Welcome to the Dance Castle, Ilene’s dance website!

DANCE . . . . . is a beautiful form of art to which each artist can feel and interpret the magic of the moment.   I love to feel music and I am so grateful for all those who brought dance into my life, especially Paul and Elsie Miller.    Some people say that I was born to dance, but I think I was born to share dancing with you. 
Jim and I dance.  We have been dancing together for over twenty years.  I started dancing 30 years ago with such great inspirations from line dancer Rayma Garcia, choreographers Cam and Lori Wong, and dancers extraordinaire Carlos and Karen Canto.   I went on to study ballroom, latin and swing dancing from ISTD professional Paul Miller and his wife, Elsie.    I taught Ballroom and Swing dance classes at Columbia College with Paul Miller for five years, then another fifteen years with Jim.  We continue to teach through the Community Education program at Columbia College, in addition to our private home studio. 
We opened our own home studio, The Dance Castle, in September 2010 at the request of our students and friends.  Our mission is to share our love, provide low-cost lessons and have a place to dance.   The lesson donations are used to help finance the Dance Galas and overhead.  Everything gets invested back into dancing.   We do have a day job as Owners-Biologists for our company, Foothill Sierra  Pest Control.  Our evenings are filled with teaching and dancing in our community.
Love and Dance,
Ilene and Jim

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~

Dance  Classes:   2022

So awesome to get moving and shaking again!

For more information, click on the tab under the header photo!


MONDAYS with Kayla
Kayla will be teaching private classes on Mondays. 
Call her for a private lesson in ballroom, Latin and social dances!


k.d.northington986@gmail.com or (209) 403-2983



Thursdays, September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.:  Beginning Ballroom with Ilene & Jim.  Learn the basic steps in three dances: waltz, foxtrot and rumba!   You will be able to dance 10 steps in each dance after taking this introductory class.    $5/person; register at the first class.

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.:  Beginning East Coast Swing with Ilene & Jim.  East Coast Swing is the most popular and useful dance in this area.  It’s fun and easy!  Join the dance craze with this super fun dance!   $5/person; register at the first class.

Both classes will be held at The Dance Castle, 23496 Gold Springs Drive, Columbia.

Contact Ilene for any questions or information:  wingstodance@yahoo.com, (209) 532-1859

Hot Salsa Friday!

with Erika & Tom

Starting Friday, September 23, 2022:

6 p.m.:  Basic Beginner Footwork and Timing

7 p.m.:  Beginner/Novice Salsa Pattern (for students who no longer need to count out the basic step)

Note: Depending on the level of students, this may turn in to an advanced beginning or intermediate class.

Cost:  $10/class or $15/both

For questions, please contact Tom at sonorasalsaclub@gmail.com 

2022 Folk Dance Classes at The Dance Castle:

To Be Announced . . .

I’ll post the dates on this site, so keep checking back!  We’re going to play it week-by-week, depending on Carlos’ availability.  Dancers and non-dancers of all ages will have fun learning these beautiful international dances.  No partner is needed.  We are loving the music, the dancing, and the wonderful time together with other dancers.  Join us!  There is no charge to be with this fun group!



Date:  Sunday, September 18, 2022

Time:  1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Location:  Church of the 49’ers, 11155 Jackson Street, Columbia.

Donation:  $10/person or $5/senior.  Donation goes to the church’s Historical Building Fund.    It’s a win-win . . . we get to use the church’s beautiful facilities and they get funds for their upkeep.   Includes dance instruction (by request) and light refreshments.

Music:  Fabulous tunes and vocals by Les Olson.   Les is trained to play music we can dance and practice to, including ballroom, swing, Latin and country music.

Refreshments:  A lovely assortment of sweets and savories are donated by our volunteers and patrons; we always welcome your food donations!

Save these dates for Just Dance:   October 16, November 20, December 18.


Dance Opportunities

See the Events tab above for all the great dances coming up!


The Dance Pavilion

Our “outdoor dance studio and events area!”


We are planning to have 2022 galas!   More details to come!


Check out all the photos on our facebook page:


My daughters manage my facebook page.   I’m totally fb-phobic, so please continue to email me directly or through this website.   Oh . . . I’m told to ask friends to “like” us on facebook . . . .


Inspiring videos for our next flash mob! (the second video takes great creative liberties with the basic steps (fun!):


See you out dancing!

Big hugs from Jim & Ilene


just to share . . . .

2016 was a BLAST and full of dance!

Congratulations to the West Coast Swing Flash Mob group under the direction of Stephanie Merfeld and Jim Clapp:

We had an amazing time performing all over the county for the International West Coast Swing Flash Mob Day!    Dancers:  Jim Duffy with Ilene Tassano, Kyle McDonald with Colleen McHenry, Mark Wright with Lisa Reza, Quentin Jongejan with April Foster and Jim Tassano with Bonnie Brunk.


The Thriller/Zombie class entertained the living in October.  Big thanks to Heather Nordstrom for the classes!  (see photo below)


Dance Fitness Instructor, Susan Forbes, has been amazing at instrumenting our Witchy Dances in October.  The “Dance Castle Witches” had their All Hallow’s Faire Debut on October 22nd as a pre-show for the Tinder Fire Dancers:

The Fire-Dancers were amazing:


I was honored to work with this talented group of young men and women:

Teresa’s Quinceanera, choreographed September, 2014:

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