Pacific Grand Ball, 2013
Steps to Dance wins
"Top Studio Award"

Ian Nandhra wins
"Top Teacher" award.

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About Us
Jolene Alquist and Ian Nandhra, Steps To Dance Studio, Sonora.
Ian Nandhra and Jolene Alquist run the Steps To Dance studio in the tranquility of Sonora in the California Gold Country foothills. We are fortunate enough to have a 1500sq ft purpose built facility in a very tranquil area - "its like dancing in the trees" commented one couple.

Ian's interest in dancing started in England in 1997 with Cha Cha, Lindy and Jive. He met Jolene Alquist dancing in a bar in Evergreen, Colorado early in 1998 and they were married later the same year. They ultimately settled in Sonora, California. It was in Sonora that Ian had what Jolene calls his "blonde moment" (with no disrespect intended towards blondes). He woke from a dream-like fugue, sat up in bed, and said to an astonished Jolene, "I think I'd like to be a ballroom dance instructor." This goal has now become a guiding force of his life.

Our Professional Qualifications and Education
Ian and Jolene are DVIDA Certified in American Smooth, Latin and Rhythm styles. We continue to study and certify as Professional Instructors under the mentorship and instruction of Diane Jarmolow, the founder and director of the nationally acclaimed Ballroom Dance Teachers College. Diane is widely regarded as the nation's premier expert on dance teacher training.

Ian Nandhra is the first person to have become a DVIDA Certified Instructor in the unique Move Like A Champion program developed by Diane Jarmolow and Kasia Kozak.

Ian is also a Ballroom Dance Teachers College (BDTC) Master Instructor. His brief biography can be found here.

Diane's rigorous method involves breaking down each dance figure into smaller component parts, all of which must come together to create a dance's kinesthetic whole. These technical elements are also the building blocks of grace. This type of intense, structural study appeals to Ian's scientific mind. Jolene and Ian's lessons with Diane have catapulted their dancing and teaching to an entirely new level.

  It has been my great joy to work with Ian and Jolene as they prepare for their DVIDA examinations. Ian and Jolene are wonderful teachers. They approach their dance education with enthusiasm, vigor, and great joy, and their commitment to their students is tremendous. Ian and Jolene represent the best of the ballroom profession. They are an inspiration to me!

Diane Jarmolow,
Director, Ballroom Dance Teachers College
DVIDA National Examiner

The Foothills Dance Teachers Academy
Working closely with Diane, we have founded a Teacher Training facility, the "Foothills Dance Teachers Academy", using her world renowned BDTCC program.  This program trains Professional Instructors through 17 dances all the way to earning their professional certifications.

Central Valley Dance Institute at BallroomLIVE, Fresno
Ian Nandhra is the Master Instructor for the BDTC program at BallroomLIVE in Fresno. This program trains Professional Instructors through 17 dances all the way to earning their professional certifications.

Ian continues to study with both Aira Bubnelyte, predominantly on the International Standard dances and technique and with David Weise.

Dance Projects
In addition to teaching our other projects  include:

  1. Setting up and running the Professional Teacher Training program for the Central Valley Dance Institute at the BallroomLIVE studio in Fresno.  This is a same program we use at the Foothills Dance Teachers Academy

  2. With Shana Monaco, we are co-producers of the Dancing With The Tuolumne County Stars ( event in its 3rd year which in 2009 raised over $36,000 across over a dozen charities.

  3. Work on DVIDA Syllabus and Examination manuals ( in addition to the Silver American Smooth manual and the Bronze International Standard Manual.

    This work has given us a greater depth of understanding about the dynamics and intricacies of Ballroom Dancing and how it should be taught and presented to dance students..


  4. Working closely with Aira Bubnelyte and Tomas Atkocevicius on the design and technology behind the "Ultimate Center" belt

  5. The Studio Management Player (

  6. Body movement and dynamics as applied to Ballroom Dancing

"Diane is to the science of ballroom dance instruction what Newton is to physics," Ian says.    

Diane responds, "Ian is to a ballroom dancing lesson what the bubbles are to champagne. He effervesces."  She adds, "I can't imagine a teacher more committed to his student's progress or more thrilled with their every achievement."   

We aim to make our classes fun, entertaining and instruction in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our results speak for themselves.

People dance for many reasons. So why do Jolene and Ian dance?

"Because for a couple of magical minutes we shut everything else out and glide around the floor for the sheer joy that we bring to each other. It's completely addictive. It's also an immense pleasure to be able to help others achieve the same."


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Steps To Dance provides Ballroom Dance classes from Professionally Qualified instructors in the California Foothills, Sonora, Columbia, Angels Camp, Twain Harte and Jamestown areas as well as  Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador Counties.