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.
When she turned 18, she 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 Chicago North studio with Aaron in April 2012. Together, they have won Leadership Freddy Awards multiple times. By 2014, she was married to Jesse DeSoto and in 2019, they welcomed their baby boy. Since the birth of her son, she decided to handle all the studio office work remotely so she can be a stay at home mom. You will still catch her at competitions doing hair and makeup for both pros and students. And she sometimes even pops in the studio just to say hi and catch up with everyone!