Rachael Heron-Uy Manager and Instructor
Rachael is a world class Latin champion that has won many titles in her competitive career:
-Finalist in British Open (Blackpool), UK Open, International Open Amateur Championships
-Top 12 in World, British Open, International Open and Asian Open Professional Championships
-15x British Champion
Rachael started dancing at the age of 5 in Liverpool, England, studying ballet, tap and jazz. When she was 8, she was introduced to Ballroom and Latin and fell in love with it. Two years later, she was traveling around the world participating in competitions.
At the age of 14, she was the youngest to ever win the British Open (Blackpool) Junior Championships. In the following months, she became the Italian Open, German Open and Dutch Open Champion. At 16, she won the British Open(Blackpool), International and British National Under 21 Championships. At 19, she became British National Amateur Champion and finalist of the British Open(Blackpool), International and UK Open Amateur Championships.
After turning professional at 22, Rachael reached the semi-final in the British Open(Blackpool) Professional Championships, International Championships, Asian Open and World Championships. She represented Great Britain in the world famous British Open Professional Team Match numerous times and was the British National Professional Champion.
Since retiring from her professional competitive career, she has been coaching in the UK, Asia, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston. She takes pride in her students’ success. Some of her students’ titles include; British national champions and finalists, UK champions and finalists, USA national finalists and representatives of the UK and USA to the European and World championships.
She is certified as an adjudicator with the British and World Dance Council.
Istvan Cserven – Dance Director and Instructor
Istvan Cserven is a Fred Astaire National Dance Board Member, Judge and National Examiner. He is also a Fellow of the U.S. Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.
Istvan joined the Fred Astaire studios of New England in 1997 and has worked in the Boston area studios as an instructor, manager, and dance director. He has frequently been named Top Teacher at the Fred Astaire Tri-Star Championships, New England Dancesport Championships and Colonial Classics. About his passion and profession, Istvan says, “I love to see people grow in all aspects of their life through developing their dance ability.”
Istvan enjoyed an extensive dance career in his native Hungary before moving to the United States. He held the amateur title of Hungarian Standard Champion, three-time Vice-Hungarian 10-Dance Champion, and was a member of the National Champion Latin Formation Team. He coached competitive couples of all levels and ages, as well as the Hungarian Latin Youth Champions.
Samantha Dominguez – Instructor
Dance has always been a part of Samantha’s Life. She grew up in a Latin household where dance was a part of everyday life. She started taking ballet at the age of three, and went on to take classes in jazz, tap, modern, African and hip hop. By the time she was 8 years old she was competing and was invited to join the Boston Ballet . Her love for the diverse dance styles made her choose to continue dancing on her competition team where she earned several rising star awards. As a young teenager she auditioned for Cambridge youth company in (Cambridge MA) and performed around Boston. Her mother eventually encouraged her to take ballroom dance classes. She immediately connected to her Latin roots and found herself in love with ballroom dancing. Ever since she dedicated herself to studying all different styles. She competed as an amateur in Latin and American Smooth and soon after, became a professional instructor where she works with top coaches and competes in American Rhythm. She is now a part of the Fred Astaire family where she continues to teach, perform and compete. Sam feels dancing allows her to tap into her spiritual being . Dancing is her passion and her way to express her authentic self with love and light. She is moved by inspiring her students to use dance and movement to connect and express with their creative self.
Vlad Krupskii – Instructor
Vlad was born in the city of Orel in Russia. Since childhood, he has loved ballroom dancing and participating in dance competitions. When he became a teenager his parents moved to Moscow to get access to international coaches. He traveled all over the world representing Russia and dancing in China, Netherlands, France, England, Italy and Israel.
Some of his top accolades include:
- World Ten Dance Champion in 2015 and 2016
- Italian Under 16 Open Ten Dance Champion
- WDC AL Open European Champion
- Russian Team Captain at Blackpool, England
- Russian RTS Youth Ten Dance Champion
- Russian Representative to Blackpool England
After splitting with his last partner, he decided to take his success to the other side of the world. While representing the United States, Vlad has won championships all over the United States as well as competed at the renown Blackpool Dance Festival. He has also been featured on Fox’s hit show, So You Think You Can Dance, this past season, season 15. Now in Boston, Vlad shares his passion for ballroom dancing with all ages and he enjoys traveling to represent his new home, America.
Christopher Uy – Instructor
Chris has been dancing and teaching all forms of ballroom for over 12 years. During his competitive career, he was a finalist in the Fred Astaire World Championships in Rhythm in addition to winning many Fred Astaire Regional and National titles. He was cast in a “Dancing with the Stars” commercial and performed in the show “Dancing With Desire” for four years.
In order to achieve the highest level of success while keeping the student healthy and strong, Chris has studied anatomy, physics and biomechanics to better understand body mechanics. He is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Among his students he is considered to be patient, fun and encouraging. He believes in hard work, perseverance while enjoying the experience.
Elizabeth Woo – Owner
Elizabeth has been a Fred Astaire student for 10 years and has lived in Belmont for 20 years with her husband and 2 boys. With her long-time student perspective, she is highly motivated to improve the overall quality and value of the dance lessons to make FADS Belmont a vibrant community once again.
When Elizabeth’s husband asked her why she wanted to do this, she joked, semi-seriously, that this is her mid-life crises project. Knowing that she will not cure cancer or solve world peace, this is her opportunity to make a greater contribution to her community and hopefully enrich the lives of the staff and students they teach.