Instructors

Benito Garcia

Benito Garcia

Benito was a finalist at the US and World Mambo Championships and is a Rising Star as well as Fred Astaire American Rhythm Champion. He has appeared on Broadway in the musical "Swing!" and "The Last Mambo." Benito is very well known in the ballroom dance world as someone who has a unique talent for teaching expression while dancing. His fresh approach and innovative teaching methods have made him a very sought-out coach all over the country.

Bob Powers
Highlights & Accolades
  • 12 Times United States Rhythm Champions.[1]
  • 3 Times World Professional Mambo Champions[2]
  • Finalists, World Latin-American Showdance *Championships

Bob Powers

Bob Powers along with his wife Julia Gorchakova are 12 time, undefeated US Rhythm Champions as well 3 time World Mambo Champions. In 1998 they were finalist in the World Showdance Championships in Holland. Bob and Julia were also recipients of the 2012 DanceSport Hall of Fame Award.

Charlotte Jorgensen
Highlights & Accolades
  • 1999 US Open Champion
  • 1998 Japanese Open International Ballroom Champion
  • 1999 US open Champion
  • 1997 2nd at the United Kingdom, British, World and European Championships
  • 1994 Amateur World Champion
  • 1994 Professional Rising Star champion at Blackpool

Charlotte Jorgensen

By the age of 22, Jorgensen was already the World Amateur Champion. Since her retirement, she has become a ballroom trainer, and travels worldwide for coaching.Jorgensen participated in the first season (Summer 2005) of the American television series Dancing with the Stars, partnering with actor John O?Hurley. They were the runners up, but subsequently won a ?rematch? sponsored by ABC.

Diana McDonald
Highlights & Accolades
  • 9 times United States Professional Latin Finalists 1991-1999
  • 1992 United States Open Rising Star Latin Champions
  • 1992 United States National Rising Star Standard Champions
  • 3 times United States Standard Finalists 1995, 1998, 2000
  • Runner up British Open Rising Stars Latin Competition 1994
  • 8 times Undefeated United States 10 dance Champions 1993-2000
  • 1997 United States Professional Latin Champions
  • 1997 World Professional 10 dance Champions (becoming the first ever couple from North America to ever win a world title)

Diana McDonald

Diana started dancing at a very early age (6 years old) and is a co-owner of the Rogers DanceSport Center in Fairfield, New Jerseywith Gary. They are also co-organizers of the Manhattan DanceSport Championships.

Gary and Diana have represented the United States at over 20 World Championships, both as Amateurs and Professionals. They have hosted and performed at dance competitions televised on NBC, ESPN, A&E and PBS. They have been joined by such celebrities as Debbie Allen and Suzanne Sommers.

Elena Grinenko

Elena Grinenko

Elena Grinenko is a professional ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor.

Grinenko was born in Moscow, Russia and has been dancing since she was seven years old. She has been trained in ballroom dancing, ballet and Russian folk dancing. She worked with the Ballroom Formation Team of Russia, and when she reached her third year as a competitive professional dancer, she became a Soviet Union Finalist.

In 1994, she emerged as the Latin Division winner at both the Moscow and National Championships. She graduated from high school in 1995, and from there went on to study various kinds of dances at the Art Academy of Russia. In 1998, she moved to the United States, where she became one of the fastest rising stars in the dancing industry.

After four years of dancing with Michael Nadtochy, she decided to form a partnership with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Eventually, she was the undefeated U.S. and World Rhythm Champion with her last partner, Tony Dovolani.

Eugene Katsevman
Highlights
  • 11 Times US National Amateur Latin Champion
  • 2 Times US National Professional Vice Champion
  • WDC World Latin and British Open Professional Latin Finalist
  • British Open Under 21 Champion, UK Rising Star Champion
  • World Games Latin Champion
  • IDSF Grand Slam Champion
  • NDCA and WDC World Class Adjudicator

Eugene Katsevman

11 Times US National Amateur Latin Champion
2 Times US National Professional Vice Champion
WDC World Latin and British Open Professional Latin Finalist
British Open Under 21 Champion, UK Rising Star Champion
World Games Latin Champion
IDSF Grand Slam Champion
NDCA and WDC World Class Adjudicator

Gary McDonald
HIGHLIGHTS
  • 9 times United States Professional Latin Finalists 1991-1999
  • 1992 United States Open Rising Star Latin Champions
  • 1992 United States National Rising Star Standard Champions
  • 3 times United States Standard Finalists 1995 1998 2000
  • Runner up British Open Rising Stars Latin Competition 1994
  • 8 times Undefeated United States 10 dance Champions 1993-2000
  • 1997 United States Professional Latin Champions
  • 1997 World Professional 10 dance Champions (becoming the first ever couple from North America to ever win a world title)

Gary McDonald

Gary started dancing at a very early age of 7. He is co-owner of the Rogers DanceSport Center in Fairfield, New Jersey. He has represented the United States at over 20 World Championships, both as an Amateur and Professional. He has hosted and performed at dance competitions televised on NBC, ESPN, A&E and PBS.

Igor & Irina Suvorov
Highlights & Accolades
  • Former U.S.S.R. Amateur Champions
  • U.S.B.C. Rising Star International Champions in 1992
  • International Standard U.S. Finalists since 1992
  • Ohio Star Ball Finalists since 1992

Igor & Irina Suvorov

Igor Suvorov started dancing at the tender age of 9 in St. Petersburg. At 14, he had won all major competitions and was the Champion of the Baltic Republics. By the time he reached 17, he was Champion of Northern Russia. At age 23, together with Irina, he became the 10 Dance Champion of the former Soviet Union and they danced in competitions all over the world. Igor & Irina also organize the Desert Classic Dancesport Championships.

Ilya Ifraimov
Highlights & Accolades
  • US Professional Latin Grand Finalist
  • Ohio Star Ball Professional Show Dance Champion
  • World Cup Vice Professional International Latin Champion
  • International UK & Blackpool Rising Star Grand Professional International Latin Finalist
  • World Master Professional Latin Champion
  • North American Professional Latin Champion
  • Maryland DanceSport Championship Professional International Champion
  • Mexican DanceSport Championships Professional International Latin Champion
  • Fred Astaire National Professional International Champion
  • Yankee Classic Championships Professional International Champion
  • Heritage Classic Professional Latin Champion
  • Northeast Open Invitational Professional International Latin Champion
  • Yuletide Ball Championships Professional International Latin Champion
  • New Jersey State Open Championships Professional International Latin Champion
  • Fred Astaire National Professional Smooth and Rhythm Champion
  • Atlanta Open Professional International Latin Champion

Ilya Ifraimov

With nearly every title in the International Latin division, Ilya Ifraimov is one of the most recognizable faces in ballroom dancing. He can also be seen dancing Pro-Am with his students at Fred Astaire National Events. Ilya and his partner, Nadia, also own and operate a quickly growing studio in New Jersey.

Ilya coaches and choreographs in all levels and styles. A World Class Adjudicator and choreographer, he's been a member of NDC since 2005 and has collaborated in the creation of the International Latin Syllabus.

Ilya has also appeared on the following TV shows:
American Ballroom Challenge and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Jim Maranto
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Winning two U.S. Open Professional American Smooth Championships in 1993 and 1994.
  • They have represented the United States in two World Showdance Events and were Semi-finalists in both.

Jim Maranto

Jim grew up in Oak Forest, Illinois. In 1983 Jim moved to Arizona where he became a stock broker for four years. During that time he was pursuing an interest in ballroom dancing as a hobby. With his highly competitive spirit he won the U.S National Pro/Am Championships. In 1987 he became a professional Ballroom Dancer and together with his dance partner opened the Academy of Ballroom Dance in Phoenix.
Over the past 20 years Jim has trained many Pro/Am Champions. He has won numerous top teacher awards and his students consistently finish in the top three in the U.S. As a teacher Jim is one of the best communicators of technique and theory in the business. He has an intense love of his work and displays a natural enthusiasm that is contagious. Jim is a licentiate of the Imperial Society Ballroom Branch. He is an examiner for DVIDA. He currently travels extensively to compete with his students, to coach, lecture and judge competitions.

John Swick

John Swick

John Swick has been dancing and performing for over 40 years in many different styles. He has studied ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, and theatre as well as ballroom.

Swick has over eight national dance titles
to his credit, and has trained four United States champions. He is also a certified national-level judge, chairman of judges, scrutineer and examiner.

Professional organization memberships include: NDCA
(National Dance Council of America), North American Dance Teacher's Association, Dance Vision International Dance Association, International Dance Council, Actor's Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, and American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.

Jonathan Roberts
Highlights & Accolades
  • 2008 World Professional Smooth Champion
  • 2008 US National Professional Smooth Champion
  • 2004 US National Professional Rising Star Latin Champion
  • 2003 Blackpool Professional Rising Star Latin Vice Champion
  • 1997 US National Professional Rising Star Ballroom Champion
  • USA pro-am 10 dance champion
  • USA pro-am Latin champion
  • USA pro-am American Ballroom champion

Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts (born Jonathan Robert Stubenrauch; April 20, 1974) is an American professional ballroom dancer.

Jonathan Roberts is most well known for dancing on the United States version of Dancing with the Stars and choreographing routines on So You Think You Can Dance.

JT Thomas
Highlights & Accolades
  • 2007-2011 Performed in numerous shows including: Millennium Dancesport, Heritage Classic and Holiday Classic
  • 2012 Produced ?Tribute to Whitney? Capital Dancesport Show
  • 2005 U.S. Representative Blackpool Invitational Exhibition
  • 3rd place, US Rising Star Smooth Champion
  • US Theatrical runner-up
  • 2002 Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Latin Finalist

JT Thomas

JT is a two-time US and World Smooth Champion. JT and partner, Tomas Mielnicki, performed shows at numerous prestigious competitions around the country and abroad. They were featured performers on ABC?s Dancing with the Stars and in the Disney movie, Enchanted. She has also choreographed several times for the Fox television show So You Think You Can Dance.

JT resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband, Mike and daughter, Ruby. She is currently coaching, choreographing and judging across the country.

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.

Kasia Kozak
Highlights & Accolades
  • Rising Star Blackpool Champion
  • Semifinalist at the UK International competition
  • Ohio Star Ball Champion
  • United States Open to the World Latin Finalist
  • Rising Star National and Open to the World Champions
  • California Star Ball Champion
  • Kansas City Star Ball Champion
  • Emerald Ball Champion
  • California Open Champion
  • Heritage Classic Champion

Kasia Kozak

Katarzyna Kozak, known as Kasia, is one of the most respected dancers, choreographers and coaches in America. She has been lighting up the scene and burning up the floor since she arrived in USA as a teen-ager. She had already created a minor stir in Europe, where she was Poland's National Amateur Junior Latin Dance Champion and had performed well in World Amateur events. While attending college in California, she found herself turning professional at the tender age of eighteen dancing with Donald Johnson. It turned out to be an excellent partnership. Juggling school assignments and competition schedules, Kasia and Donald competed successfully for six years, performing and teaching in almost every state and representing the United States in competitions in Europe and Japan. Together they accumulated many prestigious titles, including Open British Rising Star Champions, Show Dance Champions, and Latin Couple of the Year. Since Donald's retirement from competitive dancing, Kasia continued her competitive career with Andrew Phillips and Louis Van Amstel adding quiet few prestigious titles to her resume.

Kimberley Mitchell

Kimberley Mitchell

Kimberley Mitchell comes from a ballroom family with both parents still teaching dance in London, England. At the age of 5, she started to compete in both Standard and Latin competitions in England, and it wasn’t long before she was taking title after title. Kimberley is a former British, International, United kingdom, Closed British Champion, and has won many more Championship titles along the way, in all age groups in both Standard and Latin American.

At the age of 18, Kimberley moved to the USA to turn professional to dance with Bill Sparks. Together with Bill, they became two times United States International Latin Champions, British Professional Rising Star Champions, 5th in the World Championships and 3 times Ohio Star Ball Champions plus many other titles were gained whilst dancing together.

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.

Melanie LaPatin
Highlights & Accolades
  • United States Professional Latin Champion
  • Dirty Dancing Champion
  • 1999 DanceSport World Cup Champion
  • Four-time Champion of the North American Latin Championships
  • World Trophy Title Holders
  • American-Swing World Cabaret Dance Champions
  • Three-time Champion of the "Championship Ballroom Dancing" (Sponsor, PBS), and Copacabana Mambo Marathon Finalists.

Melanie LaPatin

Melanie LaPatin is a professional ballroom dance champion and choreographer, originally from New York. LaPatin formed a professional partnership with Tony Meredith in 1981 traveling the world representing the United States twelve times in the Professional World Latin-American Dance Championships, and in 2001 opened a dance studio in Times Square.

LaPatin is in high demand as a coach of top dancers around the world and as a choreographer for actors in film, television and Broadway. She has choreographed and appeared on film in such major motion pictures as Dance with Me, The Thomas Crown Affair, Let It Be Me and The Last Days of Disco, What To Expect When You're Expecting , Angriest Man In Brooklyn, and Leading Ladies. She has also appeared for 10 seasons as a choreographer on FOX's So You Think You Can Dance and So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

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".

Nadia Eftedal
Highlights & Accolades
  • Open British Professional Latin Champions
  • U.K. Professional Latin Champions
  • Twice European Latin Champions
  • U.S. Open Professional Latin Champions
  • Winners of the Super Japan Cup
  • German Open Latin Championships
  • French Latin Masters
  • Russian Invitational Latin Championships
  • Five-time Silver medalists World Professional Latin Championships

Nadia Eftedal

Nadia Eftedal is an internationally known, champion-level ballroom dancer with an exceptional portfolio of awards and titles. Throughout her junior, amateur and early professional years, Nadia competed in both International styles of Standard and Latin ballroom. While still in her teens, Nadia was selected the runner-up in the Rising Star Standard division of the U.S. National Championships. Nadia continues to train top competitive couples, lecture and adjudicate major competitions.

Nicole Rutherford

Nicole Rutherford

Nicole, along with her partner and husband, Dan Rutherford, danced competitively together for many years. Combined, they have won every major championship in the United States including U.S. Professional American Rhythm Champions and the title of top overall professional couple. They have been featured performers on "America's Ballroom Challenge" and have performed on "Dancing with the Stars".

Ray Rivers
Highlights & Accolades
  • Austrailian National Champion
  • Grand Finalist (5th Place) World Professional Championship
  • Australian Professional Champion
  • South Pacific Professional Champion
  • 3 times Professional Champion of Champions in 4 styles (Ballroom, Latin, Exhibition/Cabaret, Australian New Vogue)

Ray Rivers

Ray Rivers' dancing career has spanned 56 years, as an amateur and professional competitor, teacher, adjudicator and promoter. Throughout this long career, he has trained hundreds of competitive dancers, including Australian and South Pacific Amateur and professional champions and World Representatives. Has coached in many countries through the world, including couples in the top six, both amateur and professional, ballroom and latin.

Rufus Dustin

Rufus Dustin

Rufus Dustin is one of the most famous, titled, and highly regarded dancers, coaches, choreographers, and certified adjudicators in the World.

A World Dance and DanceSport Council professional, he now provides coaching and choreography for some of the best professionals in the World, and he routinely acts as a judge at some of the most prestigious dance competitions throughout the World. He has been certified as an adjudicator by the NDCA, WD&DSC, and Fred Astaire Dance Studios Inc. in International Standard and Latin, American Smooth and Rhythm, and Theater Arts.

As a professional dancer, Rufus competed nationally and internationally, holding national titles in international Latin, American Rhythm and Theater Arts.

He currently choreographs for the top professionals and amateurs. He has performed all over the World, including special presentations at Blackpool.

Tomasz Lewandowski

Tomasz Lewandowski

Tomasz and Izabela started dancing together 13 years ago,and decided to continue their training only in International Latin Style. Shortly after they moved to the USA, they began their professional career. Tomasz and Izabela have traveled the world, competing, performing shows and teaching. In 2011 they decided to retire from competitive and are now focusing on teaching, performing and judging.

Valentina Kostenko
Highlights & Accolades
  • US and World Professional Smooth Champion
  • Numerous film & television credits including "Dancing With The Stars"
  • Partnered with John Travolta on the 80th Annual Academy Awards

Valentina Kostenko

Valentina Kostenko is an elite Dance Sport Professional. In addition to all of her many titles and credentials in the Dance Sport Industry, she is a US and World Professional Smooth Champion and has made many film and television appearances on shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and the 80th Annual Academy Awards where she partnered with John Travolta.