Andrew Kerski – Owner/Instructor
Andrew was drawn into the world of ballroom dance back in his mid-teens and has never looked back! He has now been in the dance world for seventeen years, over half of his life, and has no regrets. Dance changed his life in more ways than he can recount. He truly believes in all the benefits that dance has to offer. He has experienced the physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits of dance for himself and in his students over the years.
Andrew was instantly taken by dance upon his first lesson. He dove right into competitive style dance, receiving numerous top junior awards as a teen dancing with his various teachers. His career really took off upon meeting his first serious dance partner, with whom he competed and won dozens of competitions all across the country. Andrew became a National Collegiate Champion and shortly after, won the National Amateur Rhythm title for the United States at age 21. He has had the pleasure to work with all of the top professionals the industry has to offer, including national and world champions in all of the various styles of ballroom dance. Andrew has since competed professionally in all styles with various partners over the years. He is now dancing with his new professional partner, Annie Rockhill, also of the Middletown Fred Astaire studio, aiming to bring home the United States Open 9-Dance title.
As important as competition has been to him, students are also his focus. Andrew has been teaching others to dance at various studios over the years, managing several of them along the way before becoming the owner of the Middletown Fred Astaire. He first came to Fred Astaire back in 2011, quickly becoming a very highly certified teacher, winning multiple top teacher awards in various categories within the company and at competition with his students. The care that he shows for his students and the quality of the instruction they receive are paramount to him. He caters to all ages and all levels of dance. Whether you’re a student looking to become a future national champion; a student who wants to be able to dance well at a wedding or social event; a wedding couple looking to awe the crowd for your first dance on your wedding day; or a student simply looking to have fun and challenge yourself, Andrew can help achieve whatever your dancing goals may be. He cares for all of his students, and loves to see the changes in his students as they achieve their goals of fitness or weight loss; increasing coordination, mobility and flexibility; becoming more social and comfortable in social environments; and becoming more confident in themselves and their belief that they can truly do anything if they put their mind to it. Andrew will help you achieve your goals and he does it all with a smile in a very encouraging and nurturing way.
If you have ever been curious about ballroom partner dancing, Andrew will get you on the beat and get those feet moving in the right direction. Be sure to come check out our Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Middletown, CT!
Annie Rockhill – Instructor
Annie began dancing at the age of two, attending classes in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap for 11 years. Her passion for dance led her to study and compete in both International and American styles of Ballroom dance for the past 6-½ years. When she is not teaching, Annie trains with world-class coaches and loves to perform.
During her time with Fred Astaire Dance Studios Annie has won several “Top Teacher” awards and has trained “Top Students” as well. She has performed several times with the Fred Astaire New England Regional Dance Troupe and has been a featured dancer on Fox News and CT Style. In the 2014 “Dancing with our Heroes” fundraiser, Annie trained and partnered with the judge’s choice second and third place winners.
Annie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Naugatuck Valley Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree in the Visual and Performing Arts/Dance. During her time at NVCC, Annie was on the Dean’s List and inducted as a member into the President’s Circle and Phi Theta Kappa. She studied and excelled in classes in the styles of Ballroom, Broadway Jazz, Ballet, and Modern Dance and has choreographed and performed her own original dance routines. Annie continued her education and recently earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Finance from Post University.
When she is not dancing, Annie loves to explore the world of fashion. She is always excited to discover new fashion trends and to check out up-and-coming designers.
Annie always brings enthusiasm and excitement with her to the dance floor. She is eager to share her love and passion for Ballroom dance with all of her students. Annie will help you reach your goals and she inspires all of her students to become confident and graceful dancers.
Jolene – Instructor
Jolene’s passion for dance started at the age of four with Tap and Ballet with Luis Pabon Dance Arts Studio. She continued to dance Tap and Ballet until the age of eight when she branched out into the styles of Modern, Jazz, Lyric, Hip-Hop, as well as acting classes. Her love of dance and performance in recitals led her to join a competitive dance group at the age of ten known as the Show Kids. As part of the Show Kids group, she traveled across the country, performing at various events and competing in regional and national competitions. The group won multiple awards, taking home first place in the Las Vegas and Orlando national events. All along the way Jolene attended various dance training sessions, learning from many of the leaders in the industry.
After the Show Kids, Jolene wanted to expand her dancing horizons, and came to find the world of Ballroom dance at seventeen. She was first introduced to Fred Astaire Dance Studios at a local event, where she scheduled her first dance lesson, and has not looked back since. It was not long before Jolene was competing again, dancing in several regional competitions, and once again becoming a national competitor. After four years as a student of Ballroom, she made the leap to become a professional dance instructor. Jolene looks forward to every opportunity to share her knowledge and passion for dance with everyone that walks in our door. Jolene pushes to improve her teaching and her own dancing every day, competing professionally at our regional events. You are in good hands with Jolene, the passion with which she dances touches everyone she meets.