Latest News & Events

Congratulations To Our Emerald Ball Ballroom Dancing Champions!

I would like to congratulate all our ballroom dancing students on a job well done at this years Emerald Ball, the largest ballroom dance competition in Southern California. You made us proud! By Your Side Dance Studio had 75 ballroom dance entries overall.

The highlights of the competition were as follows:

Michael Nguyen started the competition off for us on Tuesday in Bronze Rhythm coming in 2nd in his Pre-Bronze rhythm ballroom dances and 1st in Pre-Bronze Hustle. Next up was Rene Perez with Monica Angelats winning 1st in Open Bronze Salsa, Swing and Cha Cha dances.

On Wednesday it was American Smooth day with Michael and Rene both ballroom dancing with Deborah. Rene walked away with a 1st place in Open Bronze Tango, a 1st in Open Bronze Waltz and a 2nd in Open Bronze Foxtrot. Michael walked away with a 2nd place in the Closed Rhythm Scholarship and a 4th in the Closed Bronze Championship.

Thursday was our busiest day with Jerry Hernandez coming in 2nd in Open Sr. Gold Waltz and 3rd in Open Sr. Gold Tango. Rene Perez came in 4ths in Open Silver Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango and 3rds in Open Gold Waltz, Tango and Foxtrot. Michael Nguyen danced in the Smooth Bronze/Silver Championship, Jane Glaser and Rene won the Senior Open Amateur Rhythm. Deborah and Guillermo danced the best they had ever danced due in part to all of you that came out to show your support!

We came back on Saturday morning with Charles Ramsey and his teacher, Rebeca Ovadia, dancing in the Bronze International Latin. Charles had many entries and went back and forth between 4th and 5th places in his ballroom dances. Suryany Misrayim moving up a level to the Silver International Latin placing between 4th and 6th in her many ballroom dances.

The main goal for our competitive ballroom dancing students is self improvement, and all of you exceeded our expectations! Congratulations!

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Argentine Tango Lessons

argentine-tango-deborah-and-jordiThere is probably no other dance that has the romantic and sensual expression of the Argentine Tango.

The Argentine tango is often described as the most romantic of all the dances. Now you can experience the beauty, passion and romance of the Argentine Tango with our new series of beginner and intermediate Argentine tango lessons.


  • Level 1: Saturdays – 4:45 – 5:30 pm
  • Level 1.5: Saturdays – 5:30 – 6:15 pm
  • Level 2: Saturdays – 6:15 – 7:30 pm

Argentine Tango

Our Argentine Tango lessons will help develop a more comprehensive understanding of how to “connect the dots”. A strong focus will be placed on Argentine Tango dance improvisation, navigation and timing as well as an introduction to the two main systems: Parallel and Cross System. In addition, students will learn how to combine the core elements and implement new figures essential to Argentine Tango. Lastly, students will be introduced to the social dance etiquette preparing them for the tango socials (Milongas/Practicas).

For more information on our Tango lessons call 310-391-0400

Here are a couple of videos of our fantastic Argentine Tango dance instructor Jordi Caballero. In 2007, Jordi was an associate producer and co-star of Valentina’s Tango, opposite celebrated tango master Guillermina Quiroga.

Tammy Gibson and Jordi Caballero perform during “Tango Nuevo Cabaret” at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood, California

Monica Orozco & Jordi Caballero perform in “Tango Evolution” at the Downey Theatre in California

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Foxtrot, Waltz and Rumba and Dance Classes

Foxtrot, Waltz and Rumba on Thursdays Starting @ 7:00 pm

Viennese Waltz Dance ClassThis month we are offering Foxtrot, Waltz and Rumba ballroom dance classes! The Foxtrot is a smooth and graceful dance with continuous flowing movements across the dance floor and is typically danced to big band music. The Waltz is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and rise and fall. The Rumba is the slowest of the five competitive International Latin dances. Full of sensual movements, the Rumba is considered by many to be the sexiest of the ballroom dances.

  • Foxtrot: Thursdays 7:00 – 7:45 pm
  • Waltz: Thursdays 7:45 – 8:30 pm
  • Rumba: Thursdays 8:30 – 9:15 pm
  • Level: All levels. No experience or partner required.
  • Cost: $15 per class or 10 class punch card for $130
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Bachata Dance Classes

Bachata is Back! Wednesday’s @ 7:00 pm

bachata-dance-classesThe fun continues on Wednesdays with an all levels Bachata class followed by an East Coast Swing and a Salsa class.

The Bachata is a very popular Latin dance that is fun and easy to learn! The Bachata is from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean islands. Both the music and the dance are influenced by Cuban Bolero, the Merengue (also of Dominican Republic origin), Salsa and Cumbia. Come learn to dance the Bachata and add a some sizzle and style to your Latin dancing repertoire.

  • Bachata (All Levels): Wednesdays 7:00 – 7:45 pm
  • East Coast Swing Level 1: Wednesdays 7:45 – 8:30 pm
  • Salsa Level 1: Wednesdays 8:30 – 9:15 pm
  • Level: All levels. No experience or partner required.
  • Cost: $15 per class or 10 class punch card for $130

We look forward to seeing you.

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By Your Side Dance Studio Voted Best Dance Studio In Los Angeles

Best Dance Studio In Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA – By Your Side Dance Studio, a ballroom dance studio that makes learning to dance easy and fun for people of all ages and abilities, announced today that they have received the Top Choice Award for Best Dance Studio in Los Angeles by Top Choice Awards. Top Choice Awards is an organization that identifies businesses that have risen above their competition and have earned the people’s vote in top cities around the world.

“The public has been voting for the past three months and the results were clear! By Your Side Dance Studio has demonstrated top quality, service, value and professionalism in providing the best ballroom dance lessons and adult dance classes to the people of Los Angeles,” said Francesca Filippelli of Top Choice Awards.

Continue reading →

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You are invited to come to our quarterly in-house showcase at By Your Side Dance Studio on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 7pm.  Admission is $10.  There will be performances by many of our students, a little social dancing, light food, and a cha cha dance challenge between the men and women.  Come join the fun!!

Time: 7pm-9:00pm
Admission: $10
Food: Yes (i.e. pizza, cheese/crackers)
Performances: Approximately 15 performances


Julie Billig w/ Rene Perez – Quickstep
Terrie Dunn w/Guillermo Ceballos – WC Swing
William Emmons w/Deborah Perez – Salsa
Suryany Misrayim w/Rene Perez – Foxtrot
Juanita Fisher w/Guillermo Ceballos – EC Swing

Break – Social Dancing

Tatjana Leuthi w/Shay Dixon – Cha Cha
Vania Rangel w/Guillermo Ceballos – Salsa
Michael Nguyen w/Deborah Perez – Waltz
Narmar Hanna w/Craig Morris – Rumba
Marissa Eaton w/Guillermo Ceballos – Cha Cha

Break – Social Dancing

Yukiko Fukashima – Salsa Solo
Marilyn Tucker w/Guillermo Ceballos – Bolero
Karen Graham w/Rene Perez – Waltz
Nicole Kanter w/Guillermo Ceballos – Rumba
Narmar Hanna w/Craig Morris – Mambo

Awards for Medal Exams

Dance Battle: Cha Cha Girls vs. Cha Cha Guys
Hope to see you all here! Be ready to have some fun!!

Admission is for performers and guests is $10
Entry Fee for Performers additional $10
(Cha Cha teams: your entry fee was included in the package of lessons, admission fee still required)


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Come Cheer Us On At The Emerald Ball Ballroom Dance Competition April 28th – May 3rd

The most popular ballroom dance competition in Southern California, The Emerald Ball, is being held April 28th – May 3rd at the LAX Hilton.

This year we will have many By Your Side ballroom dancers competing in the ballroom dance competition in various categories and we would love to see you come out and cheer them on!

If you have never been to a ballroom dance competition, there is really nothing like the Emerald Ball. The Emerald Ball is one of the three largest competitions in the United States and is the largest pro/am ballroom dance competition in the world! But don’t let the glitz and glamour scare you, the Emerald Ball is a great way for amateur ballroom dancers to get their feet wet. The Emerald ball is also a great way to see fantastic ballroom dancing performances by professional ballroom dancers and get inspired by some of the top ballroom dancing competitors in the world.

If you want to see some great ballroom dancing, this event attracts the best of the best from the US and abroad!

Visit their website for tickets and information.

The Emerald Ball
April 28th – May 3rd, 2015
Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel
5711 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles California, USA, 90045-5631

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Tricks For Remembering Your Ballroom Dance Steps

How to remember ballroom dance stepsHave you ever arrived at a ballroom dance event, excited to try out your new ballroom dance moves and once you get on the dance floor – Doh! – your mind blanks out and you can’t remember those fancy dance steps? Well don’t worry, it happens to everyone. But are there any secrets or tricks to remembering your ballroom dance steps? Yes there are. Let me share a few with you.

Trick #1 – Take Notes or a Video

It’s often helpful to have a small notepad with you so that after your ballroom dance class you can jot down some notes about the dance steps you just learned. What is dance step pattern? What are the lead and follow techniques? What is the count for each dance pattern? By writing down some notes, your mind creates a stronger memory for that dance pattern. If your cell phone takes video then do that. A quick video of the dance move is a great way to help you with your dance practice.

Trick #2 – Practice New Dance Steps Immediately

Chances are that if you do not review your ballroom dance steps immediately after a lesson or at least on the same day, you will most likely forget it. So once you get home, put on some music and dance around the house! It doesn’t matter if you have a partner or not, by simply dancing the steps you will be on your way to building the muscle memory that is necessary for elegant and relaxed ballroom dancing.

Trick #3 – Use Visualization

Many Olympic athletes routinely use visualization to perfect their sports performance and you can do the same for your ballroom dancing. Simply relax, play some music and start to visualize in detail how you are going to dance to the music. Think about those cool ballroom dance moves that you just learned and visualize yourself performing those dance steps to the music. Visualization is an extremely powerful technique that allows you to rehearse your ballroom moves in your head before you ever step out on the dance floor.

Trick #4 – Teach Someone Else

Teaching someone else or practicing with a partner is a great way to remember ballroom dance steps. When you are teaching, you are forced to think back and remember all of those lead and follow techniques that you were taught in class. By verbally teaching a dance move, your mind quickly transitions from the mindset of “I can’t remember the dance move” to “I remember the dance move and can teach it to someone else”. This is a powerful shift in thinking.

Trick #5 – Refer To The DVIDA Syllabus

The DVIDA Syllabus was developed by some of the top ballroom dance teachers in the world and is a list of ballroom dance steps that are to be learned for all of the levels (Bronze to Gold) for both the American and International ballroom dances. Refer to the list and highlight all of the ballroom dance steps that you know. Use visualization and dance practice so that you don’t forget those moves and keep track of your progress! Keeping track of all of the dance steps you have learned will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. The DanceVision website has a convenient list of the names of each dance step for every level of dance style available at:

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Our Ballroom Dancers Won First Place at The California Open Ballroom Dancing Championships!

A big congratulations to our ballroom dance students who recently performed at the California Open Dancesport Championships, one of the most popular ballroom dance competitions in California.

Our ballroom student Brooke Dunn started off with a first place in a Bronze Waltz Solo dancing with our professional ballroom dance instructor Memito Ceballos.

Suryany Misrayim continued our winning streak with a first place in a Closed Bronze Three Dance Latin Championship also dancing with Memito.

Ballroom dance instructors extraordinaire, Deborah Field Perez and Memito Ceballos, closed out the weekend of competitive ballroom dancing with their sizzling and passionate performance in the Professional American Rhythm ballroom dancing category.

Congratulations again to Brooke and Suryany! Next is the Emerald Ball ballroom dance competition coming up in April.

What is Competive Ballroom Dancing?

So what is competitive ballroom dancing all about? Ballroom dance competitions are events that are officially sanctioned and regulated by Dancesport organizations. The International Dancesport Federation (IDSF) governs amateur ballroom competitions while the World Dance Council (WDC) governs professional ballroom dance competitions.

Each ballroom dance category is based on proficiency starting from beginner all the way to expert. The Dancesport levels are Newcomers or a dancer who has been dancing less than a year or has never competed in a dance competition, and Bronze, Silver and Gold ballroom dancers.

Ballroom dance students who want to enter a ballroom dance competition typically compete either in the amateur category or the pro-am category. The amateur category is where two amateurs dance together while the pro-am category is where one dancer is the instructor and the other dancer is the student. Pro-am is just like the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” where the amateur dances with the professional.

Unless you have a regular partner who is at the same dance level, we typically recommend that our ballroom students try the pro-am category. The reason is that when you practice for a competition with your instructor all of the lessons are focused entirely on you and you will grow much faster as a ballroom dancer. Another big plus is that you will feel much less stress on the dance floor knowing that your instructor is there to support you throughout the dance.

The Benefits of Competitive Ballroom Dancing

One of the greatest benefits of entering ballroom dance competitions is that you are setting a challenging goal which will motivate you to improve your ballroom dancing more quickly. Of course, the other benefit is the opportunity to perform and show-off your ballroom dancing ability as well as the fun of watching all of the competition dances and the amazing ballroom showcase dances. If you want to learn to ballroom dance quickly then consider getting ready for a ballroom dance competition. There is really nothing like the glamour, excitement and passion that is displayed at a ballroom dance competition!

Talk to your dance instructor if you are interested in more information about attending a ballroom dance competition. It’s a great way to improve your ballroom dancing – but watch out, it may become addicting!

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American Tango Dance Class

New! American Tango Thursdays @ 8:30 pm

american-tango-smThis month we are offering a special American tango or American tango dance class. There are three basic types of tango dance styles; Argentine, International and American tango. In American tango the dancers can separate from closed position to execute open moves such as underarm turns, alternate hand holds, dancing apart, and side-by-side choreography.

  • Day: Thursdays 8:30 - 9:15 pm
  • Level: All levels. No experience or partner required.
  • Cost: $15 per class
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Viennese Waltz Dance Class

New! Viennese Waltz Class Thursdays @ 7:45 pm

Viennese Waltz Dance ClassThis month we are offering a special Viennese Waltz dance class on Thursday’s at 7:45 pm. The Viennese waltz is danced in closed hold position and is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning. A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns and change steps and is typically danced at a faster tempo than a slow waltz.

  • Day: Thursdays 7:45 – 8:30 pm
  • Level: All levels. No experience or partner required.
  • Cost: $15 per class
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