My husband and I have been taking ballroom dance lessons with E & R Ballroom Dance (formerly McGregor Dance Studio) for nine years. We particularly like the relaxed atmosphere of the classes; although we have the option of working toward taking medal tests, there’s no pressure to do so. My husband and I have two small children so, although we enjoy going to the classes and the monthly social dances, we aren’t able to practice enough to take any tests. Elizabeth is very patient with us and is very good about continually reviewing what we’ve learned. We absolutely intend to continue taking lessons from E & R Ballroom Dance.

~ Andrea

We have been students of E and R Ballroom Dance Studio (formerly McGregor Dance Studio) for over ten years.

Elizabeth and Ron are professional and dedicated instructors who also bring humour to the classes so that they are informative and fun. Although we are not the most promising students we never feel that we are out of place and appreciate the effort and encouragment Elizabeth, Ron and their team bring forth. It is clear they care about their students.

~ Wyman and Sandy

I’ve been a student with Elizabeth Mcgregor for 2 years. She is an excellent instructor. She is competent, timely, fun and able to run classes well even though there is a range of student abilities.

The addition of Ron this past year has helped with instruction and added more fun to classes.

~ Ed

I have taken several Ballroom dance classes with Elizabeth and Ron Smailes over the past few years at both the Gordon Head Recreation Centre and the Saanich Commonwealth Centre. I have also attended many of their social dances at the Saanich Commonwealth Centre. Elizabeth and Ron Smailes are well known and respected for teaching and contributing to the dance community of Victoria as they share their passion for dance. Their classes and dance events are well organized and we all appreciate their choice of the large spaces with hardwood floors (so necessary for ballroom dance).

Ballroom dance is energetic and healthy for the body, mind and soul – Ithink it is a perfect choice to be included in our local recreation centres and as a resident of Saanich Iappreciate the convenience of the space and time set aside for our classes and dances.

I look forward to more of the same in the future.

~ Heather

We have been taking dance lessons from Elizabeth for over 12 years. Initially with her first husband, Lee; at Gordon Head Recreation Centre; then later exclusively with Elizabeth. We have always enjoyed her classes and found them to be fun; and great date night out for the two of us.

Elizabeth teaches the dances very well, both leader and followers parts; in simple to understand pieces, that she builds us up to more complicated routines. She is able to teach to students of all levels and abilities. The classes are both mentally challenging and a good workout

~ Wendy

We’ve been taking ballroom dance lessons from Elizabeth McGregor (now Smailes) for over 8 years. To say we’ve enjoyed the classes and gone as far as testing for Bronze Medal awards would be an understatement. She and her staff have always bent over backwards to support us and help us improve. Her classes have given us so much confidence we didn’t hesitate to dance in running shoes and Berkenstock sandels in Berlin last summer when we stumbled upon a cafe with an outdoor dance floor. What a treat and a memory.

And perhaps that’s the best reference we could make; on developing confidence and abilities. Over these years we’ve faithfully attended the Tuesday and Friday night practice sessions. Many of Elizabeth’s and now Ron’s students attend these and we’ve watched the beginners struggle with dance steps but over the years improve dramatically.

They improve, not only because they are helped by the person running the practice sessions but, because the classmates help each other. If the instructors are at a practice session they will also lend a hand and demonstrate what was taught in class. It truly shows the ‘social’ ballroom dance aspect that Elizabeth and her group bring to the Victoria community.

~ John & Linda

My wife and I have had the privilege of attending Mcgregor dance classes and activities at the Commonwealth recreation center for the last 2 years. We have enjoyed these times and sessions very much and look forward to attending in the coming years. These classes and the facilities at the commonwealth recreation center add significantly to the quality of life in our community. It is our sincere hope that these activities will be continued for the foreseeable future.

~ Rene and Donna

With humour and professionalism, Elizabeth and Ron teach ballroom dancing to all levels. Training is provided on a variety of standard and latin dances, with time spent focusing on a couple of dance types per term in order to introduce, build and review routines and fine tune technique.

We have danced with another club before and appreciate the time spent focusing on particular dances as well as Elizabeth’s clear demonstration, the regular review of steps and Ron’s always present humour and flair.

We also really enjoyed the level 1 and 2 classes with David and Penny, whose teaching, style and humour complement each other perfectly and who are fantastic at encouraging newbies with two left feet.

It’s really important to us, and the many others who attend their classes, that this training continues at Commonwealth Recreation Centre. This is a great, easily accessible location.

~ Sarah & Chris

Eight years ago, my husband and I took our first dance lessons with what was then McGregor Dance studios. We were approaching retirement and felt we no longer had any excuses for not getting more exercise! As well a lecture on preventing dementia convinced us that learning something new that would be difficult for us would be helpful in that regard. Having limited physical coordination and no musical talent, ballroom dancing seemed like it might fit the bill. It was however with great trepidation we signed up for our first introductory level 1 class. Fortunately it was with the McGregors, both Lee and Elizabeth could not be more encouraging. Had they not been we would never have signed up for another class!! We have consistently taken dance classes since then. We will never be competitive dancers nor or we interested in becoming that, but we are getting regular exercise through dance and having a great time. I have had rheumatoid arthritis for more than 30 years and last year my rheumatologist noted, after putting me through my annual paces, that if he didn’t know I had RA he would never guess that I did. Dancing is keeping me mobile!

Elizabeth is a great dance instructor. While the death of Lee was a blow to all of us taking dancing, I know it was devastating for Elizabeth, yet throughout she managed to continue to offer classes without a hiccup. We were all delighted when she married Ron whose light hearted approach to dance (well we suspect to life in general) has been a great addition. The support staff Elizabeth and Ron provide for practices and sometimes for mini courses are also first rate. There are other dance studios and instructors in Victoria, but we find that E&R dance best suits our needs. We are continuing to learn and to progress and most importantly we are actually having fun doing it.

~ Barbara

We have been participating in Social Ballroom dance taught by McGregor Dance at Saanich Commonwealth for almost three years. What started as an evening away for two busy parents has become a weekly event we ensure we don’t miss.

During this time we have had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The classes are led by fun, engaging and dedicated people. Elizabeth is excellent in breaking down the dances into simple steps giving all of us the opportunity to learn them in a positive environment.

We truly look forward to our weekly classes and what’s next as we move to the next levels.

~ Laura & Allen

I have had the pleasure of being in dance classes hosted by Elizabeth and Ron, as well as classes conducted by Elizabeth on her own. In all cases, I have found their (and her) lessons to be helpful, useful, and they are conducted in a professional manner without losing sight of enjoyment / entertainment value as well. Explanations, demonstrations, and responses to individuals are done well, with the aim of growing and improving students dance abilities.

I would strongly endorse their classes as a great way of learning and growing your ballroom dance capabilities. Her own dance abilities are quite superior, and provide a wonderful model of what could be achieved with dedicated work at dance. I look forward to future classes with them (her).

~ Michael

I am a Bronze level student in the E&R Ballroom Dance and I participated in classes and practices for more than 5 years together with my partner, Peter.

Elizabeth Smiles (formally McGregor) has been our instructor and I am thankful to her as a teacher, and I appreciate every moment of my classes.

Elizabeth is a wonderful dancer and an excellent instructor. She has mastered the art of teaching and she is dedicated to the high quality experience of her students.

Elizabeth has been sensitive to our needs, she encourages us and helps us understand and correct our mistakes. She is committed to safe teaching practices. Elizabeth creates space for questions, exploration and problem solving. She wants her students to be thinking and self-motivated dancers. Elizabeth strives to create community of dancers with the weekly practice sessions and the monthly Dances she hosts.

I hope to be able to continue my dancing classes with Elizabeth, to continue to learn more and more about the different dances and also to continue have enjoyable time. The classes with Elizabeth had opened the door for me to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

~ Veneta

We are writing this letter to recommend E&R Ballroom Dance (formerly McGregor Dance Studio) for continued classes through the Saanich recreation centres.

As instructors, Elizabeth and her team demonstrate a love of dance and an unsurpassed dedication to excellence in teaching dance. As dance students, we have tried various instructors around Victoria and inevitably return to the instruction provided by E&R Ballroom Dance. Their dedication to teaching the fundamentals and beyond of social dance while instilling a good level of fun into the lessons ensure that their lessons are always valuable to the students. We feel certain that the continuation of E&R Ballroom Dance in the Saanich Recreation program will ensure continued availability of social dance in a fun, friendly and supportive setting.

~ Paul and Kathie

Once again it is my pleasure to write to you regarding the contract for Ballroom Dance teaching at SCP.

The last time I wrote, I recommended to you Elizabeth and Lee McGregor. Of course, tragically, Lee passed away a few years ago. This was a great loss and sadness for all in the dance community and especially amongst those of us taking lessons at SCP. However, we did find great strength amongst each other in our sadness as the close and supportive community that Elizabeth and Lee built. During that time, and the years following, we marveled at Elizabeth’s ability to keep the Ballroom Dance program together and running smoothly through the team of assistant teachers and helpers she and Lee had trained.

In time Elizabeth and Ron Smailes married and we soon discovered that Ron would bring his own skill and sparkle to the SCP Ballroom Dance teaching team and community. He isa kind, fun-spirited, and completely gifted dancer who has proven himself to be very capable at teaching us in both a skillful and enjoyable way.

I cannot recommend more heartily that Elizabeth and Ron Smailes continue to teach Ballroom Dance at SCP as well as lead and build up those who are part of our community.

~ Tim

Why not subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of all upcoming ballroom dance related events, such as group classes, practice sessions and Saturday night dance parties.  Plus it’s a great way for us to inform you, in a timely manner, if an event needs to be recheduled for any reason, for example, inclement weather.