Ria has always loved the art of dance as she felt it was the only sport that epitomized life itself. To her, it was a great representation of two people teaming together to go through the ups and downs of the “dance” we call life. However, being raised in the Philippines with a combo of a strict Syrian father and a protective Filipino mother, she was unable to discover dance growing up.
She also had a strong desire to move to America and therefore in the middle of 2003, she moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Professional Communications. After living in the U.S. for a couple of years, she decided to take the chance and pursue her dancing dream. She visited the Milwaukee Central Fred Astaire to take some lessons and was quickly asked to join the staff. She accepted the offer and basically worked at the studio and continued her college education both at a full-time basis.
In December of 2006, she was honored to have graduated early from college and decided to continue working at the studio. Since then, she has repeatedly won numerous awards such as Top Enrollment Specialist, Top Customer Service, Top Guest Referrals, Top Dance Apparel Consultant, Top Overall Female Teacher, Top Competitive Female Teacher, as well as the honorable Freddy Award. She also obtained the Fred Astaire Rising Star Rhythm Champion title with her former partner.
After a very successful teaching career in Milwaukee, Ria took some time off in late 2010 and made a personal decision to move to Chicago, Illinois. Shortly thereafter, she was offered positions at various Fred Astaire studios and in early 2011; she decided to join the Downtown Chicago team as the studio manager. In fact, after boosting the studio for a full year of growth and success, she was invited to co-manage the Buffalo Grove/Chicago North studio with Aaron in April 2012; and is currently there full-time. With a naturally caring personality, she is a woman who truly stands behind our motto, “To enrich the lives of everyone who walks through our doors.”