Classes at The Dance Castle

Classes are a $5 – $10 donation, as noted


Tuesdays, February 6 – March 27, 2018:

6 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.:  Beginning West Coast Swing with Henrietta.   $10/person

7 p.m. – 7:50 p.m.:  Beginning Salsa with Henrietta.  $10/person


Wednesdays, January 24 – February 28, 2018:

6 p.m.:  Beginning Country Western 2-Step with Jim & Ilene.  $5/person

7 p.m.:  Beginning Night Club 2-Step with Jim & Ilene.  $5/person


Wednesdays, March 7 – April 25, 2018:

6 p.m.:  Introductory Ballroom Dancing (course 230009), sponsored by Columbia College, meets at The Dance Castle with Jim & Ilene

8 week course covers Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba and Cha Cha.  $60/person; register by calling Tiffany at 588-5198.

7 p.m.:  Beginning East Coast Swing (course 230010), sponsored by Columbia College Community Ed, meets at The Dance Castle with Jim & Ilene

8 week course covers single and triple rhythm swing.  $60/person; register by calling Tiffany at 588-5198.



5:30- 6:30 p.m., on-going:   Dance Workout with Susan Forbes, $5 donation

7 – 8:30 p.m.:  Intermediate Argentine Tango Meets on the first and third Thursdays. Peter Baldridge, instructor, $10/person.


Fridays at the Dance Castle:

7 – 9 p.m.:  Folk Dancing is on first, third and fifth Fridays of the month with Carlos.  Dancers and non-dancers of all ages will have fun learning these beautiful international dances.  No partner is needed and Karen and Carlos donate their time so there is no charge for participants.  We are loving the music, the dancing, and the wonderful time together with other dancers.  Join us!      ***see links for dances below.      Resuming on January 19, 2018!


SUNDAYS, second & fourth weeks:  Argentine Tango with Chooi Goh

1:00-2:00 p.m.:  Beginners

2:15 – 3:15:  Intermediate

$10 per class

for questions or more information, call Diane at 213-9525



Ballet:  returning soon

Video:  we’re learning a dance combination, choreographed by Angela!

Reverence Routine, choreographed by Angela Cordes:



Photos from July 14, 2014 class:



***Links for FOLK DANCING:

Here is a list of the dances Karen and Carlos have shared with us:
Pata Pata (South African)
Sweet Girl (Armenian)
Lesnoto Medley (Macedonian)
Ma Na Vu (Isreali)
Cocek (Macedonian)
Norodno Oro (Macedonian)
Syrtos (Greek)
Walking on the Sun (aka Yoya) (Isreali)
Salty Dog Rag (USA)
Nigun Atik aka Zemer Atik (Isreali)
Erev Ba (Isreali)
Le Laride (Brittany)
Sulam Ya’akov (Isreali)
U Sest (Serbian)
Setnja (Serbian)
Pravo (Bulgarian)



The Dance Castle is at 23496 Gold Springs Drive, Columbia.

From Sonora, take Highway 49 towards Columbia.  Turn RIGHT onto Parrott’s Ferry Road and go past he State Historic Park.  Drive about another mile and turn LEFT onto Gold Springs Drive.  We are the 2nd house on the RIGHT.


All dance classes (except Community Education) at The Dance Castle are on a donation basis ($5/class recommended; Henrietta’s classes are $10) to help support the Dance Gala food, upkeep and bands.   If you can’t afford to donate, don’t worry about it.  We still would love to have your participation!     Join in the fun!!!


Call (532-1859) or email Ilene if you have any questions.  You have to go through the “Contact” tab so I don’t get spammers!



Dance Fitness Classes continue:

Thursdays at 5:30:  Susan’s Dance Workout (call Ilene to confirm, 532-1859)  Classes resume in September 2017.




I wanted to share Teresa’s Quinceanera Dance with you; we loved choreographing the dance for her celebration.

Previous Flash Mobs:


“Classic” West Coast Swing Flash Mob at Columbia College’s Cram Night, December 8, 2016:



“Let It Snow” at Columbia College’s Cram Night, December 4, 2014:


Sing Sing Sing, Flash Mob performed at Columbia College (youtube):

Sing Sing Sing, Flash Mob performed during Spring Festival (photos by Heather):

“The Clapping Song”, Flash Mob photos from July 26, 2014, Twain Harte Arts & Wine Festival:

“The Clapping Song”, Flash Mob photos July 12th, 2014, Downtown Sonora’s Second Saturday Arts Night and KASA Open House,


Flash Mob Practice Clips:

“The Clapping Song”

Back View from July 7, 2014:

“Sing, Sing, Sing”

Practice Clip from March 17, 2014:


“Just One Person”

Practice Link:


“Let It Snow”  Practice Link:

2014 Version:

Front Row:

Back Row:

Whole Dance review:



Review Clips from Cari’s Class:  Keep practicing!

Shim Sham, Back View:

This is a really good instructional video, if you’re interested! It’s made by Patrick & Natasha, who are famous dancers from overseas. If you click on the name of each move, it will take you to another video where Patrick & Natasha break down the steps.

Thriller (zombie walk and Michael Jackson routine) Review:

The “Thriller Zombie Walk” uses 8 classic moves from the “Thriller” choreography and is fast and easy to learn.  Previous “Thriller Walk” videos:

For more of a challenge, this is The Official “Thrill the World” Choreography that we’ll be learning: 

More information at the “Thrill the World Sonora” group page:

Other Classes in Sonora:

Fridays, on-going, 7:00-9:00 p.m.:  Sonora Ballroom Dancing meets at the Aronos Club, 37 E. Elkin Street, Downtown Sonora for community ballroom dancing.   Lessons at 7 p.m. followed by dancing and refreshments at 8 p.m.  Call Barbara or Eden for more information, 532-6901.  $10 per person

Every third Saturday, 7:30-10 p.m.:  Contra Dancing at Aronos Club, 37 E. Elkin St., Sonora. Optional potluck at 6:30.  For more information:

Tuesdays, on-going, 7 p.m.:  Twain Harte Twirler’s Square Dancing at Soulsbyville Elementary School.  New classes start every September. $28/month;couple, or $5 at the door, plus $11 yearly insurance and dues. Contact Bill or Diane Kinsinger at 586-7250 or

Wednesdays, on-going, 7 p.m.:  Round Dancing at the Sonora Senior Center on Greenley Road.  Beginners class starts at 6 p.m.  2013 classes start on October 9th.  $4/person. For more information contact Mike or Carolyn Wunder,


Line Dance Classes!!!

Mondays, on-going, 10:30 -11:30 a.m.:  Introduction to Line Dance at Black Creek Center in Copperopolis, 920 Black Creek Drive.  Free class to learn the basic steps and terminology for line dancing.  All ages welcome.  Call Tess for more information, 785-6176.

Mondays, on-going, 5-6 p.m.:  Line Dancing at Black Creek Center in Copperopolis, 920 Black Creek Drive.  Free class for all ages.  Call Tess for more information, 785-6176.

Wednesdays, on-going, 11:30 a.m.:  Line Dancing at First Presbyterian Church (49’er Church) in Columbia.  Free.   Call Carolyn for more information: 984-4546.

Wednesdays, on-going, 2-3 p.m. at the Sonora Fire Museum and Senior Lounge, 125 N Washington St., Sonora.  All ages are welcome; no charge.  For more information, call Arno at 588-8071.

Thursdays, on-going, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.:  Beginner Line Dance Class at Black Creek Center in Copperopolis, 920 Black Creek Drive.  Free classes for all ages.  Call Tess for more information, 785-6176.


More community Dance info at Sonoraville Dance Page:

16 Responses to Classes

  1. Gina Milani says:

    Hello! I’m so excited to have found you! I have been wanting to learn Swing, Jitterbug and Tango for YEARS AND YEARS!! I have the number to call for the Tango on Sundays (which I’m super psyched about, and if you know any men who are looking for a dance partner, I need one) — but I’d like to know when the new swing classes start and also if there’s a jitterbug class. Thanks in advance!!! Gina in Angels Camp!

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Gina!
      We’ll be bursting with classes after the holidays. Most of the classes are now winding down. I’ll add you to my email list so you know when the classes and other great dance events come up. We’ll also do the beginning swing and ballroom class in the spring through Columbia College. Can’t wait to have you join us! Ilene

  2. Shelly Walker says:

    Hi Ilene, I hope yours and Jims holidays were awesome… I’m curious when do the new classes begin?

  3. Kaylee says:

    Looking for country swing lessons? Do you offer them or know of anyone who does?

  4. Jon Faust says:


    I am inquiring for group ball room dance lessons. Looks like I missed the Colombia college classes. I would also like to learn about private lessons.

    Thank you,
    Jon Faust

  5. Judy Voigt says:

    Dear Jim and Eileen,
    Just getting your emails means a lot to me. I don’t come and dance or am able at this time to participate. I am a widow and sure don’t like to think I have to end my days dancing alone with a broom stick. When I find a partner, I will come running. However, in the meantime, getting your emails and feeling like I am still thought of and not forgotten is worth my life some days. They are never wasted. Keep them coming. What you don’t realize is that your emails and invitations are nearly as important as coming to the classes. So for some of us who do not come, your including us is everything, emotionally.
    Appreciate and love you guys for that.
    You had no idea how important what you do is for mental and emotional help just with the emails.

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Daisy! Thank you so much for your sweet email. I am so taken that our small gestures can mean so much to you and our community. I hope you can join us for our galas, even if you just want to enjoy the music. Our dance community is so friendly and nurturing . . . you will love the energy! We are here for whenever you are ready; no partner ever necessary! Lots of love, Ilene

  6. Kelly Johansen says:

    Hi. I’m looking for ballroom dance classes and swing but I don’t have a partner.

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Kelly,
      We’re looking forward to having you join our galas and classes. See the “classes” and “gala” tabs for more information!

  7. Stephen Shea says:

    Hey Ilene, it was a pleasure seeing you again after all these years at Black Oak. I am just now reading up on your events, programs, and lessons. It was so great to get back together with you two and touch bases, not to mention be reunited with some dancers, I look forward to going to the dance castle soon. 😀

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Stephen, We were so impressed how far you’ve come since dancing with us and are so proud of you! I’m so glad our classes influenced you and your passions. I know you will keep learning in addition to sharing your dancing with others. Hope to see you again soon! Ilene

  8. Janelle Peterson says:

    I met Barbara and Eden at a Swing Gitane event tonight at the Aronos Club, and they recommended you for dance classes for my boyfriend and I. So, please add me to your mailing list, and I will also check this website for classes.

    Thank you,
    Janelle Peterson

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Janelle, I added you to my email list so you will receive information on classes, dance galas (parties) and local events. Next series start in January. Let me know what dances you are interested in! Thanks, Ilene

  9. Ilene says:

    Let Ilene know what classes you would like to take for future planning; thanks!

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