Stardust Future Events

Ballroom Dance WEEKENDS

2019 Ballroom Dance Weekends
Villa Roma Resort, Callicoon, N.Y.

   *April 12-14 
*June 14-16
*September 13-15  *November 22-24

BALLROOM DANCE CRUISE 
February 1-11, 2019


Dance Weekend Faculty

DONNA DESIMONE - Instructor of Performing Arts, Ballroom, Choreographer, Performer & Judge. Donna has been teaching dance for 32 years. Her knowledge of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyric, Broadway Theater and Ballroom has greatly influenced her Hustle style. In 1975 Donna was introduced to a dance called the Hustle. Donna became a Hustle dancer on the Television show “Soap Factory Disco” in 1977. In 1978 she opened her first Dance Studio. Four years later opened her second studio. In 1983 she discovered the world of Ballroom dancing. She trained and competed for 8 years under Roberto Pagan and many well known coaches in American & International styles. In 1985 took 5th in her first ballroom competition at the USBC. In 1986 took 1st at the Virginia State Ballroom Championships in Latin, Won 1st place at 1986 Ohio Star Ball State Championships. In 1986 she won her first United States title,” USBC American Rhythm Champion” in Miami Florida. In 1990 Donna entered the well know Zackary’s Dance Competition and took 1st Place. One year later winning the Tri State Open Hustle Championships sponsored by Night Life Magazine. Donna went on to choreograph for dance tours to China, Italy, Florida, Hershey Park, Carnegie Hall (“Cole Porter’s 100th Birthday Celebration” and “An invitation to Dance” with the NY Pops Orchestra). You can also see her on Cable TV “Touch Dancing” with Alfonzo. Donna started competing again for fun after taking a 14 year break and took 1St Place with her dance partner Derrick Allan in Professional Open Hustle Theater Arts at the Hustle Congress in 2006. Donna has been on staff for “World Hustle”, New York Hustle Congress”, “International Hustle & Salsa Competition” in Miami and the New Orleans “The Big Easy” to judge, teach workshops and perform. Donna won an on line poll in 2006 sponsored by Ron Bess’s Dance Talk as Favorite Female Dancer in the Reader’s Choice Awards. Currently Donna teaches, Choreographs and performs in New York and beyond. For the past 15 years Donna has been the Ballroom Entertainment Director for the “Stardust Dance Weekends” in the Catskills & Stardust Cruises.

WINGO HOM – known as "The Dance Doctor" was born and raised in New York City.  At age 11, he was introduced to partner dancing by his classmate’s parents.  They were social dancers and demonstrated a variety of dances in their living room, which awakened his passion for all dances.  His determination and motivation has rewarded him by studying under some of the finest instructors and coaches, which has lead him to compete in an array of dances such as, Hustle, American and International styles of Ballroom, Latin, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and Salsa.  He is known for his unique technique for diagnosing and improving your dance. The dance doctor makes house calls, you supply the floor space and he will bring the knowledge. Wingo has over 50+ years of dance experience and multiple accomplishments, which include: Recipient of the 2015 Artie Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award, Recipient of the 2014 Employee of the Year Award for Stardust Dance Productions, Winner of 10 Top Teacher Awards, Winner of the 2009 Dancing with the Stars Tour Version in Cha Cha and East Coast Swing competition in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, 2006 Amateur Male Hustle Dancer of the Year, First and only amateur hustle couple, with partner Angela McCabe, to defeat a professional Hustle couple in a competition, 649 first place titles, 34 Jack and Jill first place awards. Wingo is one of the very few instructors that is certified (lead and follow) in Hustle, 12 different American Smooth, Latin and Rhythm Styles at full Bronze and Silver Levels. He is also certified to Judge Dance competitions in all levels. Wingo is a familiar presence in the Hustle, West Coast Swing and Salsa community and is currently teaching in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.    

LEON HARRIS - started his association with the dance community after retiring from the US Navy. His first dance was the Brazilian dance Lambada, moved on to ballroom, and finally developed a love for Argentine Tango .  Viewing dance as an extension of his interaction with people, Leon focuses on teaching good dance technique and building confidence in his students.   Being calm and understated, his students find his classes easy going, stress free, but meet their goal of learning to dance. Being located in Washington DC, his training has included local ballroom studios, workshops with visiting dance professionals, salsa and Argentine Tango dance festivals in the US, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe; tango workshops in Buenos Aires and Dubai, and two summer sessions at Stanford University for advance Argentine Tango.   Seven workshops at the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional Habana (Cuba) provided him with a focus on Cuban dance history, Afro Cuban Folkorico dances, Cuban social dances, and the dances of Santaria. Although he was a student, he taught Argentine Tango while in residence at the Conjunto.  As a former Stardust dance host, his experience opened doors for  him to hosting/teaching on all the major cruise lines. On the Queen Mary 2, he danced around the world and taught Argentine Tango to a group of beginners that resulted in a performance for the ship. For the pass 20 years, his home has served as his dance studio for Latin and Argentine Tango classes.  Leon was the recipient of Stardust Dance Productions 2015 Employee of the Year.

CAMERON JOHNSON – Hailing from South Africa, Cameron started his dancing career at the age of 5. Cameron is the unbeaten South African International Standard Campion in the Junior, Amateur and Professional ranks. In 1996, Cameron represented South Africa in the Open Fleetwood Professional Championship in Blackpool, England and was placed 6th.  In 1996 Cameron represented South Africa in the Open French Masters Professional Championship on the Isle of Reunion and was placed 3rd. In 2000, he was invited to immigrate and teach in the USA where he has since made his home. In 2008, Cameron represented the USA at the World Pro/Am Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was placed 1st. To date, Cameron is still active in the competitive Pro/Am arena where he teaches and molds his students into the best dancers they can be. Since 1995, Cameron started studying to do his professional qualification exams and, in 1996, achieved a Highly Commended pass rate as an Associate in International Standard through the South African National Council of Ballroom Dancing. In 1999, Cameron also achieved a Highly Commended pass rate as an Associate in International Latin and a Highly Commended pass rate as a Licentiate in International.

LOURDES CRUZ - has been dancing from a very young age and began teaching & competing professionally in 1996.  Her dance background extends from Ballroom & Latin Dancing, Folk, Belly Dance, West Coast Swing & Argentine Tango.  Her 13 Ballroom Dance Major along with her interdisciplinary teaching experience and studies in music, martial arts, & speech pathology contribute to the versatility of her dancing and teaching style.  Currently she is Program Director and Lead Instructor of the Dance Program at Innerlight Movement Studio in Hyde Park, NY. 

NINO DIGIULIO - Owner and Executive Director of May I Have This Dance, one of the most popular social dance studios in the nation, Nino has created a unique curriculum and trained thousands of dance students and professionals.  An expert in all ballroom and latin dances, he has won numerous top teacher awards and competitions in West Coast Swing and Hustle.  He has been a featured instructor, coach, judge, and competitor at national events like Swing Dance America, World Hustle Championships, International Hustle & Salsa Championships, Swing City Chicago, Carolina Groove, NY Hustle Congress, and the Chicago Salsa Congress.

AMANDA DOERR- A Master Instructor with the prestigious Chicago-based dance studio, May I Have This Dance, Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/Dance at the University of Wisconsin. She is an award-winning choreographer and talented social dancer.  Student's love Amanda's ability to put everyone at ease and make learning even complicated steps easy and fun.



NICOLE GIFFORD- A Senior Instructor with the prestigious May I Have This Dance studio based out of Chicago, Nicole is known for making even the most difficult steps easy.  Students adore her and flock to her social ballroom dance classes.  She also has a degree in dance and has directed her own Modern dance company for over a decade.


LIHANN JONES - has spent most of her life dancing or performing in some fashion. From her parent’s nightclubs in Montana and Idaho, to acting in television shows and commercials, to the parade routes and stages of Disneyland, to the old dance halls of the West Coast where she danced with the Joint is Jumpin’ swing troupe, Lihann loves to learn, perform, and teach dance. In 2005, Lihann relocated to Buffalo, NY and worked as a full-time dance instructor and performer for a local ballroom dance studio. She performed in various DanceSport competitions throughout the country in the Pro/Am Division, her students consistently placing high in the scholarship and multi-dance divisions. In 2010 she received her Associate Certification in International Ballroom from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. In 2012 she also received her Associate Certification in American Ballroom from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. In 2013, Lihann helped develop Suneel’s Celebrity Gala for the Suneel’s Light Foundation; a ballroom dance competition with local celebrities and professional ballroom dancers performing to raise funds for children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. In 2014 Lihann continued her role as co-chair for the event and helped turn Suneel’s Celebrity Gala into the most successful fundraising event to date for the Suneel’s Light Foundation. In 2014, in order to better share her great joy for dancing, Lihann created Ballroom Revolution, a dance studio dedicated to teaching body awareness, connection between dance partners, and how to have fun and feel confident in any dance situation. Lihann holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in English – Creative Writing from California State University of Long Beach. She continues to develop her dance and teaching skills by attending multiple Lindy Hop conferences, Ballroom symposiums, Argentine Tango workshops, and teacher seminars a year.

FITNESS INSTRUCTORS:

MARION PANOS - has been coming to the Stardust Weekends since 1999 and has only missed one weekend since that time.  In 2004, she became one of our agents and is known for her ability, diligence and consistency in seeing that her guests are well taken care of and in representing Stardust.  In 2009, Marion joined our fitness staff and teaches Belly Dance classes at the weekends. Marion is trained in several styles of dance, including jazz, modern, Afro-Brazilian, African, Middle Eastern and Ballroom.  She is proficient in American style ballroom and Latin and has also studied International Standard.  She competed around the country at the pro-am level in American style ballroom and Latin for many years.  She was a professional Middle Eastern dancer and has been teaching Belly Dance for more than 15 years."

MOLLY GELSOMINO - originally from Upstate, New York.  She has a diverse background in the arts, including a BA in Dance from the University at Buffalo, over 15 years of performance and choreography in concert dance and 6 years as a Dance Educator in the Brooklyn Public Schools.  Molly is a former professional cheerleader for the AFL, and spent 6 years in NYC as a Co-Artistic Director for The Movement Collective Dance Company.  As a newer resident of Sullivan County, Molly found Zumba® to be the most exciting way to fuse her passion for dance. music and fitness.  Molly enjoys inspiring her clients and encouraging her classes to feel the music, join the party and have a fun fitness experience upon stepping into the studio


DANCE HOST DIRECTOR

MARIO CADAVID - has come to us from the Information Technology world.  Having graduated with is B.B.A in computers and his M.B.A in management he has worked in multiple hospital I.T. departments throughout the years acquiring numerous certifications along the way.  Having made his first splashes into the dance world in 2015, he quickly acquired a passion for many dance styles and continued his residency under Wingo "The Dance Doctor".  Mario has competed and placed at Disco America and was part of Donna DeSimone's Swustle team that took first place in New York's 2017 Hustle Congress team division.  His lighthearted approach to social dancing is noticed by his followers when occasionally things don't go as planned and he's heard saying "No ambulance....No problem

ENTERTAINERS/INSTRUCTOR: TO FOLLOW


4 Great DJS!!  

Ballroom DJ Michelle & Bob Friedman - have been part of the ballroom dance word for the past 15 years. As avid dancers they started with Ballroom Dance Lessons, and for the past 7 years as professional DJs – specializing in Ballroom Music.  In 2001 they even won Top Couple in a Good Morning America 25 hour dance marathon. They have a comprehensive music library of over 20,000 tracks spanning the decades, which includes all types of Ballroom, Latin, Hustle, West Coast Swing & Argentine Tango. They are northeast coast DJ favorites spanning NY, CT, NJ, PA, & DE areas, and are regulars at the world famous Stardust Dance Weekends.  They are equally at home playing their music for Ballroom Socials, Showcases, Competitions, and professional performances for some of the world’s most famous ballroom couples.  While preferences in music certainly vary from person to person, what they use as their criteria when choosing music to play is really very simple - does it make dancers feel like they just have to get up and move, or doesn’t it? They get great satisfaction when they watch dancers who were heading for their seats at the end of a song turn around and pull each other back out to the dance floor time and again as a new piece begins.


Argentine Tango DJ Carlos Rodo Quiroga -  is a seasoned broadcaster-journalist born in La Plata, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His interest and experience, led him to become the creator of ReporTango, one of the premier tango magazines in the world, now relaunched as a 24 Hour Online Radio Station. Carlos has been involved with the tango genre since the early 90‘s, when he served as Master of Ceremonies for “La Galería del Tango Argentino” (a famous tango house owned by tango legends Carlos Gavito and Eduardo Arquimbeau). And from 1999 on, he has DJed for milongas and tango festivals in several countries around the globe. New York City, Boston and Miami (United States), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Tangier (Morocco) and Moscow (Russia) have all enjoyed and danced to his music selections. 


Hustle/West Coast/California Mix DJ Louis Del Prete - A talented musician and dancer.  He is accomplished on drums, keyboards, and trumpet, and is a fantastic singer.  Louis is also an excellent ballroom dance teacher and DJ.  Louis’s skills started at the age of 13, when he joined his talented mother and father, Rosann and Louis (also known as the “Perry Lane Orchestra”) at the former Island Squire Restaurant in Middle Island, where they performed for many years!  His mom, Rosann, was a member of a popular all-girl band in the 60’s called the “Female Beatles”.  His dad toured the United States with various bands as a trumpet player with a sound like Harry James. Louis background talent will contribute to making the Hustle Swing room one of our most popular venues.  When Louis is not playing music, he is dancing.  He is accomplished in Ballroom and Latin dancing, having an excellent lead, precise technique and smooth style.  He taught dance on popular cruise lines.  Now he teaches group and private lessons and runs many dance venues on Long Island.


Latin DJ Franklin Ayala -  born in NYC has 12 years of experience as a Latin DJ. He is also the head DJ for DanceSport in New York City. Franklin takes his own unique approach to consistently deliver what the crowd is craving making him a highly coveted performer across New York City and around the world. His work includes headlining at major events and venues in New York, throughout the US, and abroad. Franklin Ayala’s musical selection carries the authenticity of the New York Salsa scene. He has played at venues very well known to many salseros; Copacabana, El Flamingo, Wild Palm, Latin Quarters, Iguana's,Cache, to name a few. He is also known for his diversity of its international influences as he seamlessly blends classic and modern Salsa with a keen sense for setting the mood and keeping the party at its peak. He has also been acknowledged for his influence and support of the Salsa community. Receiving the "Men in Salsa" award in 2007 in Washington D.C. and the "Alex" award in 2009 at the Miami Salsa Congress which he has been the Head DJ for the event for the past 6 years.