Guest Coaches

LEARN FROM THE WORLD’S LEADING DANCERS AND COACHES.

Your Fred Astaire dance instructors are the cream of the crop. They represent some of the best talent in the country. We believe in exposing our students and our instructors to new ideas and perspectives whenever possible. For this reason Fred Astaire proudly hosts some of the most talented, renowned and award winning dancers, coaches and choreographers from all over the world. Outside coaching from one of our guest experts will offer you new insight and ideas, and can take your dancing to the next level.

Many of our coaches are reigning world dance champions and several have been featured on hit television show such as ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ All are nationally recognized in the dance industry. If you’re serious about improving your dancing, sessions with Fred Astaire guest coaches are opportunities you must take advantage of.

We encourage you to contact us right away to schedule your time for a special coaching with one or more of these top ranked coaches at the studio this month.


Tuesday, October 16th – Ginette Cournoyer

Ginette Cournoyer is a highly accomplished competitor in the International Latin division, and has also been an adjudicator at the most prestigious competition in the world, Blackpool Dance Festival. Ginette resides in Montreal, Canada, and has the most delightful French Canadian accent. She is highly skilled inall forms of ballroom dance.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  •  Former Professional Canadian Champion in Standard and 10 Dance reaching 9th in the World
  • Former Professional North American Champion in 10 Dance
  • Former Professional World Latin Semi Finalist
  • Former Amateur Canadian Champion in Standard and 10 Dance reaching 7th in the World
  • Former Amateur North American Champion in Standard and 10 Dance
  • 4that the Professional World Cup in Germany
  • 5th at the Professional World Cup in Japan
  • Choreographer and Coach for Canadian Champions and Olympians Marie-FranceDubreuil and Patrice Lauzon (Ice Dancing)
  • Choreographer and Coach for Tessa Virtue and ScottMoir, Olympians Gold and Silver Medalist
  • Choreographer for Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, 3 times World Champions and Olympians Silver Medalist

Monday, October 22nd – Manuel Favilla

Internationally known as a champion-level ballroom dancer with an exceptional portfolio of awards and titles, Manuel and his professional partner, Ms. Natalia Maidiuk, began their dancing career together in 2012. While they still dance professional and are available for professional shows, Manuel and Natalia have gone on to adjucating, coaching and choreographing right here in the Wisconsin region.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 1st Runner Up Blackpool Dance Festival Professional Rising Star Latin
  • 1st Runner Up UK Championship Professional Rising Star Latin
  • 3 time International Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist
  • UK Championship Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist 2013
  • Blackpool Dance Festival Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist 2015
  • 3 time European Championship Open Professional Latin Finalist
  • World Championship Finalist 2013
  • Embassy 2013 Open Professional Latin Champions
  • 1st Runner Up USDC Open Professional Latin 2015

Thursday, October 25th – Ricky Bentzen

Ricky Bentzen is originally from Denmark, and represented his home country throughout his Amateur career. He was undefined Danish Latin Champion and 2-Time World Latin Semi-Finalist. In 2008 he moved to the United States, where he became part of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and began his Professional career as an American Rhythm Competitor with Albina A. Habrle.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Danish Latin Champion
  • 2-Time Youth Latin World Semi-Finalist
  • 11-Time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion
  • World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion
  • 11-Time Fred Astaire National Open Professional Rhythm Champion
  • 3-Time US National Open Professional Rhythm Finalist
  • 4-Time World Open Professional Rhythm Finalist

Monday, November 5th & Wednesday, November 28th – Stephen Knight

Stephen is one of the busiest men in the industry. As a Regional Franchise Director for the Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ Wisconsin Region, an NDCA Adjudicator, a Coach, Choreographer, and the Co-National Dance Director for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, his dance card is almost always full. Stephen and his dance partner, Rae Josephs, were 3-Time United States American Rhythm Finalists, and 6-Time undefeated Fred Astaire American Rhythm Champions. Stephen is also responsible for creating a large portion of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios Silver Syllabus. He is well-known for his choreography for Open Routines, Solos, Showcases, and Novelties.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 6-Time Fred Astaire Open American Rhythm Champion
  • 3-Time USDSC Open American Rhythm Finalist
  • USDSC Theatrical Finalist
  • USDSC Rising Star Theatrical Champion

Tuesday, November 6th – Hanna Karttunen

Join Hanna Karttunen as she brings her Latin American and Exhibition dance experience directly to you. Hanna’s love for dance shines through in her passion to help others achieve goals just as she did hers. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime coaching experience sure to bring out your most intense dance talent and skills.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • United Kingdom Open Champion
  • International Champion
  • World Series Champion
  • World Masters Champion
  • Dutch Open Champion
  • United States Open Champion
  • Asian Open Champion
  • Kremlin Cup Champion
  • 4 times British National Champion

Wednesday, November 7th – Natalia Maidiuk

Internationally known as a champion-level ballroom dancer with an exceptional portfolio of awards and titles, Natalia and her professional partner, Mr. Manuel Favilla, began their dancing career together in 2012. While they still dance professional and are available for professional shows, Manuel and Natalia have gone on to adjudicating, coaching and choreographing right here in the Wisconsin region.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 1st Runner Up Blackpool Dance Festival Professional Rising Star Latin
  • 1st Runner Up UK Championship Professional Rising Star Latin
  • 3 time International Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist
  • UK Championship Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist 2013
  • Blackpool Dance Festival Open Professional Latin Semi-Finalist 2015
  • 3 time European Championship Open Professional Latin Finalist
  • World Championship Finalist 2013
  • Embassy 2013 Open Professional Latin Champions

Tuesday, November 13th – Ilya Velednitsky

Ilya moved from Ukraine in 1989 and has been teaching professionally with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for 11 years total, 4 years at the Milwaukee location and 7 at the Brookfield location. He is currently the Regional Dance Director for Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Wisconsin and competes professionally both regionally and nationally. Him and his partner, Ms. Mariya Ilchenko, are multiple-time Fred Astaire Rhythm Champions, Show Dance Champions, and Ohio Star Ball Professional Rhythm Finalists. He is now making his way into the world of coaching and adjudicating.


Tuesday, November 20th – Ilya Ifraimov

Ilya coaches and choreographs in all levels and styles. A World Class Adjudicator and Choreographer, he’s been a member of NDC since 2005 and has collaborated in the creation of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios International Latin Syllabus. Ilya has also appeared on American Ballroom Challenge and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • US PRO Latin Finalist
  • World Cup Runner-Up
  • World Masters Champion
  • Blackpool, International and UK Rising Star Finalist
  • 6-Time Fred Astaire National Champion
  • North American Show Dance Champion

Monday, November 26th – Ricky Bentzen

Ricky Bentzen is originally from Denmark, and represented his home country throughout his Amateur career. He was undefined Danish Latin Champion and 2-Time World Latin Semi-Finalist. In 2008 he moved to the United States, where he became part of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and began his Professional career as an American Rhythm Competitor with Albina A. Habrle.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Danish Latin Champion
  • 2-Time Youth Latin World Semi-Finalist
  • 11-Time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion
  • World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion
  • 11-Time Fred Astaire National Open Professional Rhythm Champion
  • 3-Time US National Open Professional Rhythm Finalist
  • 4-Time World Open Professional Rhythm Finalist

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