danceScape is a Ballroom & Salsa/Latin dance studio/club located in downtown Burlington between Pine and Pearl Street. danceScape was founded in 2001 by Robert Tang and Beverley Cayton-Tang, who are former 3-time Canadian and 2-time North American Ballroom Champions.
The Tangs have made guest appearances as lifestyle experts on CBC Television, VIVA Television, W-Network, Slice, Discovery Health USA, and HGTV. They have appeared on CBC Television’s “Dragons’ Den”, Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Healthy Gourmet”, and ParticipACTION’s “Get Inspired. Get Moving” national television campaign.
Long before “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” made dancing a national viewing past time, Robert and Beverley were making their mark as Canadian and North American Ballroom Champions. But their journey wasn’t always as glamorous as the crystal-adorned gowns that Beverley wore, nor as fun as what they expected when they went out on the dance floor to defend their titles.
Remarked Beverley, “When we first decided to compete together, I was already the Provincial Champion, and ranked third in Canada with my former partner. My coach had suggested Robert, whom she felt had a lot of potential. The challenge was that he had been taking lessons for only a very short time and had not yet competed at a Championship level. It would be like starting all over again.”
For Robert, there was the added pressure of having to play catch up, and uncertainty as to how a traditional judging community would react to a “mixed-race” dance team. “This was during the mid to late 1990s. Of course, it did help that I had a secret crush on Beverley,” he added, “so this motivated me to work harder to not disappoint her, nor our coach.”
Originally from Malaysia, Robert, his sister and parents immigrated to Canada during the late 1960s to escape from the political issues in their country at the time. Robert’s father was a Ballroom Champion in his youth, and decided to revisit his passion by taking lessons in Waterdown, Ontario. “When my parents decided to compete for the first time together at a competition in Kitchener, my sister and I decided to go to the event and cheer them on. It was there that I was introduced to Beverley and you could say, quickly became her ‘secret admirer’,” stated Robert.
For someone who has had to battle chronic shyness and dyslexia throughout his youth and adult life, Robert discovered a way to cope with those challenges through competitive Ballroom Dancing. “When my voice wouldn’t naturally say what my brain wanted, dancing was ideal for me because I could communicate non-verbally through facial expression and body movement. And the skill of leading a partner around the floor made it similar to a game of chess, so it provided a fun way to challenge my mind,” laughed Robert.
Their hard work and risk-taking started to pay off, and ultimately resulted in their becoming three-time Canadian and 2-time North American undefeated title holders. They represented Canada at five World Championships, competing in Denmark, Holland, Austria, Germany, and Japan.
Although their Amateur Sports Association provided bursaries as the official Canadian representatives, they still needed “day jobs” to support their dance addiction. Robert was a Marketing-Communications Manager for a manufacturing software company based in Boston, while Beverley was a Manager of Interlibrary Loans for the Southern Ontario Library Service based in Toronto. Robert has an MBA in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, and B.Sc. in Mathematics from McMaster University in Hamilton. Beverley has an Information & Technology degree from Sheridan College.
In 2001, they quit their jobs and began a new chapter of their lives as dance studio owners and arts-based entrepreneurs. The Tangs launched www.dancescape.TV where people could view dance videos on the Internet (long before YouTube), and www.dancescape.com, a source of world-wide news and event information and online shopping for dance supplies and services. The Tangs taught both competitive, social and wedding dance couples. They launched their “For Absolute Beginners Only” Ballroom Dancing group workshop program, which quickly became a success, and was followed later by other programs such as “For Absolute Beginners Only” Club Salsa/Latin, danceTONE Fitness (a “Trim and Tone” fitness program which incorporates Salsa, Merengue, Cha Cha, Rumba, and other dance steps) and more recently lifeFLOW Chi (Qi) Gong, which is a form of guided meditation with music for health and wellness. danceScape also has an Associate Dance Teacher Training program, which is dedicated to mentoring entrepreneurial Creative Artists to achieve financial independence through their passion.
CBC Television heard about the Tangs and profiled them in two television shows, “Fortune Hunters” (a business show on CBC Newsworld which explored new and emerging companies in hot industries) and “Dragon’s Den“, where they met and pitched their company to the legendary Venture Capitalist, Tim Draper, in California, as well as the infamous “Dragons”. ParticipACTION, the national voice of fitness in Canada, featured them in their “Get Inspired. Get Moving” fitness campaign.
danceScape’s websites, www.dancescape.com and www.dancescape.TV, have been featured in such publications as Time Magazine, Smart Computing Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. danceScape’s “For Absolute Beginners Only Ballroom Dancing” 2-DVD instructional video set has been sold in the US through retailers such as Best Buy USA, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.
More recently, danceScape launched the “SkyhiClub” where participants come together for fun adventures that have included “Dancing the Conga at the CN Tower’s Edgewalk”, “Dancing on the Lake”, and helping underprivileged communities and citizens in 3rd world countries such as Africa through eyewear donations as well as construction of homes and buildings. This was inspired by Robert’s mom having passed away from Breast Cancer, that we all should seek to live life to the fullest by doing things outside our comfort zones.
danceScape’s mission continues to focus on inspiring, empowering and connecting couples and singles through dance-based learning and fitness programs. danceScape’s vision is to be a global dance lifestyle channel that inspires those from cross generations to live fun, fearless and meaningful lives, as if the sky were not the limit. Shall we dance?