Albina A. Habrle – Studio Director
Ms. Albina A. Habrle is known as a nineteen time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion, a World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion, a four time World Professional Rhythm Finalist, and a three time US Professional Open Rhythm Finalist. After many years as a professional dance instructor and professional competitor, she has become a world renowned coach, adjudicator, franchise and regional owner.
Anna Hamilton – Studio Manager
I walked into Fred Astaire Brookfield nearly 14 years ago as a student – obviously I became hooked. I continued as a student for 7 years, winning numerous state, regional and national titles. At the age of 20, I became a professional competitor and also started teaching. My competitive journey took me all over the United States, my professional achievements include: undefeated Fred Astaire regional smooth champion, Fred Astaire National Rising Star Smooth Champion, 10 time Fred Astaire Open Smooth finalist, and a United State Rising Star Smooth Finalist.
I am honored to be the training director at the studio where I learned how to dance. I feel that the greatest part of dancing is sharing that experience with others – this truly is my perfect job. I would encourage anyone who is considering taking a dance lesson to dive in and enjoy the experience – you will not be sorry.
Slash Sharan – Studio Dance Director
It has been a fantastic run with Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield as a professional; I have been here for 10 years as of August 2017! As I like to say, I am a Fred Astaire Brookfield lifer, and I couldn’t be happier! My teaching specialties lie in American Rhythm, Smooth, Theatre Arts, Argentine Tango, Salsa, Bollywood and International Latin style. I take pride in creating well educated and elegant competitive dancers.
Throughout my years as a professional I have accepted many awards and have placed well in numerous competitions and events. Some of these include receiving 10 consecutive Freddy and Honors Freddy Awards at our annual regional awards ceremony as a top teacher in the Wisconsin region, United States DanceSport Championships Professional Rising Star Rhythm Finalist and a Top 10 Teacher Award,
Millennium DanceSport Professional Rising Star Rhythm Champion, Professional Open Rhythm Finalist at Hollywood Dancesport, Galaxy Dancesport, Wisconsin State Dancesport, International Grand Ball, Seattle Star Ball, Millenium Dancesport, Florida Superstars, Snowball, Maryland Dancesport, California Open, St. Louis Star Ball competitions, Fred Astaire National Championship Professional Open Rhythm Finalist, 3x Fred Astaire National Dancesport Championships Professional Rhythm Rising Star Champion, 3x Fred Astaire Cross Country Dancesport Championships Professional Rhythm Rising Star Champion, 4x Fred Astaire World Dancesport Championships Professional Rhythm Rising Star Champion, Wisconsin Fred Astaire Regional Professional Open and Closed Rhythm Champion, and more.
My inspiration comes from anyone that enjoys music, movement and any art form. Their love, excitement and passion is very contagious. Seeing someone personalize a movement or totally lose themselves while dancing, is so rewarding!
My advice for dancers everywhere, whether you have taken a lesson or not, dance professionally or as a student, is to make every beat count!
Natalie Noggle – Marketing Director/Social Engagement Coordinator
I started at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield in August of 2012 as a Customer Support Representative and, after a short 6 months, moved in to the newly created position of Marketing Director/Social Engagement Coordinator. My current position consists of many different tasks such as event planning for professionals hired for outside events, coordinating in house events for local businesses, public relations and communications, promoting our company, managing social media and so much more.
The best part of working for this amazing company would have to be the environment I am in on a daily basis. After all, it’s not every day people are able to come to work and listen to music, hear constant laughter, and enjoy the ‘fun’ that consistently takes place in their work place. Smiles happen all day! The love and excitement you feel and see here is unlike anything you have ever experienced before!
My inspiration in doing what I do stems directly from the students. From stepping in for their first lesson, to participating in studio and regional events, the progress that is made never ceases to amaze me. It really inspires you to take challenges of your own head on. What great feeling knowing that our industry brings a light to people’s lives.
One piece of advice I would give to all of our future students would be to not wait to begin dancing, the only time you have is now! Why not try something new, step of the norm and challenge yourself!
Chue Xiong – Studio Office Manager
I started at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield in September of 2015 as an office manager for the Brookfield and Milwaukee locations. As an office manager, I handle and oversee the accounting and office management responsibilities along with assisting students and professionals with questions relating to this field. I enjoy experiencing the energy the teaching professionals have and bring out in their students and am most inspired by seeing new faces as they experience a dance lesson for the first time and realize, ‘Oh, I really can do this!’ I find the consistent learning, both in my position and on the dance floor, most rewarding. My piece of advice for current and future students is to simply enjoy it! Let loose and have fun!
Michelle Cummings – Assistant Office Manager
I started at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield in May of 2013, and came here to the Milwaukee Studio shortly after that. Previously a Customer Support Representative, I am now the Assistant Office Manager for both of these studios, and am always happy to assist students and staff, and to help ensure the day-to-day operations of the studio run smoothly. I truly enjoy watching both students and professionals pursue their dancing dreams, and am inspired by the difference that dancing can make in people’s lives. I would like every new student to know that there’s no such thing as two left feet, and that if you stick with it, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible!
Nadya Potkonjak – Customer Support Representative
I started with Fred Astaire Dance Studio in October of 2008. As one of Brookfield’s Customer Support Representatives, I am proud to be the ‘Heart of the Studio.’ I love being the first to greet our students, provide information and get them excited about the world of dance. The smiles on their faces, along with watching their transformations and progress, makes working here a beautiful place to be on a daily basis. Inspiration isn’t hard to find here either! I see how much joy dance can bring to everyone, how it can change one’s social life, marriage, self-confidence; and I am inspired in an instant. It is so rewarding watching the journeys of each student, some discovering new-found hobbies, others developing into performers.
To the future and currents students: do not be afraid to look goofy, let go of your fears, trust our professionals, and most of all, have fun!
Mandi Karr – Customer Support Representative
I began working with Fred Astaire Dance Studio as a Customer Support Representative in December of 2015. With an extensive dance background and as a self-proclaimed retired dancer, I feel as if I’m living the best of both worlds. I’m inspired every day just being around people who, like me, truly love dance! I love the students! The best part of my job is getting to know each and every person that comes through our doors. I am lucky to feel like more than just a friendly face and resource for our clientele, but a friend as well. Witnessing our students’ successes in the ballroom is just as rewarding to me as seeing their faces light up by feeling welcomed and enriched as they walk in to the studio.
My advice for future and current students is simple – take advantage of the greatness under this roof! The professionals here are incredibly talented and hard-working individuals who are eager to share their knowledge! Also, look silly, make mistakes, take risks, and do things that frighten you – you’ll never know until you try!
Dmitrii Chopenko – Professional Dance Instructor
I have been dancing for seventeen years. Before moving to the United States I have earned many World Champion titles, and was also a finalist on the Ukrainian version of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Dancing gives me freedom from anything else going on in the world, I truly love being able to dance on a daily basis. When I teach dancing, I enjoy teaching any style possible, if I am able to share my knowledge with someone else, I will be happy. What I love most about teaching, is that dancing also inspires confidence, when I can see how my students become more confident through dance, it is the most rewarding thing for me.
Valeria Khrapak – Professional Dance Instructor
I have been dancing for 22 years. I have a World Championship title from IDU, and was the Ukrainian champion in Latin as well. I have a Masters of Sports at both the Ukrainian and International levels. I also have competed in the Ukrainian version of So You Think You Can Dance. I love dancing because it allows me to be my true self. I like teaching because I like how I can see people changing for the better when they learn how to dance. If I were to give students one piece of advice, I would say to not be afraid of a challenge.
Dmitriy Obuhov – Professional Dance Instructor
I was born and raised in Ukraine and began dancing at 7 years old. I have become fully trained in International Styles of Latin and Standard and have a very complex and knowledgeable level of expertise. My dancing achievements include many high standings at Blackpool Dance Festival in England and Dutch Open Assen in the Netherlands. I am extremely passionate and focused about the art of dance and sharing it with my students.
Sergio Sanchez – Professional Dance Instructor
I started dancing when I was 14 years old and moved on to becoming a professional dance instructor out in Michigan. I just joined the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield family two years ago. In competing, I have achieved awards such as National Champion in Equador and 2nd Place in Spain Open Latin Division. My dance areas of specialty tend to lie in Latin, Ballroom, Rhythm, Smooth, Theatre Arts and Argentine Tango but I am very skilled in all areas and have even worked with individuals in wheelchairs through the Dance Mobility Program. After all, dance is for everybody!
I find inspiration in many things related to my career but the feeling of excitement my students express when they feel the progress they have made, along with the relationships that we build with each one on a daily basis, is the most inspiring.
My piece of advice for you is that dancing is the best way to connect with yourself, so give it your all and enjoy every minute of it.
Rachel Sayotovich – Professional Dance Instructor
I have been dancing for the past 17 years. My training began in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and contemporary. From there I began competing regionally and nationally from a very young age, receiving national awards and scholarships for group and solo work. After high school I transitioned into teaching and choreographing shows for theater companies while pursuing a college degree from Marquette University. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and Broad Field Sciences, I decided to continue dancing by trying out ballroom dance lessons at my local Fred Astaire Dance Studio.
The rest is history as they say and I have been with Fred Astaire Dance Studios now for a total of 3 and a half years. My first two years with Fred Astaire were spent competing regionally and nationally as an amateur, becoming a USDC finalist in American Smooth and the USDC champion in American Rhythm and South American Show Dance. The last year and a half has been spent as a professional instructor and competitor, achieving many professional certifications and national champion achievements with my pro-am competitors. My professional dancing achievements include Fred Astaire National Showcase Champion and Fred Astaire National Rising Star Rhythm Champion. As an instructor my area of specialty includes Theater Arts, American Rhythm and Smooth, as well as International Latin.
The most rewarding part of working with Fred Astaire is being able to share my passion and love for dancing with my students. I love being able to inspire students and to see them push themselves and grow after each and every lesson. It is the most rewarding to see students fall in love with dancing and make it a part of their lives. A piece of advice that I have for all students is to dream big. If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough. You are capable of accomplishing far more than what you can imagine today. Remember that everyone is capable of being a good dancer, but good dancing is not defined solely by technique and performance, it is defined by heart and passion. Dancing is an art and each and every dancer is unique in their expression. Never forget the goal is to not become the best dancer, but to become the best and most expressive version of you. And no matter what, never stop dancing!
Megan Strong – Professional Dance Instructor
I have been dancing for a total of 9 years; 8 years as a student of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield and I now have been teaching professionally for the studio for a little over a year. As a student I have been a finalist, many times, at the Fred Astaire World Championships and United States Dance Championships along with becoming the Fred Astaire World Cabaret Champion. As a professional, my achievements include 2nd Place in the Fred Astaire Smooth Division at a Regional level, Semi-finalist in the Fred Astaire Smooth Division at a National level, and National Fred Astaire Closed Smooth finalist. I enjoy teaching beginner students but I am comfortable teaching all styles of dance. There is something wonderful to be said about starting with your beginner students and working with them as they continue to grow and move on to higher levels of dance.
The inspiration I find comes from my love of seeing how people can connect with each other through the language of dancing. It always brightens my day to see someone’s reaction to what they are feeling when on the dance floor. Helping others learn and being able to achieve something they didn’t think was possible is always so rewarding.
My piece of advice; trust your teachers. We do have your best interest in mind at all times!
Rebecca Vincitore – Professional Dance Instructor
I have been dancing for 19 years and started my journey in ballet dancing. Over the years I continued in additional styles such as jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and tap. At age 11, I found ballroom dancing at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield. I have now been professional for the last 2 and a half years; since 2015. I have won numerous national titles in my other variances of dancing and recently placed 1st in the showcase division at the Fred Astaire World Championships. I have also been offered a scholarship in the Trainee program in Jazz and Contemporary with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Currently, I specialize mostly in rhythm dancing consisting of all Latin dances and am qualified in all genres of ballroom dancing. I continued to be inspired by my future self to help keep me focused on becoming a better individual, professional & dancer on a continued basis. To me, the most rewarding part about being an instructor is influencing others to love and share the gift of dance.
My advice to students is to never compare your dancing to someone else. As long as you improve a tad more than yesterday then you’re on the correct path of learning.
Alexander Zarek – Professional Dance Instructor
I began dancing full time about 5 years ago. I come from a dancing family and both my mother and my father have been a part of Fred Astaire Dance Studios, taking lessons, in the past. Because of their involvement in the company and mine for the same amount of time, I have been able to accomplish many things in the dance world before becoming a professional dance instructor. As a professional, I have achieved statuses such as Fred Astaire World Champion in the Showcase Division and Rising Star Finalist in the Rhythm Division. I feel my strong point is teaching brand new students and helping them grow in to strong competitive dancers. I am certified to teach all styles of dance and specialize in rhythm and smooth dancing.
My inspirations include teaching student’s moves and techniques they never thought they were able to accomplish before, taking them out of their element, and watching them dance their hearts out. When I see a student go through a ‘light bulb’ moment and see their eyes light up with a big smile on their face, it takes me to a happy place of my own. Being surrounded by students continuing to develop and create new relationships are some of the biggest reasons why I am still here instructing dance today!
If I were to give any advice to a new student, it would be to dance because there is no greater feeling in the world than moving to a piece of music and letting the rest of the world disappear. You never know until you give it a try!