Butchart Gardens: Dancing on the Stage

Chris Millington Band Butchart Gardens Dancing on the Stage

Dancing on the Stage is back! This year, Butchart Gardens will host three sessions of Dancing on the Stage with the Chris Millington Band on Wednesdays, July 3rd, 31st and August 28th. Join your friends and fellow dancers at these wonderful summer evening events. More info can be found here.

May Social Dance

Poster VBDS A Night in Paris social dance May 18th 20204

 

Ooh La La!  A Night in Paris!

Bonjour dancers.  Join us on Saturday, May 18th for our last social dance of the season!  Bring your joie de vivre and dance the night away as we celebrate “The City of Lights” in style.

We’ll start the evening off with a bit of attitude with a “Tempting Tango” workshop provided by our own VBDS instructor, Victor Golubkov.

There’ll be tasty treats reminiscent of patisseries lining the streets of Paris, a fun Paris themed photo booth and a nostalgic French tune or two worked into the playlist of ballroom music.

When:  Saturday, May 18thh – workshop @ 6:00 p.m. / general dancing 6:45–8:45 p.m.

Where:  Cedar Hill Rec Centre – enter from the lobby only – the side doors will remain closed.

Ticket Information:  Secure your spot now and join us for our last dance of the season!  Tickets are available online (sign in then scroll down) and at the door.  VBDS members $10 per person, and non-members $12 per person.

VBDS members can register & pay here

Non-members can register & pay here

Classes & workshops – May, June and July 2024

Classes for May, June and July have been posted to our calendar.

Night Club Waltz workshop series Part II

Due to the overwhelming response to the first series, John de Pfyffer has agreed to teach a Part 2 to the Night Club Waltz dance. These will run from noon to 1:00 pm on Saturdays, May 25th, June 1st and 8th at Cedar Hill Rec Centre. For more info and to register, click here.

Couple Position Workshop series with Gaétan Rouette

Gaétan Rouette is back for another series of workshops this time focusing on the nine couple positions and transitioning between them while maintaining frame and contact. These will run Sunday mornings from 10:30 to noon at Les Passmore on June 9th 16th and 23rd. More info / registration can be found here.

Intro to Ballroom workshops – summer schedule

VBDS will host two Intro to Ballroom workshop series this summer. These will be held at Cedar Hill Rec Centre on Saturdays from noon-1:00pm. The first series will run July 6th, 13th and 20th and the second series July 27th, August 3rd and 10th. Students are invited to participate in the practice that follows the workshops from 1:00-2:00pm. More info and registration links can be found here.

Level 4 Pre-Bronze Part 2

Pre-Bronze Part 2 continues through the summer on Thursday evenings from 7:00-8:30pm. The first series will run from June 6th to 27th, the second series from July 4th to 25th and the final series from August 1st to 22nd. More info / registration can be found here.

Pre-Bronze Refresher Workshop

Have you been away from dancing for awhile? If you are rusty (but not a newbie) this five-week workshop series is for you. Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:30, review the fundamentals and finer points with Wanda. The workshops run from July 9th to August 6th. More info / registration links can be found here.

Other Dancing Opportunities

Dance Competition Update

 

Island Fantasy Ball 2024

Image Island Fantasy Ball 2024 promo

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Island Fantasy Ball, hosted as always by Nanaimo Ballroom Dance Society. This two-day event will be held on June 1st and 2nd at Beban Park Social Centre, Nanaimo, BC – The only ballroom competition on the island. More event and registration information can be found here: https://www.islandfantasyball.com/

 

Sunday Funday – Summer 2024

The organizers of VCC/Sunday Funday have just announced the date for this one-day Vancouver event – June 23rd, 2024! More details to follow as they are made available. Check their website for updates: https://sundayfunday.dance/

 

Classes for January, February and March are up!

VBDS LIbrary of Instructional DVDs

Our library of instructional DVDs at all levels is now available. The titles and contact info for our Video Librarian have been posted under “Membership” in the main menu, and are available HERE.

Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain!

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Click on the image to open up in Youtube.

Worried About Memory Loss? Pick up your Dancing Shoes!
Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain.

Physical exercise has an anti-aging effect on the hippocampus region of the brain — an area that controls memory, learning and balance. A recent study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience has found dance classes can prevent and reverse some signs of aging in the brain!

The 18- month study looked at seniors with an average age of 68 and placed them in either a group challenged with dance routines or a group challenged with repetitive endurance exercise such as cycling.

The dance routines contained many challenges and changes every session including changes in steps, arm patterns, speeds, choreograph and genres.

The older adults who participated dance exercise experienced an increase in the hippocampus volume as well as an improvement in their balance. This is very significant because the hippocampus is the earliest and most severely affected brain structure in individuals with dementia. It is a brain area that is responsible for not only memory and learning but also for keeping one’s balance.

This study has since generated a lot of popular articles and videos over the past 12 months, but there is one particular video available on YouTube is that is of special interest, since, along with dancers from all over the world, it includes a short clip of some VBDS Members of long-standing. The brief footage of VBDS Members in the YouTube video was taken a number of years ago, in the downstairs Dance Studio at Saanich Commonwealth Place, as part of a pilot for a TV series.

We hope you can share this with your family and friends and spread the good word!
It’s never too late to pick up those dancing shoes!

Volunteers! You’re Our Fuel!

You’re Our Fuel!!

Your Victoria Ballroom Dance Society runs on the energy and dedication of Volunteers… people just like you, people who love to dance and who bring other skills from the rest of their lives. Frankly, we’re a fun bunch!!  Here are a couple of opportunities; come join us!!!

If we’re lucky enough to get your help with our Membership Committee, you’ll be advising your board on ways to enhance the membership’s experience with VBDS. Some of the ways we’ll do that include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with Class Registrations and Ballroom Introductions
  • Devising FUN ways to improve membership retention year to year
  • Updating and maintaining our Membership and contact information list

Interested? You can contact our membership committee at: membership@vbds.org

If you choose to volunteer for the Dance Committee, you’ll be an important part of advising the board on matters relating to FUN!… also known as: dances sponsored by VBDS. As a part of a team, you will have the opportunity to share your ideas and use your creative talents to:

  • help organize the Monthly Dances
  • coordinate the music, and 
  • help organize the next New Year’s Dance

Interested? You can contact our dance committee at: dance@vbds.org

Our Dance Syllabus

Elegant Standard: The Foxtrot

Because of its smoothness, it is often referred to as the Rolls Royce of the standard dances. It is what Fred and Ginger used to do so well. “The object of smooth dances is to move or travel smoothly around the room, covering as much of the dance floor as possible. The couple should be streamlined, two people moving as one, gliding fluidly and forcefully around the dance floor. Imagine a room filled with stiff whipped cream. The dancers’ goal is to move smoothly and powerfully through the cream, charting a clean path without disrupting any of the cream around them.” This is one of the best descriptions of our goal in smooth dancing. It is from the book, “ABC’s of Ballroom Dance”.

It is generally believed that a Vaudeville star by the name of Harry Fox began what today we call the Foxtrot. In the summer of 1914 Harry and his company of “American Beauties” put on a dancing act in the New York Theater. As part of his act, he was doing trotting steps to ragtime music, and people referred to this dance as “Fox’s Trot”. When the British dance masters imported this American ballroom dance to England, they smoothed away the trotting, hops and kicks to a much smoother version which has endured over the years.