Guest 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!

Monday, April 30th – 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, Manuel and Natalia have gone on to adjucating, 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, May 1st – 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.


  • 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
  • 4-Time World Professional Rhythm Finalist
  • 3-Time US Professional Open Rhythm Finalist & more!
  • 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, May 8th & Thursday, May 10th – Ilya Ifraimov

Ilya coaches and choreographs in all levels and styles. A World Class Adjudicator and Choreographer, he’s been a member of NDC since 2005 and has collaborated in the creation of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios International Latin Syllabus. Ilya has also appeared on American Ballroom Challenge and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.


  • US PRO Latin Finalist
  • World Cup Runner-Up
  • World Masters Champion
  • Blackpool, International and UK Rising Star Finalist
  • 6-Time Fred Astaire National Champion
  • North American Show Dance Champion

Tuesday, May 15th – 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, May 16th – Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts began his dance career at the age of 20. Before he discovered the world of dance, his high school background was athletics — particularly basketball. But Jonathan (along with his family and friends) were shocked when he discovered his passion for ballroom dancing after viewing the famous tango scene in the Al Pacino movie, “Scent of a Woman.” He took advantage of the free ballroom lessons offered on the back of his ticket stub, and the rest, as they say, “is history.” Now, he is headed our way to share his vast knowledge and experience with all of you.


Monday, May 21st – 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

Wednesday, May 30th – 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


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