We Love to Dance

The Calgary Dance Club offers a range of classes, workshops, and events to suit a variety of skill levels and interests. We hope you’ll find something that piques your interest, and that we’ll see you on the dance floor soon!

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Our 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

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 or 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 Advancement page.

In Dance 2, you’ll encounter more challenging patterns to the dances covered in Dance 1. 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 Advancement page.

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.

Have you completed Dance 3 a few times and are looking for a new challenge?

Why not consider one of our specialty dances, such as West Coast Swing, or our International Program to take your dancing to the next level. Or share your love of dance with others and join one of our volunteer teams!

International Program

Our International Program consists of three dance levels – Introduction to International (Beginner), Silver (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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.