Position: Studio Director
Place of Birth: Denver, Colorado
Favorite Food: I enjoy all types of food!
Favorite Dance: Foxtrot
Competition Style: American Smooth and Rhythm!
What I Love Most About Teaching: I love seeing that “awe” moment in a student’s eyes. I know that I’ve gotten through to them and feel a great sense of accomplishment when that happens.
Who I Admire Most and Why: My Parents. As I grow older, I continue to gain a large respect for what they have done for me and the values they have instilled.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I’m a huge sports fanatic! Especially for the Denver Broncos!!!
Biography: Kristina has always enjoyed performing and grew up dancing for fun.. As she moved into High School, she began to explore the world of theater and musicals. Her first ballroom class was actually a PE class in college. It sparked an interest that Kristina was able to transfer into her career at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Kristina started college for teaching and has found that Fred Astaire Dance Studios allows her to combine her two interests of helping others learn and performance. She has taught for five years during which she was able to compete, perform in shows and share her knowledge with her students. She moved into management training within her first six months in the studio and was named the Rocky Mountain Top Manager in 2008.
Position: Dance Instructor
Place of Birth: Denver Colorado
Favorite Food: I’m not too picky, but I love a good steak or sushi!
Favorite Music: I listen to everything!
Favorite Dance: Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Tango and Bolero
What I love Most About Teaching: I love helping people discover that they can do more than they ever thought they could.
Who I Admire Most and Why: Out of everyone I’ve met, I admire my sister most. Through everything, she has taught me to never give up, never give in, and always keep a smile on your face.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I really don’t like the color pink!
Biography: Amanda began her career at 4 years old. As a highly accomplished competitive figure skater, she began dancing as a way to supplement her skating. After 12 years of home school, travel all over America, over 90 medals/awards and countless hours spent on the ice, she turned her focus towards dancing. Amanda found her love for teaching through instructing children at her previous studio. After a year of teaching 2-7 year olds, she was asked to teach dancers her own age and above, both at her studio and at her high school. Through college, she studied dance and French, and then found Fred Astaire. Her background in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop significantly improves her ballroom skills, and she loves performing, competing, and teaching.
Position: Dance Instructor
Place of Birth: Louisville, Colorado
Favorite Food: Mexican Food
Favorite Dance: The Tango
Competition Style: James loves social and competitive dance with his students. His most recent accomplishment with Partner Amanda Overmeyer – 1st place Mixed Novice WCDC 2017
What I Love Most About Teaching: I love being able to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s a great feeling to know that I’ve influenced someone in a positive way and that I will be remembered for that.
Who I Admire Most and Why: My Grandmother. She has sacrificed so much to provide a better life for her children and grandchildren here in America.
One Thing Most People Don’t Know About Me: I like to go out and sing Karaoke!
Biography: I grew up a very shy kid and kept to myself most of the time only really being involved in my schoolwork. It wasn’t until high school that I took the initiative to get involved with dancing. Once So You Think You Can Dance premiered on TB, it soon became my favorite show. I loved watching the energetic, playful Latin and Swing routines. No dance captivated me more than the Tango, however. Its passion and dramatic mustical style is what really drew me in. I then decided to step foot into a local dance studio called Fred Astaire. I briefly took lessons here until I enrolled in college and unfortunately had to put dancing on the back burner. I dabbled with Jazz and Lyrical Dancing in between now and then and participated with a non-profit organization called the Imagine Dance Foundation to put on a showcase. After some time, and transitioning between the college world and the working world, I realized that dancing is my true passion. Although Jazz and Lyrical are great forms of dancing, partnership dancing is what initially drew me into the dancing world and that’s where my true passion lies. I’m thankful that dance has not only provided me with a purpose in life, but it has also majorly transformed me from a quiet, shy, and timid kid into a bright, energetic, and outgoing individual.
Position: Dance Instructor
Place of Birth: Seattle WA.
Favorite Food: Greek
Favorite Music: 1940’s
Competition style: Square, Round Dancing and soon Ballroom Dancing
Favorite dance: Foxtrot and Salsa
What I love most about teaching: Helping others find the same joy I Get from Dancing.
Who I admire the most: My Wife. She is the bravest and most honest person I know.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I look horrible in yellow.
When Justin was first introduced to Square dancing and Round dancing at age 11, he did not think much of it. As he was leaving his first day, 2 girls his age asked him if he would be coming back next week to dance with them. At that moment, he was hooked. Once he got more into dancing he found that not only was it fun but challenging as well. For the next 10 years, he competed in Square dance and Round dance earning several championships and awards in all categories.
At the age of 22 he found an ad in the newspaper about teaching ballroom and knew this was the job for him! His plan was to grow more in his dancing, however he soon found that sharing this wonderful world of dance only increased his desire to bring dance into more people’s lives. He looks forward to bringing the joy he himself found in dancing into more people’s lives
Place of Birth: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Favorite Food: Paninis
Favorite Music: R&B/ Pop
Competition style: I am Looking forward to competing in West Coast Swing
Favorite dances: Bachata & West Coast Swing
What I love most about teaching: That Moment when something clicks for a student and their faces brighten up.
Who I admire the most: I admire Louis Zamperini. Throughout his long life, and many struggles, he exemplified perseverance and strength of character.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I absolutely love to crochet
Biography: During Paul’s first outing dancing, his friend laughed at him mercilessly. Vowing that he would never let that happen again, Paul dove headfirst into the world of dance. Paul tried every dance he could find with roots from all over the world. Before he knew it, Paul fell in love with the Latin rhythms found in salsa clubs, and the playful tunes of swing. This lead Paul to take supporting roles in Colorado State University’s dance clubs where he found his passion for teaching. It’s been a little over 4 years since Paul first set foot on the dance floor, He now looks back at the first time he danced fondly, as the time he was introduced to his lifelong passion.
Mary Jo Hansen
Position: Studio Director/Owner
Place of Birth: Fort Smith Arkansas
Favorite Food: I like all kinds of food except oysters. (Truthfully, a Big Mac!)
Favorite Music: Jazz
Favorite Dance: I like every dance but prefer rhythm dances.
Competition Style: Rhythm and Smooth!!
What I Love Most About Teaching: I loved teaching because of the joy on someone’s face from feeling the accomplishment’s they’re working so hard on. I still get that warm and fuzzy feeling when a teacher has that look of pride from seeing that joy on their student’s face. I appreciate what they’re feeling when they teach.
Who I Admire Most and Why: My mother, because of her dedication to helping animals. She’s the director of the Sebastian County Humane Society and spends her time trying to educate people to care for pets. She provides care and a nice place until they’re in their forever homes. She’s the strongest person I know.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I can’t sing but everyone thinks I can because I do it all the time. They just think I am trying to be funny!
Biography: The Denver North & Parker Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Colorado are owned by Mary Jo Hansen who joined the Fred Astaire Studios in 1991. She remembers many evenings with her family watching Fred Astaire movie re-runs. Having danced since age 8, belonging to this organization is a dream come true. Mary Jo’s favorite aspect of the business is helping people to develop their talents, no matter their dancing level. “Seeing the excitement on their faces, whether it’s because they just learned the box step or placed first in a National Competition, is a wonderful experience for a teacher. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.” Mary Jo is one of the Top Female Instructors to win the coveted Freddy Award all but 2 years of her 15 years as an Instructor with FADS. She also holds the record as the only female instructor to win the Top Teacher Overall in a National Competition. She has received many awards for her schools achievement. Mary Jo loves being in the Fred Astaire Organization where her goals are to provide an environment for students and staff to freely express themselves through the beauty of ballroom dance, and to provide a dance studio that Fred Astaire himself would be proud of.