Instructors

Albina Habrle

Albina Habrle

Ms. Albina Habrle is known as an eleven time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion, a World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion, a four time World Professional Rhythm Finalist, and a three time US Professional Open Rhythm Finalist. After completion of her career as a professional competitor, she has now moved on to become a world renowned coach, adjudicator and franchise owner.

ANNA TREBUNSKAYA
Achievements
  • 2008 U.S. National Professional Latin Finalist
  • 2008 Open to the world U.S Open Latin Finalist
  • 2008 Blackpool Rising Star Latin Finalist
  • 2008 UK Rising Star Latin Finalist
  • 2008 International Grand Ball Latin Champion
  • 2007 U.S National Professional Latin Finalist
  • 2004 USA Rising Star Latin Champions
  • 2003 Blackpool Rising Star Latin Finalist
  • 1998 U.S. National Amateur Youth Ballroom Champion and Representative to the World

ANNA TREBUNSKAYA

Anna Trebunskaya is a Russian born American professional ballroom and Latin dancer, known for her appearances on Dancing with the Stars. She now lives in Los Angeles and dances in the International Latin style.

Bree Watson
Accomplishments
  • 2007 U.S. National Theatre Arts Champions
  • 2007 Ohio Star Ball Championships Professional Theatrical Arts Champions
  • 2008 Blackpool Dance Festival Invitation Exhibition Finalist
  • 2008 U.S. National Professional American Rhythm Championship 3rd Place
  • 2009 Emerald Ball Professional Champions
  • Regular Finalists in all major U.S. and Open to the World Professional Events

Bree Watson

Bree Watson was born in Savannah, Georgia and began dancing ballet and tap at the age of two. She strengthened her background at the North Carolina School of Performing Arts. Her introduction to the ballroom dance world started in 2002 in the Theatre Arts division. She quickly decided she preferred to have her feet on the ground and went in search of a partner in the American Rhythm style. In 2003 she moved to Phoenix where she met Decho Kraev.
In just five short years they have had a remarkably successful professional career including: U.S. National Theatre Arts Champions, Ohio Star Ball Championships Theatrical Arts Champions, Blackpool Dance Festival Professional Invitation Exhibition Finalist, U.S. National Professional American Rhythm Championship 3rd Place, Emerald Ball Champions, Regular Finalists in all major U.S. and Open to the World Professional Events.

Decho and Bree are known for their tremendous technique and highly creative routines. You will no doubt witness one of the strongest technical performances on the floor. Pay special attention to Bree’s exceptional footwork, lovely extensions and fabulous lines. Decho’s perfect balance creates a beautiful frame for Bree which illustrates an exciting and attractive couple as they present the true character of each dance with elegance and sophistication.

Bruno Collins
Highlights & Accolades
  • 7 time US Theatrical Champion
  • 2-time World Cabaret Champion
  • 3-time Blackpool Cabaret Champion
  • US American Rhythm Finalist
  • 5- time Fred Astaire Rhythm Champion

Bruno Collins

As a long time member and supporter of Fred Astaire Studios, Bruno has performed around the world, in competitions and shows, as both a star performer and champion. Currently Bruno can be seen judging competitions across the country. He also sits on the Board of Directors of American Ballroom Company, the organizers of the United States Dance Champions.

Corky Ballas
Highlights & Accolades
  • 10 time undefeated United States International Champion
  • 2 time Open to the World British International Latin Champion
  • Star, International, European & United Kingdom Champion
  • 3 time British National Champion
  • World International Latin Champion
  • Partnered with Oscar winner Cloris Leachman and America's Mother, Florence Henderson of the Brady Bunch, on ABC's smash reality show Dancing With The Stars
  • Super Bowl Diet Pepsi commercial with Sofia Vergara

Corky Ballas

Corky Ballas has been dancing literally since he was a baby His mother was a great and talented Flamenco dancer who together with Mr. Ballas owned and operated the largest dance studio in the United States. In 2008, Corky made a huge splash on the ABC hit television show Dancing With The Stars along with his Oscar winner partner Cloris Leachman.

Dan Rutherford
Accomplishments
  • Professional American Rhythm U.S. Champions
  • Won every major championship in the United States
  • Performers on "America's Ballroom Challenge"
  • Invited to perform on TV Show "Dancing with the Stars"

Dan Rutherford

Dan studied jazz dance extensively from the age of five through his late teens.
At that time he began a career in ballroom and Latin dance. Dan has produced numerous champions throughout his career as a teacher and coach.
Dan has also danced on stage with numerous celebrities as a back up, chorus line and principal dancer in many productions. Dan is one of the top professionals in the United States.

Donald Johnson
Accomplishments
  • National Adjudicator
  • World Class Adjudicator
  • World Dance Championship Adjudicator
  • Chairman of Judges
  • DVIDA Regional Examiner
  • 1997 U.S. Pro Rising Star Latin Champion
  • 1997 U.S. Pro Rising Star Open to World Latin Champion
  • 1999 British Open Professional Latin Rising Star Champion (Blackpool Dance Festival)
  • 1997-2000 U.S. Professional Latin Grand Finalist

Donald Johnson

Having grown up under the tutelage of his dancing parents, Donald has been deeply involved in the dancing arena for over 40 years. Over the course of his career, he has earned a number of different titles, professional qualifications, and a great level of respect amongst his peers in the industry. Donald prides himself in his ability to share the love of dance with his students and mentees.

Edward Simon
Highlights & Accolades
  • United States American Ballroom Champion
  • World Classic Showdance Finalist
  • United States Theatrical Finalist
  • 1999 North American Dance Award for ?Favorite Couple of the Year?
  • Co Organizer of New York Dance Festival

Edward Simon

Eddie Simon is a former United States ballroom champion, world showdance and U.S. theatrical finalist. Simon received a North American Dance Award for the "Favorite Couple of the Year". He also returns to his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, several times a year to coach and offer workshops at Dance New York's Iowa studio, as well as officiate at the annual Iowa Dancesport Challenge.

Forrest Vance
Accomplishments:
  • 5 Time Undefeated U.S. American Rhythm Champion
  • 2 Time U.S. Rising Star U.S. Latin Champion
  • 15 Time United States Ballroom Championship Top Teacher
  • 2010 Winner of Hanlon-Ford Award
  • 2011 Dancesport Series Top Teacher
  • 2012 Professional Hall of Fame Award

Forrest Vance

While Forrest is retired from dancing professional in ballroom dancing he is no stranger to the competition floor. Vance can be found teaching dance to others and competing Pro Am with his students all across the world. His one of a kind website is open to anyone who would like to learn ballroom dancing from this teacher whom has won many competitions and who is credited with pushing his dance style to the limit. For his teaching skills, Forrest Vance has been awarded top dance teacher at the United States Dance Championship for fifteen years.
His other Accomplishments include:
*7 Time Fred Astaire American Rhythm Champion
*4 Time Canadian American Rhythm Champion
*2 Time Fred Astaire International Latin Champion
*3 Time Triple Crown Campion
*3 Time Ohio Star Ball Champion
*5 Time Texas Challenge Champion

Giacomo Steccaglia & Melissa Dexter
Accolades
  • 4 times Professional Italian Latin champions
  • World Professional Latin finalist
  • European Professional Latin finalist
  • Twice South American Showdance vice world champions
  • Universal champions
  • All England champions
  • Finalist in all major competitions around the world

Giacomo Steccaglia & Melissa Dexter

Giacomo Steccaglia started dancing at the age of 12 and retired at 31. He Ranked in the top 4 in the IDSF/WDSF ranking list and was the winner of different major open events around the world including 8 Italian titles in Junior and youth and 3 times Italian Amateur champion.

Melissa Dexter is a world-renowned dance champion. She is the former United States Latin American Champion, Italian Latin American Champion, and Italian Latin American Showdance Champion. Melissa has been a finalist in the Worlds, European, Blackpool, and International, as well as the Vice World Latin American Showdance Champion.
Melissa is now a world-class judge and is certified in numerous styles of dance including: International Latin, Standard, American Smooth, Rhythm and Theater Arts. She has had extensive training in many forms of dance including classical ballet and jazz. Melissa has trained in exceptional schools throughout the United States including The San Francisco Ballet, The Boston Ballet and Melissa Hayden’s School of Dance in New York City.

Karina Smirnoff
Highlights & Accolades
  • 5 time U.S. National Latin Champion
  • World Trophy Champion
  • Asian Open Champion
  • Featured dancer on "Dancing with the Stars"; Won season 13 with partner J.R. Martinez

Karina Smirnoff

Born in the Ukraine, Karina came to the U.S. with her family at age 12. She began ballet lessons at the age of 5 before moving on to figure skating which she studied for an additional five years. At the age of nine, Karina was introduced to ballroom dancing and fell in love with it.

After high school Karina graduated from Fordham University with a law degree but put her academic studies on hold to pursue her ballroom dancing career in the United Kingdom.

Karina and her former partner Slavik Kryklyvyy shared tremendous success winning the U.S. Championships and many other world titles and were ranked second in the world in the Latin division.

Marianne Nicole

Marianne Nicole

Marianne Nicole is former United States Rising Star American Style Champion, undefeated United States Theatre Arts Champion, North American International Latin Champion, Canadian Theatre Arts Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire American Style Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire Theatrical Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire International Latin Champion and World Latin Representative.

She is a World Class Adjudicator & Coach, Co-Organizer of the Capital Dancesport Championships, a National Examiner for the DVIDA Organization and former examiner for the Fred Astaire Dance Studio organization.

Michael Mead & Toni Redpath
Highlights & Accolades
  • 4 time, undefeated U.S. Ballroom Champions 1999 - 2002
  • Finalists in the Classic Showdance World Championships
  • Three time qualifiers as United States Representatives to the Classic Showdance World Championships
  • Top American Smooth Couple of the Year 1999 and 2000, PBS Championship Ballroom Dancing Winners
  • 1st Runners up in the 2001 United States Classic Showdance Championships
  • Featured dancers in the film "Dance with Me".

Michael Mead & Toni Redpath

Michael and Toni's credits include: 4 time, undefeated U.S. Ballroom Champions from 1999 - 2002, Finalists in the Classic Showdance World Championships, Three time qualifiers as United States Representatives to the Classic Showdance World Championships, Top American Smooth Couple of the Year 1999 and 2000, PBS Championship Ballroom Dancing Winners 1999 and 2000, 1st Runners up in the 2001 United States Classic Showdance Championships and Michael and Toni were featured dancers in the film "Dance with Me".

Slawek Sochacki & Marzena Stachura
Accolades & Highlights
  • Emerald Ball 2010- 2012
  • Nashville Starz 2010, 2011
  • City Lights Ball 2010
  • New York Dance Festival 2011
  • California Open 2010
  • Vegas Showdown 2010-2012
  • San Francisco Open 2010

Slawek Sochacki & Marzena Stachura

2010-2013 United States American Smooth Champions, 2010-2012 World American Smooth Champions, 2010-2012 World Cup Champions, 2009 & 2011 Grand National Champions, 2011 World American Smooth Showdance Champions, 2010 -2011 American Quickstep winners.

Susan Puttuck
Titles:
  • United States Professional Standard Champions-1984, 1985, 1986
  • Representatives to the World Championships-1984, 1985, 1986
  • Runners -up-Professional Rising Star Division, British Open Championships
  • Finalists-Closed British Amateur Standard Championship
  • Winners-British Open Amateur Youth Standard Championship-1971

Susan Puttuck

Susan, born in Watford, England, was 'hooked' on ballroom dance at age 11 after seeing her younger cousin, a three-year British champion, compete. One look and Susan's life changed forever-she wanted to be just like him. A self-described string bean who was crazy about school sports including the high jump, she eagerly switched with her two sisters to ballroom dance and kept excelling at it dispatching young partners until, at age 14, she met (her late husband) Brian who was to become her partner for life.

Sveta Daly
Titles & Accomplishments
  • World Professional American Rhythm Finalist
  • U.S. Professional American Rhythm Finalist
  • World Professional American Rhythm Showdance Finalist
  • People's Choice Awards 2012
  • California Open Pro Rhythm Champions
  • San Francisco Open Pro Rhythm Champions
  • Vegas Open Pro Rhythm Champions
  • City Light Ball Pro Rhythm Champions
  • NYDF Pro Rhythm Champions
  • California Star Ball Pro Rhythm Champions
  • OCDC Pro Rhythm Champions
  • Nevada Star Ball Pro Rhythm Champions
  • World & European representatives in Latin and 10 *Dance Championships for Great Britain and Ukraine

Sveta Daly

Sveta Daly and her husband, Jason, are ranked as one of the top 6 Open Professional Rhythm Competitors in the World and USA today with over 45 years combined experience they have been lucky enough to be exposed to the top coaches, and have a wealth of experience at competing in every level internationally. One of the strengths that makes them sought-after coaches is their ability to relate to dancers of every level, having themselves begun competing as beginners and ultimately reaching the top of their field in Open Professional divisions. The results of their successful coaching style has earned them Top Teacher awards at many competitions including Desert Dancesport Classic, California Open, Emerald Ball, California Star Ball, and Embassy Ball.

Tomasz Lewandowski
Highlights
  • US National Professional Latin Finalists
  • US National Professional Latin Showdance Champions *World Professional Latin Showdance Finalists
  • Winners of countless United States Championships

Tomasz Lewandowski

Thomas Lewandowski was born and grew up in Poland. He started his dance career at the age of 7 in both Latin and Standard. He achieved many titles.

Thomas and Izabella started dancing together in 1998 and decided to continue their training and competitive career in only the International Latin Style. In 2000 they decided to move to the U.S. and began their professional career together. Thomas and Izabella have traveled the World competing, performing shows and teaching.
In 2011 they decided to retire from competitive dancing, and are now focus their passionate love for dancing and their studio on teaching others, performing and judging competitions.

Currently living in Los Angeles, they are busy working on their brand new Dance Studio. In 2011 they decided to retire from competitive and are now focusing on teaching, performing and judging

Victor Veyrasset & Heather Smith
Highlights & Accolades
  • 5 time United States Professional Ballroom Champions
  • 3 time North American Champions
  • Asian Pacific Professional Ballroom Champions
  • 5 time U.S. representatives to the World Championships

Victor Veyrasset & Heather Smith

Victor Veyrasset and Heather Smith each enjoyed very successful amateur and professional careers before teaming up in 1993.

In their time together Victor and Heather were 5 time, undefeated, U.S. Pro Ballroom Champions, 3 time Ohio Star Ball Champions, 3 time North American Champions, Asian Pacific Pro Ballroom Champions and 5 time U.S. representatives to the World Championships.