Derek is the founder and General Manager of Carpe Noctem and teaches Argentine Tango and East Coast Swing. He has been running dance classes and events since 2003, when he founded the highly successful Camosun Ballroom Dance Club, which he ran until 2011. Prior to founding Carpe Noctem he operated the Tango Fusion and Swing It dance schools, both of which have been incorporated into his larger vision of Carpe Noctem.
Known for his clear and effective pedagogy, Derek keeps his program fun and light-hearted. He has hand-picked all the instructors that teach for Carpe Noctem, insuring they share his philosophy towards dance. He has taught and DJ'd at numerous venues in Victoria, including UVic, Camosun, the Edelweiss Club, Passion & Performance, the Martin Batchelor Gallery and the Black Stilt Cafe. Derek and his authorized collaborators have taught his program up and down Vancouver Island, ranging from Victoria to Courtenay, Comox, Black Creek and Campbell River.
Carpe Noctem has some of the best teachers in Victoria. Don't take our word for it, take the word of our students! Among anonymous Groupon customers, 96% of the 78 responders would recommend our classes to a friend. Here is a sampling of what our students had to say:
"So far we have attended the first class of our 5-class Swing It package, and we really enjoyed ourselves. The dance instructor, Derek, is professional, engaging, and funny. Overall, this was a great buy! Wish we had bought more!"
"great deal, great teacher, great course!"
"Great teacher, great music!"
"Fun/detailed instructor. We were dancing to the beat and understood how and why to perform each step and movement. Highly recommended! This is our instruction of choice."
"Thus far I've attended just the first lesson of Argentinian Tango with teacher Derek. He is an amazing teacher, and I'm very impressed!"
"I am taking level 1 tango with my husband. As complete non dancers we were hesitant about trying lessons. Tango Fusion started us from the very beginning and we are having a great time and learning a lot."
"I would have never tried this class if I didn't hear about it through Groupon. My husband and I are having so much fun!"
"love it.. used it as part of a xmas present. good date for my wife and i who are 22 yrs married"
"Derek is an excellent teacher and clearly loves dance and teaches with skill and enthusiasm."
"Good instructor. It was a fun class."
"Derek is very personable, provided information and accommodation of my needs. I enjoy his instruction very much; fun, informative, allowing for my pace of learning while challenging me at each step."
"great teacher. having a lot of fun."
"Thanks for the great fun!"
"Thank you for getting us started. It is something we have been wanting to do but didn't know where to go. We really enjoyed our first class and look forward to many more!"
"I enjoyed the lessons very much and you are such good teachers!
Thank you for your efforts and enthusiasm ... and keep dancing!"
- Christel, Victoria
"You are by far the best dance teacher ever! Richard and I are very glad we are learning from you. We have both been to other dance instructors so I know what I am talking about! I just about gave up thinking I could ever learn the dance!"- Jennifer and Richard, Victoria
"Bruce and I want you to know how much we enjoy our classes and how much we appreciate you, your skill and your patience. We have learned so much and had fun doing it. Definitely we will be back for more. Thank you!"
- Bruce and Ellen, Victoria
"Derek is a fantastic instructor, he keeps the atmosphere light and makes learning to dance easy!
- Katie, UVic Student
"My wife and I recently took dance classes from Derek over the last several months and were thoroughly impressed by his ability to teach us a multitude of fairly complex moves in a short period of time. He did this with a mix of professionalism, patience, easy to follow instruction and humour. We definitely will return to learn more. Thanks Derek!"
- Brian, Victoria
“I’ve always wanted to learn Swing, but as a single 60-year old woman I had reservations about signing up for this class with no partner. I needn’t have worried. Not only is Derek a good teacher, he smoothly mixes it up so even couples learn to take dance cues from any partner and there are no wallflowers. Go. Have fun.”
- Cynthia, Victoria
"My partner Asmira (Bellydancer!) and I were pleasantly impressed with the deceivingly simple and progressive manner in which Derek Madson taught his beginner tango lesson during Yam Magazine Dance Days event. His articulation on technique was clear, and the exercises given to the class very helpful to real world social dancing. Derek has obviously honed his teaching style and given a lot of thought to the design of his tango program. I highly recommend his classes to anyone who has the slightest interest in Argentine tango and desires quick results to get dancing on the floor while learning proper techniques to build upon! He is by all accounts an expert in bringing tango within reach of the average person."
- Richard Hum, Victoria Tango Festival Photographer