Guest Coaches

LEARN FROM THE WORLD’S LEADING DANCERS AND COACHES.

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!


Tuesday, August 21st – Ilya Velednitsky

Ilya moved from Ukraine in 1989 and has been teaching professionally with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for 11 years total, 4 years at the Milwaukee location and 7 at the Brookfield location. He is currently the Regional Dance Director for Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Wisconsin and competes professionally both regionally and nationally. Him and his partner, Ms. Mariya Ilchenko, are multiple-time Fred Astaire Rhythm Champions, Show Dance Champions, and Ohio Star Ball Professional Rhythm Finalists. He is now making his way into the world of coaching and adjudicating.


Wednesday, August 22nd – Manuel Favilla

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

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 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, August 28th – Ricky Bentzen

Ricky Bentzen is originally from Denmark, and represented his home country throughout his Amateur career. He was undefined Danish Latin Champion and 2-Time World Latin Semi-Finalist. In 2008 he moved to the United States, where he became part of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and began his Professional career as an American Rhythm Competitor with Albina A. Habrle.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Danish Latin Champion
  • 2-Time Youth Latin World Semi-Finalist
  • 11-Time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion
  • World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion
  • 11-Time Fred Astaire National Open Professional Rhythm Champion
  • 3-Time US National Open Professional Rhythm Finalist
  • 4-Time World Open Professional Rhythm Finalist

Wednesday, August 29th – Lene James

More information coming soon!

 

 

 


Monday, September 10th & Wednesday, September 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.

ACHIEVEMENTS

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

Monday, September 17th- Ricky Bentzen

Ricky Bentzen is originally from Denmark, and represented his home country throughout his Amateur career. He was undefined Danish Latin Champion and 2-Time World Latin Semi-Finalist. In 2008 he moved to the United States, where he became part of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and began his Professional career as an American Rhythm Competitor with Albina A. Habrle.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Danish Latin Champion
  • 2-Time Youth Latin World Semi-Finalist
  • 11-Time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion
  • World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion
  • 11-Time Fred Astaire National Open Professional Rhythm Champion
  • 3-Time US National Open Professional Rhythm Finalist
  • 4-Time World Open Professional Rhythm Finalist

Tuesday, September 18th – Rufus Dustin

Mr. Dustin is a World Dance Council (WDC) professional, provides coaching and choreography for some of the best Professional and Amateur competitive dancers in the world and routinely acts as an adjudicator at some of the most prestigious dance competitions around the globe.

Rufus has been certified as an adjudicator by the National Dance Council of America (NDCA), the World Dance Council (WDC), and Fred AstaireDance Studios Inc. in International Style Standard, International Style Latin, American Smooth, American Rhythm, and Theater Arts.

As a Professional dancer, Rufus competed nationally and internationally, attaining titles in International Latin, American Rhythm and Theater Arts. He has performed all over the world, including special presentations at the Blackpool Dance Festival.

This is the coaching you do not want to miss!

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 2-time World Exhibition/Cabaret Champion
  • 2-time United States National Professional American Style Champion (Rhythm and Smooth)
  • North American Latin Champion
  • North American 10-Dance Champion
  • United States Champion
  • Blackpool Dance Festival Champion
  • Multi-time Lecturer at the World Ballroom Dancing Congress in Blackpool, England

Monday, September 24th – Ilya Velednitsky

Ilya moved from Ukraine in 1989 and has been teaching professionally with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for 11 years total, 4 years at the Milwaukee location and 7 at the Brookfield location. He is currently the Regional Dance Director for Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Wisconsin and competes professionally both regionally and nationally. Him and his partner, Ms. Mariya Ilchenko, are multiple-time Fred Astaire Rhythm Champions, Show Dance Champions, and Ohio Star Ball Professional Rhythm Finalists. He is now making his way into the world of coaching and adjudicating.


Tuesday, September 25th – Thomas Lewandowski

Born in Poland, Thomas started dancing at the age of six. He was a Polish National Champion in International Latin as a Junior, Youth and Amateur. After moving to the U.S. in 2000, he turned Professional in International Latin. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Thomas retired from competitive dancing in order to focus on judging, teaching and performing.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • U.S. National Professional Latin Finalist
  • U.S. National Professional Latin Showdance Champion
  • World Professional Latin Showdance Finalist
  • Rising Stars Professional Latin Blackpool Finalist
  • Ohio Star Ball International Latin Showdance Champion

Wednesday, September 26th – Izabella Lewandowski

Born in Poland, Izabela began dancing at the age of 10. A winner of many Polish Championships in over 10 dance divisions, Izabela danced professionally with her partner, Thomas, and together they won the Polish National Championship in International Latin. Currently living in Los Angeles, Izabela’s retired from competitive dancing, focusing instead on judging, teaching and performing.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • U.S. National Professional Latin Finalist
  • U.S. National Professional Latin Show Dance Champion
  • World Professional Latin Show Dance Finalist
  • Rising Stars Professional Latin Blackpool Finalist
  • Ohio Star Ball International Latin Show Dance Champion

 

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