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

February 1-11, 2019


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 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

Lourdes Cruz - has been dancing from a very young age and began teaching & competing professionally in 1996.  Lourdes is certified in 13 dances, including Folk, Belly Dance, Argentine Tango and dual certification in West Coast Swing. Her dance background extends from her Ballroom & Latin Dancing Major along with her 20 years 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. 

Sergei Slussky - is known for infusing fun into learning of more than 33 dances – in American and International styles - at bronze, silver and gold levels. He studied dance in his native Russia and toured Eastern Europe as a member of the prestigious Vesna dancesport team, earning top honors and gaining extensive performance experience.  In 1991 Sergei immigrated to the United States and attended the world-renowned ballroom dance program at Brigham Young University in Utah. He taught ballroom dance in Boston and, more recently, in Maine where he has pioneered ballroom dance throughout the state. He opened the Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios in 2013.  Today, he owns dance studios in Portland and Brunswick and performs, teaches and coaches students for social dances and competitions across the U.S. and Canada.

Mark James - A Professional Theatre Arts Champion with over 30 titles. Marks creative style is cool and elegant. He is a teacher, coach and choreographer with extensive training in American, International, Smooth, and Rhythm, as well as Theatre Arts. Mark's love and dedication of dance has led to creating "National Ballroom Project", bringing dance education to schools and libraries.

Karen Lupo - Known for her elegant style, Karen has been captivating audiences while performing Latin, Smooth, and Theatre Arts routines. She is a former American Rhythm Champion who is a regular performer, teacher and coach in the New York Area. Together with Mark James,  she has created "Elegance Of Dance", a professional stage show bringing Ballroom, Tango and Salsa with a touch of Magic to stages, corporate events and libraries.

Pasha Stepandchuk & Gabriella Sabler-emerged as a new partnership
in 2014. With promising backgrounds, they began to break through
in all major American championships. Before dancing together, Pasha, a former US National Champion and 2 time US Open Champion, has represented the country at the World Championships in Austria and Paris on multiple occasions. Gabrielle has also had amazing results throughout her career, holding several US National Junior, Youth, and Under 21 titles. She is a former Junior and Under 21 World Championship Finalist. Since they started dancing together 2 years ago, they've already achieved so uch domestically and abroad! They became the 2016 Blackpool Champions in the Rising Star Amateur Latin. 

David Paris & Zoe Klein-are known for their unique integration of partner acrobatics with many dance forms, such as Latin dance, circus, ballroom, trapeze, and comtenporary dance. Zoe & David are five time 1st place title holders of the cabaret division of Latin, Hustle, Salsa, & Swing, including US Swing Open Championships 2009 and the World Country Dance competition 2008. They became finalists on Ameria's Got Talent TV competition. David & Zoe have taught and performed Salsa and Acrobatic dance in over 25 countries spanning 6 continents, striving to transform circus arts through a new kind of dance medium. After years of shared creative adventures, David & Zoe were finally married at a circus themed wedding September 2008. Zoe & David aim to captivate, inspire, and be personally moving!

Leonardo Sardella-a native of Buenos Aires, began dancing at the age of eight, studying Tango and Folklore. His professional career as an Argentine Tango dancer began in 2000. In Buenos Aires, he worked as a principal tango instructor and event organizer at exclusive hotels, such as the, Four Seasons, Alvear and Sofitel. Leonardo has been a member and performer of the Bien de Tango Dance Company, Mora Godoy, Tango Desaire, Señor Tango, Homero Manzi, Sabor a Tango and Boca Tango. In 2011, Leonardo Sardella move to New York and formed the dance company Malevaje in recognition of his belief that Argentine tango answers the universal need to connect with others. He has taken part in International Tango Festivals worldwide and have performed and taught workshops in major cities in the United States as well as around the world. Leonardo created, with Walter Perez, Friends of Argentine Tango, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting Argentine Tango in all its forms. During 2013 and 2014, he was part of the dance company at Malbec and Tango House in New York City. He is also a principal dancer for the Mariella Franganillo Dance Company and appeared in its 2012 "Tango Connections" and 2013,2015 "Recuerdo Tango" productions.  Leonardo was the dance partner of Graciela Gonzalez during 2015 and 2016 in the USA and Europe tours. Since 2017 he is the dance partner of Johana Copes, they performed in Europe and Buenos Aires. Walter Perez- ( a New York-based artist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has build up his career as a Tango dancer, teacher and choreographer of Argentine Tango over 25 years. He is the founder and Executive director of Friends of Argentine Tango a non for profit organization established in 2013.He has performed and taught extensible worldwide at many festivals, dance companies, and theater performances:  Argentina (1995-2000): Neotango Dance Company, La milonga, Los tangueros Dance company, Abecedario Dance company, Las tres Marias, De Refilon, and toured with the award winning musical Tangou directed by Anibal Pachano. USA (2000-currently): All that Tango; Red; Tango and Flamenco Fusion, The Trip, Let’s Speak Tango, Tango of the first century, Spotlight on Tango, Tango Connections and Recuerdo Tango, New generation Dance company (Jacobs Pillow), Las Vegas Red Carpet Tango Festival (2016,2017) In May 2018 Walter was the creator, director and dancer of the show “Male Tango” that was awarded by HOLA, outstanding Musical and outstanding performance in a musical Walter Perez and Leonardo Sardella.   He has been teaching for Iati, Latin theater at several Brooklyn Public Libraries since 2009. He has been the dance instructor for the annual NY Get up! Get moving! at the Hispanic Federation for over 11 years. Perez currently teaches at several senior centers using Tango and Latin social dances as therapy an a tool for physical activity and social engagement. He was 2017/18 grantee of Su casa and LMCC creative learning programs. Perez studied Psicologia Social at Nuestro Tiempo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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.


Marion Panos 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 - 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.


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"


BALLROOM DJs Michelle & Bob Friedman - have been part of the ballroom dance word for the past 25 years and have been associated with Stardust since 2004. As avid dancers they started with Ballroom Dance Lessons, and for the past 15 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 spanning the decades, which includes all types of Ballroom, Latin, Hustle, West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango and other specialty Social Dances (i.e. Night Club 2-Step, Kizumba). 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.

HUSTLE/WEST COAST SWING/COUNTRY MIX DJ Louis Del Prete - is 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 Latin 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.



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.    

LATIN DJ John El Gringo - Resident DJ @ Winner's Circle Night Club (aka ClubWC) in Westbury NY and also DJ for Big Hits Entertainment. John spins all types of Latin and American Music. Latin Music is one of my specialties, that's where the name "El Gringo Latino" comes in...meaning I’m a White Boy playing Latin Music. :) Some girls at the club started calling me "Gringo DJ" saying “hey what's up it's the Gringo Dj” every time they came to the club so it kind of stuck and I went with it. At the Winner's Circle I spin everything from Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Reggaeton, Punta, Vallenato, Rock En Espanol, Latin House y mas...I have fun and enjoy it all....and no I don't speak Spanish but one thing I do know how to say....Yo Soy Dj EL Gringo Latino... I No Speaki Spanish...Pero Yo Sabe La Musica Latina! One of my favorite types of Latin Music is Salsa, typically the Classic's like from the Fania era, the Big Band Mambo, Guaguanco, Guaracha and I enjoy finding rare tracks that not many people know of. I also am very into keeping up with what new Salsa is being released and I have a very successful Internet Radio station called "Salsa Picante Radio


“Best Band in Manhattan” (WNYC/NPR), and “Best Cuban Dance Band” (NY Latin Culture Magazine.) Classically trained and with years of experience in Cuban and American salsa, jazz, and big orchestra bands, the Havana born Gerardo Contino is a multi-talented singer and songwriter. Gerardo created Los Habaneros in 2012, which has gone on to become the “Best Band in Manhattan” (WNYC/NPR), and “Best Cuban Dance Band” (NY Latin Culture Magazin