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

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The Dance Pavilion

Our “outdoor dance studio and events area!”



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 . . . .

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Dance  Classes:   2021

So awesome to get moving and shaking again!

Safety Format:  All classes will be held outside on our dance pavilion.  Every student will be responsible for their own comfort level, including optional mask wearing, distancing and staying with your same partner.  Hand Sanitizer, bathrooms, and masks available.    Please do not attend if you are ill or have a fever.

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


I am so excited to present our newest dance instructor, Michael Marangio, specializing in all the 1920’s and 30’s Swing Classics, such as East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Shim Sham, St. Louis Shag, Balboa and Charleston!   

Michael continues with some amazing classes:

Tuesdays 6-7 p.m., June 15 – July 6, 2021:   Beginning East Coast Swing with Michael

Tuesdays 7-8 p.m.:  June 15 – July 6, 2021:  Beginning Lindy Hop with Michael    “Lindy Hop was the first swing dance. It was developed in Harlem in the 1030’s.  East Coast Swing was adapted from the Lindy Hop.  We recommend taking several classes in East Coast Swing before taking Lindy Hop.”


Cost:  $10 per person per class

Place:  The Dance Castle, outdoor studio, 23496 Gold Springs Drive, Columbia

Registration:  please contact Michael to reserve your space at:  (510) 684-1192 or mmar@earthlink.net


New Thursday Classes:


Ilene and Jim will be doing a series of four-week classes so we can connect again with some very fun dances:

DATE:  June 17 – July 8  (4 Thursdays)

LOCATION:  The Dance Castle, 23496 Gold Springs Dr., Columbia, CA, outdoor studio

TIME:   6-7 p.m. for  Beginning Night Club 2-Step

               7-8 p.m. for Beginning Country Western 2-Step

COST:  $5/person/class

REGISTRATION can be done at the first class 



Folk Dancing will continue

Please note NEW time!  We are starting earlier!

Some Fridays, 6 – 8 p.m.:  Folk Dancing has been traditionally on the first, third and fifth Fridays with Carlos.  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!


Local Dance Events:

Events are popping up; looks like a wonderful year for dancing!    Click on tab above:  Local Dance Events

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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