Smooth Grooves Urban Ballroom

by Terry Watson | January 10th, 2014
Photos by WhoShotya Photography

Photos by WhoShotya Photography

Valarie Cooper and Tyrone Clemons of Greensboro are enjoying the best of both worlds. As creators and instructors of Smooth Grooves Urban Ballroom they are privileged to fulfill their passion for dancing, and also share it with the rest of the world. Smooth Grooves ballrooming is a smooth, cool and elegant dance which combines slow dancing, hand dancing and the Cha-Cha all in one. It is danced to the down beat to Rhythm and Blues, Smooth Jazz and Neo Soul. The leader leads the follower in a series of dance patterns consisting of full turns, half turns, spins and/or dips.

They met on the dance floor 10 years ago and have been dancing together ever since. Wherever there is laughter, good music and dancing, Val and Tyrone are sure to be in midst. They were initially introduced to partnered dancing in April 2009 after taking a Chicago Style Stepping class. They were exposed to Detroit Style Ballroom in March of 2010 and started attending classes in High Point and Charlotte, as well as learning on their own.

“We were never shy about displaying the dance publicly. Consequently people began asking how they could learn to dance like us so in January 2011 the decision to start teaching Ballroom dance was made,” they say. After speaking with their mentor Calvin Siebert (aka Mr. Smooth from Inkster, MI) they were advised and encouraged to start teaching immediately. Now three years later, Smooth Grooves class participation is growing with each new session.

Smooth Grooves Urban Ballroom offers Urban Detroit Style Ballroom dance instruction, Soul Line Dance Instruction, Private Workshops for Church Singles and Couples Ministries, Public Performances, Wedding Choreography, Event Planning, DJ Services, Youth Classes, and Group Trips. They also host two major annual events that have attracted dancers from Raleigh/Durham, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh.

Tyrone and Val say they are blessed to have the opportunity to impact the lives of so many people. Smooth Grooves enables their clients to experience the same thrills. Dancing incites a sense of solitude, and produces an atmosphere where Valerie and Tyrone can elevate and transform it into whatever their imagination and creative energies desire.

Within the context of Smooth Grooves Urban Ballroom, there is a leader and a follower. The leader’s role is to make the follower look as good as possible and the follower’s role is make it easy for the leader to accomplish his role. Ultimately it boils down to learning to operate as one unit while respecting each others roles. Once this is achieved, the end result is elegant, smooth graceful dancing ― Smooth Grooves Urban Ballroom.

“Our biggest influence is each other and the life lessons we have learned from ‘The Dance’. Our biggest inspiration comes from our students,” they say. “We love to see our students learning the fundamentals of the dance. We can always tell which students have gone home and practiced what they have learned in class because they get better and better with each class.” However, Tyrone says the most cherished moments happens when students, after grasping the fundamental concepts, start putting their own flavor on the dance.

Val and Tyrone share a competitive spirit that is rooted in a commitment to excellence and refusal to be second best. Their biggest challenge has been getting the word out to couples and singles who are looking for Smooth Grooves Ballroom dance classes. Their newest addition is classes now being offered to youth. Ballroom dancing and the other types of programs offered by Smooth Grooves gives kids other alternatives for things to do other the traditional activities. Plus they will more than likely love it.

They offer a youth program for ages (6 – 12) teaching ballroom etiquette, the role of the leader, the role of the followers, as well as the basics of the dance. In addition, the kids are taught Soul Line Dance.

Smooth Grooves has also announced plans to bring their talents to High Point. They will be teaching Beginner’s Level Urban Detroit Style Ballroom and Soul Line Dance. They will focus intently on the foundations of the dance and teach the gentlemen how to lead, and the ladies how to follow. The classes will be offered on Saturday mornings beginning January 11th through February 8th, 2014. Class times are 11:00 am till 12:30 pm and will be held at The Deep River Recreational Center located at 1529 Skeet Club Road. Addiitonal classes are offered at the Creative Center located at 900 Sixteenth Street in Greensboro.

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