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Swing and salsa workshops feature visiting instructor

If you go

What: Dance workshops with Roxanne Maier

When: 7 to 8:15 p.m. today, (Level 1 West Coast swing); 10 to 11:15 a.m. (Level 1 salsa), 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (Level 2 salsa), 2 to 3:15 p.m. Saturday (Level 2 swing); 2 to 3:15 p.m. (Level 3 swing), 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Sunday (Level 3 salsa)

Where: Northwest Ballet Studio, 326 Oak St.

Cost: $40 per couple per class

Call: Charles Horton or Susan Dorsey at 879-3712

More information: Socks or dance shoes (no street shoes) are required. Preregistration is requested, but it is possible to sign up for classes at the door. Private instruction in other dance styles, including tango, will be available depending on interest. E-mail susanancharles@ea... for more information.

For more information about dance instructor Roxanne Maier, go to http://www.tangoteacher....

— When ballroom instructor Roxanne Maier looks out on a dance floor, she doesn’t expect to see a particular type of person.

“I’ve been to some dances where I look out on the floor and there’s an older guy who’s maybe 5-foot-2 with a belly, and he’s dancing and looking incredible, and he’s totally hip. He’s fun to watch because he has style, and he has confidence,” Maier said, explaining what has kept her interesting in teaching salsa, swing and tango for more than 20 years.

“That for me is the draw, to be able to teach people how to find that in themselves and to really have fun with the dance,” she said.



Today through Sunday, Maier will lead classes in salsa and West Coast swing at Northwest Ballet Studio. A teacher at Convergence Dance and Body Center in St. Louis, Maier travels frequently to teach public and private dance workshops. She first came to Steamboat Springs several years ago as an instructor for a week-long workshop at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp, and has returned several times since.

Charles Horton, who has taught ballroom dance workshops in Steamboat for the past several years said he was looking forward to a chance to work with Maier again, after participating in dance workshops she led here in 2003.



“She’s been doing it a long time, and her ability to recognize where you’re moving your body in the wrong direction, where if you shift your shoulder this way your foot works this way, and just how the body moves,” has been helpful to Horton as a dancer and as a teacher, he said.

The connection between two people in swing, salsa, tango or other partner dances is immediate and effortless, Maier said.

“It starts with ‘Hey, let’s be connected and let’s dance.’ It’s not about who you are or what you’ve done; it’s about being in the moment, and everybody dances with everybody,” she said.

Group classes for beginner and intermediate salsa and swing dancers will be offered for $40 per couple, per class. Workshop organizer Susan Dorsey said advance registration is preferred, but dancers will be allowed to drop in and pay at the door. Maier said she chose to focus on salsa and West Coast swing because the dance styles apply to a wide range of music, encompassing most Latin beats, pop, country, rock and swing.

The workshops will focus on teaching a few basic dance moves and then allowing participants to expand on those moves and add bits of personality to them, Maier said.

“In anything you do there’s a breakdown of basic movements, whether it’s skiing or snowboarding or dancing. : Most dance moves break down to four or five basic moves, and in those classes, we’re going to really promote what those basic moves are, and from there they can get creative,” she said.


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