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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Dance  Classes:   2022

So awesome to get moving and shaking again!

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

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at The Dance Castle!

Join Erika and Tom this Saturday, July 2nd,  for Basic Salsa and Bachata.  Come and learn some basic steps and patterns to get you started on the dance floor.  
Beginning Salsa: 1:00 pm
Beginning Bachata: 2:00 pm 
$10/person/class or both classes for $15
Be ready to have fun!

New Instructors, New Classes!

We are so grateful to offer extraordinary classes with Glenn & Sue Cravalho, six time winners of the UCWDC Worlds Championship First Place Competition Titles! 

Tuesday Classes start June 28th

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.:  West Coast Swing Basics ($5/class).   The Cravalho’s will be teaching the basics needed for the 7 p.m. class.  Great time to brush up on the five basic steps!

6:00 – 6:50 p.m.:  Easy Country Western 2-Step  

7:00 – 7:50 p.m.:  Novice West Coast Swing, “Improving your basics & more!” (need to know basic patterns)

8:00 – 8:50 p.m.:  Open Practice  (studio will remain open for practice & dancing, no charge)

Price for 2-Step and West Coast Swing Class:  $12/person/class

This is a 4 week class through July 19th.

THIS WORKSHOP HAS A MINIMUM NUMBER OF STUDENTS NEEDED; PLEASE PRE-REGISTER by emailing Ilene (wingstodance@yahoo.com) or calling (209) 532-1859.


MONDAY Classes with Kayla


Through July 25, 2022

4 Mondays

6 p.m.:  Beginning Rumba

7 p.m.:  Beginning Foxtrot

COST:  $10/person/class

Register at any time.

Contact Kayla for any questions:  k.d.northington986@gmail.com or (209) 403-2983


Folk Dancing continues in 2022

2022 Folk Dance Classes at The Dance Castle:

Thursday, July 7,  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

More dates 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!


JUST DANCE at The Dance Castle!

Date:  Sunday, July 17, 2022

Time:  1 p.m.-4 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:   August 21, September 18, 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 . . . .

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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’s Classes will resume in 2022. 


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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