Classes 2024

Dance  Classes:   2024

Dancing is good for the body and mind.  Ballroom dancing is one of the best ways to prevent dementia – a scientific fact!   Being social increases longevity.  And, it’s just plain fun, fun, fun. 

Introductory Dance Classes coming in the Fall 2024 with Ilene & Jim

Wednesdays, September 11 to October 16, 2024

The Introductory Classes will be back this Fall.   That’s six, weekly classes for each dance (Ballroom or Swing).  Take both, or focus on one.  
This link is for all the classes offered through Community Education at Columbia College.  Scroll down to the dance classes to enroll through the community ed website.  
Both classes will be held at The Dance Castle studio.

Introduction to Ballroom Dance

The Dance Castle
23496 Gold Springs Dr., Columbia, CA 95310

Learn to dance three dances in six lessons! First-time dancers will learn three social dances: waltz, foxtrot, and rumba in six hours. You will be able to dance socially right away. Join the dance community while having fun, getting exercise, and fighting dementia (yes, it’s been proven!). No partner or dance experience necessary.

Instructors- Jim and Ilene Tassano

Location- The Dance Castle

Cost- $50

Introduction to Swing Dance

The Dance Castle
23496 Gold Springs Dr., Columbia, CA 95310

Swing is the most popular and useful dance in Tuolumne County. You will be out dancing in six weeks to 40s, 50s, Big Band, country-western, and popular music. Join the other dancers at events like Concert in the Pines, Concert in the Parks, Columbia Street Dance, and other events. This course is for first-time dancers and anyone wanting to have fun, get exercise and learn single-rhythm East Coast Swing. Optional field trips will be encouraged to help you get out and dance.

Instructors- Jim and Ilene Tassano

Location- The Dance Castle

Time- 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Cost- $50


Hot LATIN Fridays!

with Erika & Tom

on summer break until Fall 2024

Now doing Bachata and Salsa at The Dance Castle

Next class:  Fall 2024

6:15 PM:  tba

7:00 PM:  tba

Cost:   $10/person/class 


coming this Fall 2024

at The Dance Castle

Immerse yourself in Bachata.  Each class will build on the preceding one.  

6:15 p.m.:  Class will focus on technique, footwork, musicality, turns and patterns.

7 p.m.:  Class will focus on choreography and applying what is learned to a bachata song.  At the end of the 4 weeks, we will be using the choreography to dance to a full song.

Cost:  $80 for the 2 hour classes for 4 weeks

For questions, please contact Tom at 

Folk Dance Classes at The Dance Castle:

Mondays, 7-9 p.m.   

   7 – 8 p.m.:  Beginning Folk Dance

   8 – 9 p.m.:  Intermediate Folk Dance

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!   You can find us on the outdoor pavilion in lovely weather!


5 – 5:50 p.m.:  Ilene will be teaching East Coast Swing at the new Recreation Hall in Tuolumne City:

7 Wednesday Classes from June 5th to July 17th

Location:  18411 Bay Avenue, Tuolumne (next to the park)

Fee:  $20/person or $35/couple (for 7 classes)

The, join us at Tuolumne Park for the “Concerts in the Park” from 6 – 8 p.m. through September 4, 2024.



6 – 7 p.m.:  Beginning Foxtrot (3 week class, July 11, 18, 25)  $10/person/class

7 – 8 p.m.:  Beginning Waltz  (July 11, 18, 25)


Contact Amy for more information: 

call or text at (510) 387-8260; or email at

Private lessons also available




Next Flash Mob . . . . coming soon!


links & videos:  A vault of memories . . . 

Many thanks to our former instructors; we’ve had so much fun learning so many forms of dance from them . . . .

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:
Ali Pasa Agidi  (Turkish)
Hora Fêtelor  (Romanian)
Tzadik Katamar   (Isreali)
Bannielou Lambael (Brittany)
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  (usually $10/person) to help support our instructors, the overhead and the the Dance Galas.      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!



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


Previous Flash Mobs:

Choreographed and taught by Lia Metz


“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:

note:  Please contact the instructors to verify dates and times

Second Saturdays, 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.    $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, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.:  Twain Harte Twirler’s Square Dancing at Soulsbyville Elementary School.  New classes start September 12, 2023.  20300 Soulsbyville Rd, Soulsbyville, CA 95372.   12 week class is $60/person. For more info call Kelly Michel at 209-586-0175,

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, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.:  Beginning Line Dancing with Pat Lincoln at the Sonora Senior Center.  $2 donation

Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.:  Line Dancing at First Presbyterian Church (49’er Church) in Columbia, 11155 Jackson Street, with Carolyn Sylva.   Free.   Call Carolyn for more information: 984-4546.

Thursdays, on-going, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 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:


30 Responses to Classes 2024

  1. Angie says:

    Good morning,
    I am looking for a ballroom and swing class. Am I on the right track?

    • Ilene says:

      Yes! We currently have on-going classes in Lindy Hop, Salsa and Bachata. In March 2024, we’ll be teaching introductory Swing and Ballroom! Can’t wait to get you dancing! Ilene

  2. Chris Greci says:

    What is going on here? I thought I’d have to compromise living out here in the beautiful mountains, having no where to dance, but what is this!!! I’ll see you soon.

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Chris!
      Thank you for joining us. We have lots of dancing planned and you are such a wonderful addition to our dancing community. Later, Ilene

  3. Kulani says:

    Hello! My family and I recently moved to Columbia. My daughter is 10 and we are both looking to join a dance community. We’d like to start off with beginner’s classes. Where is a good place to start?

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Kulani,
      I would start with the Thursday classes with Kayla. We usually have many classes offered, but getting into the holidays, classes will taper off until after New Year’s. I think we’re the only active dance community in Tuolumne County. I’ll add you to my email list. Looking foward to meeting you family! Ilene

  4. KEN and Trish says:

    We are ready to get back to dancing, esp swing,2 step, LATIN. We’ ll be visiting Leah in Santiago, Chile and will need to dance

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Ken and Trish!
      I love hearing from you! Kayla will be teaching a beginning SALSA class starting on July 15th. I don’t know the time yet, but I thing salsa would be great to add to your repertoire!
      Take care and see you soon!

  5. Victoria FREEMAN says:

    Hi I’m interested in the adult beginning ballet class. How do I sign up and how much does it cost? Thank you

    • Ilene says:

      Hi Victoria!
      The Ballet Class starts next Tuesday, June 4th at 5:15 p.m.! The cost is $7.50/class. Come enjoy with us!

      Let me know if you have any questions . . . wear something comfortable!

  6. Mary Ingles says:

    Country Western 2 Step! Needed at 7 pm any nite also the waltz at 7 pm any nite!

  7. 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

  8. Shelly Walker says:

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

  9. Kaylee says:

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Ilene says:

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

    • Bernie and RAndy Waugh says:

      Hi Ilene, will you be offering east coast swing lessons? Love, love that you have so much going on in the dance community! Bernie and Randy from Twain Harte


      • Ilene says:

        Hi Bernie and Randy!
        We are finishing up a beginning East Coast Swing class this week. You can join us tonight (Wednesday) if you are familiar with the basics, or just come and watch. Let me know what level of swing you are looking for and we’ll add another class!
        take care!

Leave a Reply to Kaylee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *