Ballroom DJs Michelle & Bob Friedman
have been part of the ballroom dance word for the past 30 years. As avid dancers they started with Ballroom Dance Lessons, and for the past 17 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 40,000 tracks, which includes all types of Ballroom, Smooth, Latin, Rhythm, Hustle, West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango and other specialty dances. 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.
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.
Donna Desimone-Dance Instructor & Entertainment Director
has made dance her life long career since the age of 4. Her training, teaching and knowledge of tap, ballet, jazz, Broadway theater and ballroom has made her a diverse teacher and dancer to her students & classes. Donna has won countless dance and choreography awards in Ballroom and Hustle and resides on Long Island NY. Donna has been the Entertainment director for Stardust since 1993.
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.
Cameron Johnson-Dance Instructor
Hailing from South Africa, Cameron Johnson started his dancing career at the age of 5, under the tutelage of his parents.Cameron is the unbeaten South African International Standard Champion 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. Also in 1996, Cameron represented South Africa in the Open French Masters Professional Championship on the Isle of Reunion and was placed 3rd. In 2000, Cameron 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 moulds 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 Standard through the United Kingdom Alliance in London, England.
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.
James “Suits” Smithis from Sacramento Ca. and started his dance career in his home town. Starting Ballroom and Latin dancing in 2003 James found a passion for partnership dancing and has made a successful business as owner of Studio 18. James Smith specializes in International Latin and American Rhythm. James has a unique charm and energy in his style of teaching. His dance ability is at a professional level which makes him not only fun to dance with, but also makes for an amazing learning experience. James teaches both social and competition style dance lessons. He is excited to bring his talent and knowledge to the Stardust family.
Richard Givney-Dance Instructor
has a successful twenty four years’ experience in all aspects of the ballroom dancing industry through cultivating and achieving personal, professional and educational goals. He competed professionally in International Latin; has his teaching certifications in multiple syllabi, including both American and International dances, and franchised and independent curriculums. He continues to take lessons with top professionals for teaching and personal dance goals. Last year his ballroom dance program won the 2012 Best in Monmouth County, NJ Health & Life Magazine’s “Reader’s Choice Award”. Richard is available for private or semi-private lessons.
Daniel Cruz has been performing and teaching Ballroom, Latin and West Coast Swing in the Hudson Valley for almost 7 years. Having over 16 years of dance training, Daniel excels as a leader and follower in Ballroom, Latin, Tango and West Coast Swing. At 17 years old, he became a certified instructor through the Global Professional Dance Instructors Association at the Basic and Intermediate levels in West Coast Swing. Daniel shows an impressive amount of communication skills between people, teachers, and students of all ages. He enjoys bringing people together through the language and art of dance.
Joyce Henderson-Dance Instructor
Founder and Executive Director, Faith In Motion Dance Studio. Joyce was born in Brooklyn, but has lived in the Hudson Valley for over 30 years. She has 20 years of Ballroom and Latin teaching and performing experience that includes over 10 years of Author Murray training and competitive dance. Joyce specializes in Latin and Ballroom genres but also teaches Hustle, Hip Hop and liturgical dancing. With Joyce's extensive dance background and her passion for teaching, Faith In Motion Dance Studio was founded and opened over 4 years ago and has been growing and thriving ever since. Faith In Motion teaches the genres of Salsa, Argentine Tango, Bachata, Rumba, Samba, Swing, Foxtrot, Waltz as well as Hip Hop, African dance and much more! Joyce takes great pride that Faith In Motion is invited to perform throughout the Hudson Valley all year long (i.e. annual Hudson Valley Fiesta Latina, YMCA's Cultural Day, Goshen's Great American Weekend, as well as various Chamber of Commerce events). Our Instructors have extensive experience and are committed and dedicated to seeing each and every student grow into the best dancers they are fully convinced they can be! All the while having fun doing what we all love to do....dance!
Marion Panos-Fitness Instructor
Belly Dance Instructor - 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-Fitness Instructor
Molly will be having morning stretch classes Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 am to get you ready to dance. 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. PLEASE BRING YOUR FLOOR MAT FOR THIS CLASS
Dance Host Director
Lou Brockman & Heather Gehring
HEATHER GEHRING, originally from Vermont, studied classical ballet with Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet and Hartford Ballet, becoming a professional at age sixteen. Besides the stage, Heather has danced on TV (MTV, Gossip Girls, Today Show, Tony Danza Show, Boardwalk Empire), and in movies and commercials (Enchanted, Little Manhattan). With her partner Lou Brockman, she has traveled the world teaching and performing their unique “Silver Screen Style” as well as performing in many infamous NYC venues including Town Hall (with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks), 54 Below, Rainbow Room and Birdland. They have taught and performed at Jacob’s Pillow, Harvard University and NYU.
LOU BROCKMAN, a Chicago native, began ballroom dancing when he was a young teen. He has lived in NYC for over two decades and has danced in films (Mona Lisa Smile, Disney’s “Enchanted”), and had featured performances on television (The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook, Boardwalk Empire), and on stages around the world (The Kennedy Center, Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow) Lou was a member of the acclaimed American Ballroom Theater and is a highly respected choreographer who has taught master classes at Harvard University and NYU.
Marc Davidson & Sylvie Raymond
Marc Davidson & Sylvie Raymond are full time teachers, choreographers, and competitors. They revolve around running their studio at home and pursuing their job around the world through numerous dance events. In 1997, Marc met Sylvie Raymond, where else.. on a dance floor. They started competing immediately. In 2003, they joined the UCWDC circuit and made it through all the levels up to 2010. Since then, they are 5 time Masters Showcase World Champions, a 2 Time Masters Classic World Champions, and a 3 Time World UCWDC top teacher. They consider themselves lucky to have the greatest job in the World.. DANCE
David Salvatierra & Maia Martinez
David Salvatierra is co-founder and director/teacher of Dojo Dance Company. His range of dances include Argentine Tango and Latin Rhythms. David has been involved in the tango community as a teacher and performer for the last 7 years, extending his workshops and performances outside NY. His teaching methods have been improved for over a decade and reinforced with his teaching and training skills in martial arts, as a black belt in Karate. David has performed with several important orchestras, represented Argentina in international events, and participated as guest teachers in Argentine Tango Festivals and dance weekends.
Maia Martinez is founder, director, teacher and dancer of Dojo Dance Company & Hudson Valley Tango. Her dance background includes ballet, Argentine Tango, Latin Rhythms, Modern Jazz, Folk, Flamenco & belly dance. She is a DXF coach (Dance Cross Fitness), Groove Facilitator & Spanish Dances Certified instructor. She has performed in many important tango Festivals and Milongas as well as represented Argentina in International events. Maia’s also a Self-defense instructor and holds a 2nd degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate. Maia has become a Teaching Artist for Ballroom Basix in 2015 and has participated in 3 residencies in Hudson Valley, New York.
Anya Katsevman & Luis Santiago
Born in Kiev Ukraine, Anya Katsevman has been living in the United States since 1993. She began her dance training at the age of ten with International latin ballroom. Anya won numerous national and international titles as a competitive latin dancer as well as starred in touring shows Burn the Floor and Dancing with The Stars. After finishing a successful career in the International Latin circuit, Anya began dancing salsa in 2007. With then partner, Luis Aguilar, Anya has become undefeated two time World Champion, as well as teaching, choreographing, performing and judging worldwide. Anya has also danced with many latin artists such as El gran Combo and Gilberto Santa Rosa. Often referred to as the future of salsa, Anya's combined background of training, dynamic stage presence, elegance, competition success, graceful style, and strong technical action quickly helped her became one of the most sought after dancers, choreographers, and adjudicators in the world
Most recently seen on stage with the king of mambo Eddie Torres, and coaching the top dancers in the industry, including 8 out of ten world champions in 2019, stars of tv shows such as DWTS, AGT, SYTYCD and Revolución, judging, choreographing, producing, staging, designing, and helping develop artists, professionals and dancers of all levels in all genres of the entertainment industry. Anya is also a sought after life coach and mentor using her method called godeeper a dance based wellness program to help people develop in their business and personal endeavors.