Instructors

Slawek Sochacki & Marzena Stachura
ACHIEVMENTS
    2010-2013 WORLD AMERICAN SMOOTH CHAMPIONS
    • 2010-2013 UNITED STATES AMERICAN SMOOTH CHAMPIONS
    • 2010-2012 WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS
    • 2009 & 2011 GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
    • 2011 WORLD AMERICAN SMOOTH SHOWDANCE CHAMPIONS
    • 2010 -2011 AMERICAN QUICKSTEP WINNERS

    Slawek Sochacki & Marzena Stachura

    Marzena and Slawek are 3 times US and 3 times World reigning and undefeated Open American Smooth Champions.

    The very first couple to win Open American Quickstep.

    Michael Mead & Toni Redpath
    Highlights
    • The Number One American Ballroom Couple in the World 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
    • Four Time Undefeated U.S. Ballroom Champions 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
    • United States Representatives to the World Classic Showdance Championships 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
    • World DanceSport Classic Showdance Championship Finalists
    • Top Rising Star American Ballroom Couple of the 1998 United States Dance Sport Championships
    • Canadian Open American Ballroom Champions 2000, 2001
    • 2001 National Showdance Championships Finalists (2nd Place)

    Michael Mead & Toni Redpath

    Michael and Toni's credits include: 4 time, undefeated U.S. Ballroom Champions, 1999, 2000, 2001, & 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, United States Rising Star Champions, 1st Runners up in the 2001 United States Classic Showdance Championships and Michael and Toni were featured dancers in the film ?Dance with Me?.

    In the year 2002, Michael and Toni were winners of the following: Emerald Ball, California Open Dancesport Championships, Heritage Dance Classic, Texas Challenge Championships, the Nevada Star Ball, Capital Championships, and the Embassy Ball

    They are proficient in teaching all styles of Ballroom Dance

    Jonathan Wilkins
    Highlights & Accolades
    • 10 times Professional Ballroom Champion 1997-2007
    • 2004 World Classic Showdance Champion
    • WDC Open Professional Ballroom Champion
    • European Profession Ballroom Champion
    • British Professional Ballroom Champions

    Jonathan Wilkins

    Jonathan had a partnership with Katusha Demidova which lasted eleven years, and brought considerable success. Following that he partnered with Hazel Newberry where the two placed 2nd in the Professional World Ballroom Dance Championships. After this championship the two partners retired from competitive dancing. Jonathan is currently teaching students in the US and abroad.

    Olga Foraponova
    Highlights & Accolades
    • 2 time United States American Smooth Champion
    • Grand Finalist of the Soviet National Championship
    • Finalists US Ballroom Dance Championships
    • 1st in American Style Tango at the US Dance Championships
    • Finalists in the World Cup Seguay Championships
    • Did a special number during the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia

    Olga Foraponova

    Olga devoted four years to studying different forms of dance such as ballet, folk, historical, jazz and ballroom. In 1989 Olga became a Grand Finalist in the Soviet National Championship and the rest was history. In 1996, Olga started dancing with David Hamilton, a seasoned dancer from Nashville, TN, who had his own track record in the ballroom. Olga and David made instant fame when, with barely three months of practice after their initial teaming, they finished as runners-up, winning the respect and admiration of other competitors.

    Decho Kraev & Bree Watson
    Year/Titles
    • 2011 United States National Professional American Rhythm Champions
    • 2010 Ohio Star Ball World Professional Rhythm Champions
    • 2008-2010 U.S. National Professional Rhythm Championship Finalists
    • 2009-2011 Emerald Ball Professional Rhythm Champions
    • 2008 Blackpool Professional Invitational Exhibition Finalist
    • 2007 U.S. National Theatre Arts Champions
    • 2007 Ohio Star Ball Professional Theatrical Arts Champions
    • Regular Finalists in all major U.S. and Open to the World Professional Events

    Decho Kraev & Bree Watson

    Decho Kraev was born in Bulgaria and began his competitive dancing career at the age of eight. His dedication, talent and determination brought him to the highest levels of recognition. He enjoyed a successful amateur career followed by coaching junior couples who also experienced great success. Decho moved to the United States in 2003 where he continued his career as a professional dance teacher and competitor. There he met his current professional partner and love of his life, Bree.

    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 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.

    Donald Johnson & Katarzyna Kozak
    YEAR/TITLES
    • 1997 U.S. Pro Rising Star (closed) National Latin Dance Champions
    • 1997 U.S. Pro Rising Star (open) National Latin Dance Champions
    • 1999 British Open Professional Latin Rising Stars Champions
    • 1999 U.S. Professional Latin Dance Championships – Third

    Donald Johnson & Katarzyna Kozak

    Donald, born in the United States, became interested in dance at an early age since his mother ran a ballroom dance studio. He started teaching dance at the age of seventeen and shortly afterwards became interested in dance competition. He began to compete in the Latin American style and also competed in American smooth and International Standard. He moved to Torrance, California to continue his professional competitive career and enjoyed considerable success with a series of partners, reaching the national semi-finals in both American Smooth and International Standard styles.

    Katarzyna Kozak was born in Warsaw, Poland. She first became interested in dance after responding to a local newspaper advertisement announcing social dance classes. She quickly became attracted to the competitive side of dancing, found an amateur partner, and became a serious 10-dance competitor. After deciding to concentrate on Latin American Dance, she rose to become the Polish national amateur junior Latin dance champion.

    Tomasz and Izabela Lewandowski

    Tomasz and Izabela Lewandowski

    Thomas and Izabella Lewandowski were both born and grew up in Poland. Thomas started to dance at the age of 7 and Izabella a bit later at the age of 12. They both started their dance career by dancing both Styles: Latin and Standard. They have achieved many titles in their early age, both with several different partners.

    Thomas and Izabella started dancing together 13 years ago,and have decided to continue their training only in International Latin Style. Shortly after they moved to the USA, they begin their professional career. Thomas and Izabella have traveled the world, competing, performing shows and teaching.

    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

    Jim & Jenell 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 & Jenell Maranto

    Jim & Jenell were 2 time undefeated United States National Professional American Smooth Champions in 1993 & 1994 and top International Standard couple in 1999.

    They have held every major North American title and represented the United States worldwide.

    For 25 years they have owned and operated the Academy of Ballroom Dance in Phoenix, AZ.

    Jim & Jenell travel throughout the country coaching, judging and demonstrating Ballroom Dance.

    Carolina Orlovsky-Telona & Felipe Telona
    Titles
    • World Mambo Champions
    • 2 Time World Salsa Champions
    • 8 Time American Rhythm Grand Finalists
    • U.S. Silver Medalists
    • Theatrical Arts Champions
    • Argentine Tango Champions
    Performing Credentials
    • Assistant Choreographers on "So You Think You Can Dance"
    • Assistant choreographers for Celine Dion Music Video and 2008 World Tour
    • Featured Dance Artists on America's Ballroom Challenge Seen on PBS
    • Featured Performers for the Gracie Allen Awards
    • Featured Performers for the "dancers for Life Tribute" at the New York City Center on Broadway
    • Choreographers for an American Express Industrial Film

    Carolina Orlovsky-Telona & Felipe Telona

    Carolina knew from a young age when she began studying ballet under the direction of Ms. Bella Kovarskya that she would grow up to be a dancer. At Eighteen Carolina boarded a bus bound for New York City. She went on to study at the Alvin Aliey American Dance Center, become a recipient of the Richard Ellner Scholarship and apprentice for two consecutive years in Ann Reinking's Broadway Theatre Project.

    However, it was not until she met Felipe in the basement of a Dance Studio in New Jersey did she realize her true calling, the World of Dance Sport. Shortly after their introduction two things began to blossom, both her love for him and her love of Competitive Dance Sport.

    A year later, Carolina and Felipe formed a partnership in both marriage and dance. They have since gone on to become 3-time United States Bronze Medalists, World Mambo, World Salsa Champions, and most recently United States Silver Medalists in the Professional American Rhythm division.

    A 3rd Degree Black Belt, Felipe was offered both a football and baseball scholarship but his heart was set on dancing when he decided to turn professional after only three years of dancing as an Amateur, during which time he won the 1999 Blackpool Latin Formation team title.

    He began his professional Career in New Jersey where after only three months with his first partner he placed Fifth in the U.S. American Rhythm division. A day after returning from the U.S. Championships he asked Carolina out on a date. And so began their courtship and shortly after their partnership.

    Toby & Harmony Munroe
    TITLES
    • Toby Munroe is the 2004 & 2005 UCWDC World Champion in the Classic Masters division. In January *2006 "Best Male Couples Dance Instructor" at the Star Awards Gala held in Stockholm, Sweden.
    • Harmony has been a representative at the World 10 - Dance Championships and the World South American Showdance Championships as well as being a finalist at the World Mambo and the World Salsa Championships.

    Toby & Harmony Munroe

    Toby began his dance career in 1990 after being dragged, kicking & screaming to a Country & Western Dance Festival. Since then he has gone on to become one of the most sought after coaches, choreographers & instructors in the World. His extensive background in dance includes Country, Swing, Hustle, Latin, Ballroom and Salsa. He has won countless titles in Swing, Hustle and on the UCWDC circuit. Toby won his first World Championship title in 2002 for ABC Choreography. He has been nominated for 9 Star Awards, taught at Stanford University and has been featured on the TNN and GAC television networks. Toby is also a four time Colorado State Swing Champion and a UCWDC Master Certified Judge

    Harmony Munroe began dancing at the age of 8 and currently co-owns Denver's premier school for Ballroom and Latin dancing, Colorado Dancesport. She has won numerous titles in American Rhythm, American Smooth, and International Latin dancing.

    Christy Coté
    Highlights
    • NCL's Tango at Sea Cruises
    • TANGO X 3 at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts
    • The Latin Show at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
    • The 49er's Half Time Show
    • Christy developed the Dance Vision Argentine Tango Syllabus and is a DVIDA National Examiner in Argentine Tango.
    • Christy performs regularly with MonTango, Trio Garufa and other Tango musicians.

    Christy Coté

    Christy Cote has been teaching dance for more than 34 years, specializing in Argentine Tango for the past 17. One of the most respected teachers and choreographers of Argentine Tango in the U.S. today, Christy has been featured on San Francisco's KTVU Segment 2 Report, KPIX/Channel 5 Evening Magazine, and nationally in Dance Spirit Magazine. In 2012 she became the first ever American judge for the USA Tango Championships, an annual event sanctioned by the Argentine Government. Christy's teaching method has been published in the Argentine Tango Manual by Dance Vision and is complimented by a series of 20 instructional DVDs by Christy and dance partner George Garcia. Christy is also a DVIDA National Examiner. Carlos Gavito and Marcela Duran, master teachers and iconic performers of Forever Tango, were her most influential mentors.

    Christy is based in San Francisco where she teaches at The Metronome Dance Collective. She also teaches at Cheryl Burke Dance (Mountain View), and Linden Street Dance (Oakland). Since 2007, her popular and innovative Tango Boot Camps www.tangobootcamp.com have attracted hundreds of students. Every Thursday evening, Christy and dance partner Adolfo Caszarry, host one of San Francisco's most popular milongas (tango dance party) at The Verdi Club. Christy has also partnered with Facundo Posadas, Eduardo Saucedo, Daniel Lapadula, Marcos Questas and Pampa Cortes, all internationally acclaimed master teachers from Buenos Aires.

    Christy's choreographic credits include Los Diablos Ganchos cruise ship show, Teatro ZinZanni's Love, Chaos, and Dinner with Joan Baez, and Tango del Cielo featuring harpist Anna Maria Mendieta. Christy has also been a coach for Cheryl Burke (of Dancing with the Stars and Forever Tango), as well as for the Smuin Ballet dancers in their production of Tango Palace.

    Over the past 10 years, Christy and performance partner Darren Lees of San Diego have performed at NCL's Tango at Sea Cruises, TANGO X 3 at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, The Elegant Era, The Latin Show at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, The 28th Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, the 49er's Half Time Show, MonTango U.S. tours, and ongoing dinner shows at Pena PachaMama Restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach.

    Christy is one of the founding members & choreographers of the all female tango company, Tango Con*Fusion www.tangoconfusion.com with whom she performed in Leading Ladies of Tango at San Francisco's Herbst Theater in 2007, Polly's Ferman's Glamour Tango in 2009, toured with Latin Grammy nominated band Tanghetto in 2011 as well as numerous other performances across the U.S., Buenos Aires & Montevideo.

    You can find Christy under Christy Cote Argentine Tango Instructor or follower her on Twitter at SFTanguera. For current listing of her classes and other tango events go to www.christycote.com

    George Garcia
    Highlights
    • As the founder of Hawaii's Argentine Tango community, he presents his innovative Argentine Tango Boot Camps, runs weekly classes, workshops, private lessons and organizes seminars and events with visiting celebrity tango instructors.
    • He organized the first tango festival in Honolulu, the Paradise Tango Festival 2011.
    • George is featured in Dance Vision USAʼs 20-volume Ultimate Argentine Tango Instructional DVD Series. *He is a DVIDA National Examiner. His website is www.islatango.com.

    George Garcia

    George Garcia has been teaching and performing dance for more than thirty years, teaching a variety of dances. For the past fifteen years, he has devoted his passion exclusively to the art of the Argentine Tango. George has studied with the tango world's finest master teachers. He teaches and performs at various tango events in the USA and abroad. He was a featured performer in the 2006 and 2007 Tango Libertad Show in Japan, and serving as a judge of the Tokyo World Tango Festival Competition. He was also a featured instructor and performer at the Tokyo International Tango Festival 2011 and enjoys the distinction of being the sole Argentine Tango Instructor from the United States invited to teach tango in Japan on a regular basis.

    Wayne Eng - Organizer

    Wayne Eng - Organizer

    In the short 6 years of dancing, Wayne & Donna Eng were 3 times United States Latin Finalists and 3 times Blackpool Rising Star Finalists.

    Wayne & Donna owned and operated an Independent Studio from 1983 – 1994.

    In 1992 Wayne & Donna Eng founded Dance Vision. It has since become the established world leader in the production and distribution of instructional dance DVDs.