Albina A. Habrle – Studio Director
Ms. Albina A. Habrle is known as a nineteen time undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Open Rhythm Champion, a World Professional Open Rhythm Vice Champion, a four time World Professional Rhythm Finalist, and a three time US Professional Open Rhythm Finalist. After many years as a professional dance instructor and professional competitor, she has become a world renowned coach, adjudicator, franchise and regional owner.
Mariya Ilchenko – Studio Manager
I began dancing at the age of 8 in Kharkov, Ukraine and have been with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for approximately 5 years. Specializing in smooth, rhythm, standard and Latin, dance allows me to feel as though the rest of the world doesn’t exist. My competition accomplishments include 3 times Fred Astaire Rhythm Champion, Fred Astaire Show Dance Champion and 3 times Blackpool Finalist.
I thoroughly enjoy the people I spend my time and experiences with on a daily basis here at the studio and cannot help but love sharing my knowledge with people who have a desire for dance. As I watch my students grow as dancers, I am continually rewarded.
If I could say one thing to my potential and current students, it would be to always push yourself to get out of your comfort zone.
Daniel Skyler – Studio Dance Director
I am from from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and started dancing in 2001 at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. I firmly believe that I have received the best ballroom training I could possibly have gotten anywhere in the country thanks to the continued opportunities provided for us.
I have taught for approximately 16 years now at the Milwaukee downtown location and love the camaraderie of the teachers and students. I cannot help but believe I have always had a family at the studio and have been able to count on my team for whatever I have needed.
I have always wanted to help my students gain a love of dancing and really enjoy training and helping my fellow teachers any way I can. Being certified as a dance director has definitely been because of my passion for teaching. This leads me to sharing the most rewarding experience I have on a day-to-day basis; my students are inspired to forget about their problems and just dance!
My accomplishments as a professional dancer include becoming a Fred Astaire Rising Star Champion along with becoming a finalist in the Rising Star division at Emerald Ball, one of the largest independent competitions in the U.S!
I want you, you, you…everyone…to GET INTO THEIR LOCAL FRED ASTAIRE DANCE STUDIO!!!
Natalie Noggle – Marketing Director/Social Engagement Coordinator
I started at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield in August of 2012 as a Customer Support Representative and, after a short 6 months, moved in to the newly created position of Marketing Director/Social Engagement Coordinator. My current position consists of many different tasks such as event planning for professionals hired for outside events, coordinating in house events for local businesses, public relations and communications, promoting our company, managing social media and so much more.
The best part of working for this amazing company would have to be the environment I am in on a daily basis. After all, it’s not every day people are able to come to work and listen to music, hear constant laughter, and enjoy the ‘fun’ that consistently takes place in their work place. Smiles happen all day! The love and excitement you feel and see here is unlike anything you have ever experienced before!
My inspiration in doing what I do stems directly from the students. From stepping in for their first lesson, to participating in studio and regional events, the progress that is made never ceases to amaze me. It really inspires you to take challenges of your own head on. What great feeling knowing that our industry brings a light to people’s lives.
One piece of advice I would give to all of our future students would be to not wait to begin dancing, the only time you have is now! Why not try something new, step of the norm and challenge yourself!
Chue Xiong – Studio Office Manager
I started at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brookfield in September of 2015 as an office manager for the Brookfield and Milwaukee locations. As an office manager, I handle and oversee the accounting and office management responsibilities along with assisting students and professionals with questions relating to this field. I enjoy experiencing the energy the teaching professionals have and bring out in their students and am most inspired by seeing new faces as they experience a dance lesson for the first time and realize, ‘Oh, I really can do this!’ I find the consistent learning, both in my position and on the dance floor, most rewarding. My piece of advice for current and future students is to simply enjoy it! Let loose and have fun!
Mandi Karr – Customer Support Representative
I began working with Fred Astaire Dance Studio as a Customer Support Representative in December of 2015. With an extensive dance background and as a self-proclaimed retired dancer, I feel as if I’m living the best of both worlds. I’m inspired every day just being around people who, like me, truly love dance! I love the students! The best part of my job is getting to know each and every person that comes through our doors. I am lucky to feel like more than just a friendly face and resource for our clientele, but a friend as well. Witnessing our students’ successes in the ballroom is just as rewarding to me as seeing their faces light up by feeling welcomed and enriched as they walk in to the studio.
My advice for future and current students is simple – take advantage of the greatness under this roof! The professionals here are incredibly talented and hard-working individuals who are eager to share their knowledge! Also, look silly, make mistakes, take risks, and do things that frighten you – you’ll never know until you try!
Oleksandr Kozhukhar – Professional Dance Instructor
I’m originally from Ukraine and began dancing at the age of 8. I started my career with Fred Astaire Dance Studios in January of 2017 with my specialties being in Latin, Standard, Rhythm and Smooth. I love the team work I find with my fellow professionals in this company. We all want the best for each other and our students.
My inspiration comes from my goal to become a Blackpool finalist. At this point in my dance career I truly enjoy competing and performing and the feeling that comes along with it as it is unlike any other, especially the reaction I receive from the energetic audience.
The most rewarding part of being a dance instructor would have to be sharing my knowledge and inspiration with my students and experiencing how dance changes their lives for the better! Take my advice, as potential new students, beginner students and even advanced students, there is nothing impossible for those who will try!
Brandon Romero – Professional Dance Instructor
Originally from New Mexico, I began dancing in college. Through my years competing on the collegiate dance team, I became an 11-time USA Dance Collegiate and Amateur National Champion. I have been with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for approximately 1 year now and specialize in Rhythm and Smooth. Don’t let that fool you, I do also train and teach all styles of ballroom and Latin dance.
What I love the most about having a career with Fred Astaire Dance Studios are the people, you are consistently meeting someone new. I believe dancing can transform your mind and body, and in addition, give you benefits that will impact all aspects of your life.
It is amazing to see my students reach their goals and surpass their own expectations. If I had to give out one piece of advice for new and potential students it would be to work hard and be patient with yourself. Dancing is a journey and we have to enjoy the ride!
Jade Augustain – Professional Dance Instructor
I began dancing when I was 12 years old in El Paso, Texas where I became an 11 time USA Dance Collegiate and Amateur National Champion. I began with Fred Astaire Dance Studios in September of 2016 with a love for the endless possibilities Fred Astaire Dance Studios has to offer for my continued growth as a professional dancer and teacher. With these opportunities ahead of me, I aspire to become a US Rhythm finalist. When it comes to my area of specialty in the dance world, I would have to say I specialize in all areas of ballroom dance, from smooth to rhythm.
If someone were to ask me what I enjoy most about teaching, it would have to be sharing my passion with others in hopes that they can understand what great things ballroom dancing can do for their lives. One piece of advice that I love sharing with new and current students would be to be patient with the process, enjoy the journey, trust your teacher and have fun!
Sasha Kharchenko – Professional Dance Instructor
I began dancing at the age of 5 in my hometown of Kharkov, Ukraine and became a part of Fred Astaire Dance Studios in January of 2017. What I love most about this company is that it gives you continued opportunity to grow and it is not just about having a career doing something I love, but is also about having a family; fellow professionals, students, you name it, we have grown extremely close to one another. When I’m dancing everything else seems to go away, even if it felt as though it was the worst day of my life. I love to compete. Competing consistently brings new challenges making me a stronger person and ready, more than ever, to face new obstacles life throws my way.
What do I find most rewarding about having a career in dance? Sharing my knowledge with other people. I feel honored and blessed and continuously experiencing other accomplishments adds meaning to my life. My advice to each one of you is, it is never too late to start to dance. All it takes is that one step into the studio to change your life. Don’t wait for the opportunity, create it!