Kick up your heels at ballroom dance classes

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By Sara Miller

Have you ever wished that you could dance like those professionals on “Dancing With The Stars?” Are professional dance lessons too expensive, too far away or just too intimidating for you?

Never fear. Wiley Simpson is here – in Evergreen. Beginning on Thursday, June 25, Simpson will launch a series of dance lessons and events that are sure to have you tangoing and cha-cha’ing like the champions.

This three-day crash course in ballroom dancing will take place at the Evergreen Elk’s Lodge. The first night, students – either couples or singles – will learn the salsa, foxtrot and swing. Simpson guarantees that by the end of the evening, even students with two left feet will be gliding across the dance floor. Night No. 2 will consist of instruction in beginning cha cha, tango and waltz. Finally on Saturday night, Simpson will host a town dance. He will provide a dance lesson for the first hour and oversee an open dance for the rest of the evening.

“Students will learn how to lead or follow and also work on technique and styling for each dance, so that they will not only look good, but feel good on the dance floor. The most important part of all of this is that students learn how to create what I call ‘social unity in the community.’ Neighbors have a chance to get together in a no-pressure, positive environment and have some fun,” says Simpson.

Simpson has been a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher and actor for over 30 years. His credits in film, television and stage include coaching and choreography on “Dancing With The Stars” for four seasons and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Simpson is a former professional international latin and ballroom competitor with many regional and national titles in swing, ballroom and latin dancing. His mother was a professional dancer in New York, and Simpson followed in her footsteps, turning to ballroom dancing at the age of 7.

All of Simpson’s dance experience helped him find his true passion in teaching dance. “Dancing has so many amazing benefits. I have students in my L.A. classes that have lost up to 40 pounds. I could go on and on about the physical benefits of dance. I've also seen wonderful benefits in relationships. We’ve had 20 marriages come out of classes that I teach. We even had our first ‘dance student’ baby – a couple who met in one of the California classes just had their first child,” says Simpson.

Simpson attributes the improved and reignited relationships to the communication skills learned in ballroom dancing. “I teach couples how to practice with each other and get along doing it. Dancing is really all about negotiating and finding a happy middle ground. These are lessons that apply on the dance floor as well as off,” says Simpson.

Whether you’re single, newly married or celebrating your golden anniversary, there’s a place for you on the dance floor in Evergreen. For information or to sign up for the classes, call 877-744-3262.

Evergreen Smoothies Dance Classes

Thursday, June 25 – 7-10 p.m. (salsa, foxtrot and swing)

Friday, June 26 – 7-10 p.m. (cha cha, tango and waltz)

Saturday, June 27 – 7-11 p.m. (All-town dance: lesson from 7-8 and dancing until 11)

Lesson Prices:

All three evenings (10 hours of instruction): $59 per person

One evening: $34

The dance only: $16 at the door

No dance partner necessary

The Elk’s Lodge: 27972 Iris Dr., Evergreen

To register for classes, call 877-744-3262