Guest Coaches

The World’s Best Dancers and Coaches, in Our Studio!


Your Fred Astaire dance instructors are the cream of the crop. They represent some of the best talent in the country. We believe in exposing our students and our instructors to new ideas and perspectives whenever possible. For this reason Fred Astaire proudly hosts some of the most talented, renowned and award winning dancers, coaches and choreographers from all over the world. Outside coaching from one of our guest experts will offer you new insight and ideas, and can take your dancing to the next level.

Many of our coaches are reigning world dance champions and several have been featured on hit television show such as ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ All are nationally recognized in the dance industry. If you’re serious about improving your dancing, sessions with Fred Astaire guest coaches are opportunities you must take advantage of.

We encourage you to contact us right away to schedule your time for a special coaching with one or more of these top ranked coaches at the studio this month!

Monday, November 4th & Wednesday, November 6th – Michael Mead

Mr. Michael Mead has developed a unique style that ultimately led him and his professional partner to setting a record by winning the Open Championships 4 years in a row (undefeated throughout). You can now find him coaching many of the U.S. top competitive couples, as well as judging for competitions and traveling the world doing shows. Become one of those top competitive dancers by joining Mr. Mead for one of his fantastic and informative coaching’s.

Wednesday, November 6th – Natalia Maidiuk

Internationally known as a champion-level ballroom dancer with an exceptional portfolio of awards and titles, Natalia and her professional partner, Mr. Manuel Favilla, began their dancing career together in 2012. While they still dance professional and are available for professional shows, Natalia and Manuel have gone on to adjudicating, coaching and choreographing right here in the Wisconsin region.


  • 1st Runner Up Blackpool Dance Festival Professional Rising Star Latin
  • 1st Runner Up UK Championship Professional Rising Star Latin
  • 3 time International Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist
  • UK Championship Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist 2013
  • Blackpool Dance Festival Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist 2015
  • 3 time European Championship Open Professional Latin Finalist
  • World Championship Finalist 2013
  • Embassy 2013 Open Professional Latin Champions
  • 1st Runner Up USDC Open Professional Latin 2015

Tuesday, November 12th – Stephen Knight

Stephen is one of the busiest men in the industry. As a Regional Franchise Director for the Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ Wisconsin Region, an NDCA Adjudicator, a Coach, Choreographer, and the Co-National Dance Director for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, his dance card is almost always full. Stephen and his dance partner, Rae Josephs, were 3-Time United States American Rhythm Finalists, and 6-Time undefeated Fred Astaire American Rhythm Champions. Stephen is also responsible for creating a large portion of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios Silver Syllabus. He is well-known for his choreography for Open Routines, Solos, Showcases, and Novelties.


  • 6-Time Fred Astaire Open American Rhythm Champion
  • 3-Time USDSC Open American Rhythm Finalist
  • USDSC Theatrical Finalist
  • USDSC Rising Star Theatrical Champion

Monday, November 25th – Eduard Apolonov

Eddie specializes in all areas of International Latin, Standard, American Smooth, American Rhythm, as well as choreography for Showcases, Solos and Novelties. Eddie is a Choreography Specialist on Open Routines and coaches top competitive couples in the country.


  • USA National Rising Star Champion
  • USA Open to the World Rising Star Champion
  • 1998 Top Rising Star Couple in the United States
  • Open USA National Championship Finalist
  • Ohio Star Ball Finalist
  • Emerald Ball Finalist
  • Manhattan Dance Sport Champion
  • Millennium Dance Sport Champion
  • Heritage Classic Champion
  • Empire State Champion
  • UK: Rising Star British Open to the World Championship Finalist
  • Blackpool: Rising Star British Open to the World Championship Finalist
  • World Class Adjudicator, NDCA
  • National Judge, NDSA
  • Bachelor degree of Choreography from University of Fine Arts, Russia

Monday, November 25th – Jim Carter

Jim has proudly been part of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios family since 1984. He is currently the Co-Area Dance Director for the Fred Astaire Dance Studios Illinois region. Jim is the Choreographer and creative genius of many of the country’s award-winning best Solos, Novelties, Showcases and Professional Show Dances. His choreography consistently wins top awards at Regional and National Fred Astaire competitions. Jim excels in all aspects of sales and enrollment, motivational business training, and student and professional coaching and choreography.  Jim can construct a highly successful Showcase Casting Day for a studio of any size, and then choreograph and produce an exhilarating and entertaining Studio Showcase, with students and professionals of any and every level. Jim has been a longtime favorite Fred Astaire Coach to have in studios across the country, because he offers fresh and exciting lessons and choreography, and he adds an infectious spark of fun and enthusiasm to the studio atmosphere like no other.


  • National Fred Astaire Theatrical and Cabaret Champion
  • National Fred Astaire Rising Star Rhythm Champion
  • National Fred Astaire Open Rhythm Finalist
  • USDC Rising Star Theatrical Champion
  • USDC Open to the World Cabaret Finalist
  • Texas Challenge Grand Championship Winner
  • Featured on PBS Night of Championship Ballroom Dancing
  • Choreographed and Produced Several Fred Astaire National Pro Shows

Tuesday, November 26th & Wednesday, November 27th – Tony Meredith

Mr. Tony Meredith, along with his partner Melanie LaPatin, have represented the United States for over a decade in the World Latin American Dance Championships and have taken home over 100 championship titles. They retired from competitive dance in 1998.

Meredith has been behind the scenes as appearing in films, TV shows and Broadway, including feature film performances in Dance with MeThe Thomas Crown AffairLet It Be Me and The Last Days of Disco. He has co-hosted seasons 1 and 2 of the PBS series America’s Ballroom Challenge with Marilu Henner, and more recently, Meredith and LaPatin have appeared fairly regularly as guest choreographers on the Fox dance competition reality show So You Think You Can Dance.


  • The United States Professional Latin American Championships
  • North American Latin Championships
  • Latin World Cup Championships
  • Dancesport World Cup Championships
  • Latin World Trophy Championships