Meet the Team

The Instructors of Fred Astaire Dance Studio Brookfield are as diverse as our students. With team members from across Germany and the the United States the Brookfield studio offers a warm inviting atmosphere where everyone feels like they  belong. Each of our staff are trained in the Fred Astaire Method of Teaching, and each teacher additionally specializes in a different area of dance. Many students find this to be the key, and by having multiple teachers they may accelerate the learning process.

Martin & Gina Goethche

Born in Denmark, Martin began ballroom dance instruction at the age of three. He danced in amateur competitions before he was ten years old, and was a finalist in all the major Danish Dance Sport Championships in the children, junior and youth classes.

Gina comes from Munich, Germany and started to dance at the age of fifteen. She competed very successfully at the amateur level with several partners and was the German Champion in the Latin American dances (A-level).

In 1990, Martin and Gina began their partnership as competitive ballrooms dancers. Their titles include the Danish 10-Dance Champions and Austrian Latin and 10-Dance Champions. Martin and Gina were also finalists in the World and European 10-Dance Championships and in the World Latin Showcase Championships.

Elmar Schmidt

Elmar began ballroom dancing in Germany at the age of 7, and through the years successfully competed in many Regional, National and International competitions. Upon completion of the extensive German training to become a certified dance instructor, he was immediately offered a position as Assistant Manager and Dance Instructor at one of the largest German dancing schools in Munich, Germany.

In January, 2007, Elmar joined Fred Astaire Dance Studios as an owner and Director of the Brookfield, CT, location where he continues to pursue his passion for dancing. Under his direction and instruction, the Brookfield Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s students and certified instructors win top placements in competitions and enjoy the magic of dance.

Marcel Helms

Marcel began ballroom dancing in Germany at the age of 8. Taking place in many Regional, National and International Competitions in Europe, he is a four‐time German Master, European Champion and World Champion in Boogie Woogie and Swing. Marcel became certified as instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in 2009, and added the duties of Studio Supervisor in 2011.

Isabelle Schmidt

Born in Germany, Isabelle started ballroom dancing at the age of 14. Specializing in Latin dances, she successfully competed in many Regional and National Competitions. In addition to her passion for ballroom dancing, Isabelle also loves Hip‐Hop and holds the honor of being South German Hip‐Hop Champion.

Since joining the team of certified instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in 2010, Isabelle continues to successfully compete and is a frequent finalist in Regional and National American Smooth Competitions.

Matthew Ames

With over 20 years of dance experience and expert training in both classical and more modern styles of dance, Matthew was ranked by the largest international dance franchise as one of their top teachers for 3 consecutive years. He is also the recipient of the coveted Winners Circle Award given only to the top 3 instructors each year.

Immersed in the dance culture for many years, Matthew has performed with the major ballet companies in NYC and Pittsburgh, as well as appearing Off-Broadway, and has received several awards for acting and dancing in international acting and modeling competitions. He has competed in all 9 American Style dances, theater arts, and show dance. Before retiring from professional competition Matthew received 2nd place in the 2011 North American Same Sex Dance Championships in both American Show Dance and American Smooth Championships. In addition Matthew is a certified life coach and wellness advocate, he uses these skills to guide students to their full potential on and off the floor.

Joanna Lee

Joanna is our newest team member.
Born in Germany, she began dancing at the age of 3. After dancing in multiple dance groups and in different dance styles, Joanna found her passion in Hip-Hop dancing.

In 2011, she became a certified Zumba(R) Fitness Instructor and has a complete wide-ranging education from Germany in ballroom dancing. Besides dancing and teaching international Latin & Standard, she is specialized in children’s dancing and West Coast Swing.

Following her dreams to improving herself, and the love of dancing, brought her to the United States to become a Fred Astaire Dance Studio professional.


Jerome Lee

Jerome is excited to be joining us from Germany as the most recent addition to our Fred Astaire team. Known for his charisma on the dance floor, Jerome’s biggest strength is his ability to build confidence and style in both new and experienced dancers.
Since moving to the United States in fall of 2017, Jerome has been a finalist in the Professional Mixed division of the New England Tri-Star Championships. You can watch him performing in a variety of styles, including American Smooth, American Rhythm, and Theater Arts.

Michael Braun

Even at the tender age of five, Michael was enthusiastically on stage as a dancer in Germany. He turned his passion into a career; this time to share the magic and joy of dancing and movement by teaching the art of dance to others. 

Michael has enjoyed much success in many championships and tournaments. He is a German champion, a distinction he has earned on multiple occasions. Michael successfully completed an extensive five-year study program in Dance Sport Teacher Education by the General German Dance Association. He refined his skills at the academy and completed numerous coaching qualifications and coaching licenses.

 Michael’s main motivation: to inspire people to dance and to enjoy the beauty of movement and expression. In Germany Michael worked with dancers at all levels. In addition, he developed thrilling choreographies for stage shows, trained dance teachers and prepared dancers for international championships. Michael joined the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Brookfield in September 2018.