The Viscount Dance Studio

The Viscount Dance Studio

10 employees
22 years in business

About this pro

You don’t have to look like a dancer to feel like one. Here at the Viscount, we support real dancing for real people.  In this noncompetitive, no-judgement environment, dancers create community the minute the music starts playing, and the minute you start moving to music, you become a dancer. Our classes are built around the student and the Portland dance community, not a sales model, or members only club.

We teach social dancing, not competitive Ballroom, and believe that an instructor is only as good as the smile on their students faces. Here we encourage you to make mistakes, look like a fool, laugh at your progress, become amazing, and understand that stepping on someones toe can lead to a life long friendship.

We also pride ourselves on creating capable, creative, graceful, and happy dancers, so expect to be impressed with what you’ll learn to do! The dance we teach is about individuals AND community!

Here you can discover the person you always knew you could be, all while making long lasting friendships and improving your health. You do not need any prior experience nor do you need to bring a partner. Just bring your smile and feet and everything in between.

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Portland, OR 97214
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Sarah, the owner, does not teach ballroom, or competitive dance. Her style of teaching is 100% client based, focusing on street/social dance styles meant for all bodytypes, ability levels, ages, and ambitions. Sarah is able to articulate not just how the dance and music work, but why, and how to make it yours. Her classes are upbeat, fun, sometimes analytical, and full of dancing (not just demo). The material is dance-floor appropriate, meaning you can actually use it in a social setting. All of the instructors here employ a no-scold policy to to their classes, so don't be afraid to make mistakes ;)  We believe our students, like us, are choosing to dance to better our selves, our day-to-day, and our lives. It should be fun! And challenging! And a great way to discover new sides to ourslves. The instructors, when not dancing, work in nursing, teaching higschool/preschool/kindergarten, libraries, engineering, music, fitness training, and other art disciplines. Just like you, we have skills and interests outside of dance, and for that reason our teaching styles are pretty holistic.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Sarah had her first dance class at age 5, making her training and career in dance span 38 years. She has been teaching dance for 20 years, and running the dance studio for 12. She worked in early childhood education for 10 years, and has played music all her life, making her supernaturally patient, and a great resource when it comes to understanding rhythm/musicality. She has taught dance and dance history in the public school sector, private schools, and college/universities, not to mention Latin Dance conventions throughout the US and Canada. Sarah has toured with a dance company and served as dancer, choreographer, and director over a 10 year span. In short, she has spent her life in music and dance!

The other instructors at the Viscount all have long histories with their dance specialties, and deep ties in the culture and community of their areas of expertice. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Private lesson rates vary from one instructor to the next, but Sarah's rates are:

individual: $60 per hour, $250 5 lesson package

couple: $80 per hour, $350 5 lesson package

Our group lesson are $15 per class, $55 for 4 classes, $95 for 8 classes, and $130 for 12 classes

How did you get started teaching?

Music! There is one sure fire way to get the body moving and that is play a song you love! When you do something you love, people notice, and when people began asking Sarah for lessons, she became a teacher. Supply should always follow demand ;)

What types of students have you worked with?

All levels of ability, trepidation, ambition, and motivation!

Ages 3-90, seriously!

People looking to improve their physical selves, emotional selves, self confidence, social lives, and those looking to sate their curiousity, test their comfort zones, and those looking to challenge themselves. 

Individuals, couples, and groups.

Those healing from injury and illness, divorce, acute shyness, assault, and trauma.

Also, people looking to have a good time and live life with their entire body!

(we at the Viscount are perpetually impressed by and honored to work with the students we meet!) 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Every year we end the year with a fundraiser dance party! Because we are a community based business, it is important to us to give back and last year we really pulled together a great party that ended up raising $1600 that was donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross at a time that they were actively pulling civilians out of war torn Syria. This year we will have a West Side Story themed party on December 22nd to raise money for Unidos por Puerto Rico. We have had multiple event sthat have raised money for individuals in the community who were abttling illness, and for organizations that provide emergency vet care 24 hours a day, or support for families who have lost a parent or child. Giving back is extremely important to us, and we love to make our dance parties have a greater purpose.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

I think it's important for a student to identify why they want to learn to dance in order to find the right fit in an instructor. Are you interested for the sake of personal developement? Are you dedicated to training toward a profession in dance? Are you looking to simply get in your body more? What is your motivation? All instructors have a different approach and in some cases, agenda. Make sure those agendas are in sync :)