Jesse – Training Director/Studio Owner

Coming from the small town of Greendale, Wisconsin, Jesse never imagined being who he is today. He was best known for his athletic and artistic abilities in high school. A musician and artist at heart, he not only excelled in the arts, but was the MVP and Team Captain of both the baseball and football teams of Greendale High School.

By his senior year, he decided to audition for their production of “The Sound of Music”. However, once he discovered the audition required dancing, he left the stage believing dancing was not for him. He continued to play his sports, make his music, and create artwork.

By 1999, shortly after his high school years, his mom found an ad in the paper calling for dance teachers. She asked him to give it a try for she always felt he had an entertaining personality and that he just might like it in the end. After all, he was in between jobs and basically had nothing to lose. Being a good son, he simply listened to her advice.

Lo and behold, he went on to become one of the most notable dance figures in the country. A constant top teacher, he became a master at his unexpected craft. He also ventured out as a top competitor by 2003 and shot up to winning 3rd in the United States in the Open Rhythm Category and 2nd in the world in Mambo with his former partner, Jackie Josephs. With his accomplishments, he was asked to join the popular reality TV show, “Dancing with the Stars”. He partnered with actress, Shanna Moakler, in season 3.

Jesse has retired from the competition world in 2008 and is a proud owner of two very successful Fred Astaire Dance Studios; The Long Grove/Chicago North Studio and the West Loop Studio. In 2014, he married Ria DeSoto and they welcomed their son in 2019.

He is a man of many talents who uses his gifts to take care of everyone he knows, hand and foot. His goal is to continue to develop great ballroom professionals, dance instructors, managers, and owners. He truly is a man you can trust to show you the way in anything ballroom dancing.

Jesse is grateful for God’s grace and blessings in his life and takes great pleasure in helping train and developing future ballroom dancers, instructors, studio managers and owners.