dance 1 and are able to demonstrate the basics of the dances learned in Dance 1 with:

  • a reasonable degree of lead and follow.
  • correct timing
  • good posture, frame and tone and the ability to use these to effectively lead/follow
  • good basic foot work (heel lead versus toe lead etc.)
  • the ability to apply line of dance and general floor craft rules
  • understanding of the basic character and movement of each dance taught in level 1 (e.g., Waltz floats and Two Step smoothly travels around the dance floor, while Cha-Cha is a more stationary, Latin influenced dance)

If you think you’re ready for Dance 2, please speak to your instructor or check out our Auditions page.


Dance 2

In Dance 2, you’ll encounter more challenging patterns. You will work on improving your lead and follow skills and pay more attention to footwork, leg and hip action, rise & fall, posture, frame, and styling. Your technical abilities gain more definition. This class covers a lot of material and information so we encourage you to learn within this level for at least two years. Don’t worry about getting bored though – the patterns change from year to year to enhance your repertoire while solidifying your technique.

Are you ready for Dance 3?

Dance 3 is an Intermediate class that builds on a solid understanding of the dances learned in Dance 2, and you should be able to dance a variety of patterns with different partners easily. You should have the ability to dance most of the figures of each dance we cover in Dance 2 with:

  • correct timing
  • good posture, frame and tone and a more in-depth application of these with regards to leading/following
  • enhanced footwork (use of supporting foot, elevation etc.)
  • beginner level of various expressive elements – Cuban motion, rise and fall, arm styling etc
  • effective floor craft and pattern combinations

If you think you’re ready for Dance 3, please speak to your instructor or check out our Auditions page.


Dance 3

In Dance 3, your smooth dances (e.g., Waltz and Foxtrot) become more flowing with the introduction of continuity techniques, and your rhythm dances (e.g., Cha-Cha, Rumba) show more finesse.

International Program

Our International Program consists of two dance levels – Silver (High Intermediate), and Gold (advanced). International differs from our core program in that the classes focus on teaching blocks of patterns that form a routine – a different one each year. International dancers can also mix and match the various components as they develop advanced skills.

How do I transition from the Core program to the International program?

The Calgary Dance Club now offers a technique class (see below) to introduce those who have Dance 3 skills and want to join the international program to support the transition. The technique class also introduces in depth technique in the elements of dance that would be directly applicable to all dancing styles.

Are there certification opportunities within the club?

While the club does not offer certification at any levels at this time, if you’re interested in certification, we applaud your enthusiasm and interest in pursuing dance at this level and encourage you to speak with your class instructor about certification opportunities in Calgary.

International Technique

This class is for International style dancers. It will focus on the technique needed to execute patterns properly for the specific dance of that 5 week session. The technique class would be a good starting point for those who have completed Dance 3 if they wish to join the international program.

International Silver

The Silver class is designed for high intermediate International Style dancers, who have been dancing for at least 4 years and are ready to advance their skills even more. The Silver steps are more challenging. You would be comfortable at lead/follow before joining this class. The class will elevate those skills, and pay more attention to footwork, leg and hip action, rise & fall, posture, frame and styling. Students are strongly encouraged to take this class for 2 or 3 years before advancing. International Gold and above.

International Gold

Our Gold class is designed for advanced International Style dancers. For this level, you must have a very good understanding of the dances and be able to dance a variety of patterns in each dance with different partners easily. Your technical abilities should be well defined and applied to the Bronze and Silver steps previously learned. The addition of intricate Gold patterns, combined with a higher level of styling, showmanship and technique, will keep you challenged for years to come.

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing (WCS) is a smooth, cool, laid-back dance that can be funky, groovy or lyrical, depending on the music and your personal style. A versatile partner dance, WCS can be danced to a wide range of popular music from Top 40, pop, blues, slow swing, R&B and more. It is characterized by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension – compression technique of partner connection, and is danced primarily in a narrow strip of dance floor sometimes referred to as the ‘slot’. The dance steps allow for both partners to improvise while dancing together, putting WCS in a short list of dances that put a premium on improvisation.

West Coast Swing is constantly evolving. Today, it combines swing connection and rhythms with independent movement inspired by influences from nearly every other dance style, as well as contemporary music.

Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango is a dance style with a rich history originating from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The dance is highly improvisational and can be danced to a wide range of music from over a 150 year time span – from the early 1900’s classic Tango to present day Nuevo Tango and blues music. Dancing can be in an open or very close embrace and the dance is characterized by beautiful spins and flicks of the ladies legs. It follows line of dance rules similar to Ballroom, but is more adaptive to small spaces and is considered by many to be the most sensuous of the dances. The family of Argentine Tango consists of Tango (4/4 Time), Tango Valse (3/4 Time) and Tango Milonga (2/4 Time). You can find Argentine Tango dances (Milonga’s) everywhere you travel and connect with dancers from all over the world.

Advancing to the Next Level

FOR Dance 2 and 3, Argentine Tango 2, and International Silver, Gold, and Technique

As a social club and community committed to fostering a positive learning experience for all our students, we support frequent partner changes and work with you to ensure you’re in the appropriate class for your skill level.

If you think you are ready to advance into a higher level, we encourage you to speak to your current class instructor – they’ll have a good idea of how you’re doing in your current class. You may be asked to audition to demonstrate your readiness before enrolling in these classes to ensure that both you and your classmates will have a positive and enjoyable class experience.

Advancement and Pre-requisites

One of the best known ways for learners to advance their skills is through frequent partner changes in class. Of course, if you’d really rather stay with one partner, that’s fine too (we get it – if this is your weekly date-night out with your significant other, that’s cool). However, the more partners you dance with, the better your lead and follow skills will become, and you’ll learn steps much faster.

The Calgary Dance Club is a social club and community, and we are here to support you advance through the available levels, while promoting a positive learning environment for all our class attendees. To help ensure that everyone in the class has a positive learning experience, we work with all our members to make sure they are in the class that is appropriate for their skill level. This also helps our instructors focus their information and direct the teaching to a consistent level, allowing everyone to get the most out of the class.


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