Staff

Tina Gerova – Studio Owner

Tina Gerova came to the United States from Bulgaria.  She, with professional partner, Plamen Danailov, is the reigning 5 Times Bulgarian Professional National Champion in both International Standard and Latin. Before coming to the U.S., she toured around the world with a professional dance troupe. Her dance career in America has skyrocketed, and she is now a UK Open Professional 10 Dance Vice Champion, Rising Star US Open, Blackpool, and International Championships finalist. She is also the current Fred Astaire National Professional Latin American Champion and European and World South American Show Dance Finalist. She has worked with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for many years, and is currently one of our most experienced teachers, respected and loved by all her students and colleagues.

Plamen Danailov – Studio Owner/Dance Director

Plamen Danailov happily returns to his original Fred Astaire dance studio as the Dance Director.  He is originally from Bulgaria, and has had a very successful career both as an amateur and professional dancer and competitor. Among his many awards he is a 3 times undefeated Bulgarian Latin and Standard Champion.

In 2000 he moved to NY and joined the Fred Astaire team this time as a professional with Tina Gerova, his dance partner. Together Plamen and Tina achieved a remarkable 5 times Bulgarian Professional Latin American Championship title, British Open Rising Star Finalist and multiple time World and European Latin American Showdance Finalist.

Plamen Danailov is best known for his work in the Pro-Am division where the achievents of his students speak as testimony for his teaching methods, choreography skills and innovation with two of his students currently ranked in the top 3 in the United States National Championships.

Alberto Cortes – Instructor

Alberto comes to our team from Spain. He has started dancing at the age of 10 with experience in ballet, contemporary and jazz. He specialized in ballroom/latin dance at the age of 15 competing national and international competitions in Europe. He studied musical theater and was part of the cast in Grease, Dirty Dancing, Flashdance and The Beatles by Elite productions.
Four times European champion and Spanish show dance champion by retro dance federation. Featured ballroom dancer for Royal Caribbean International Cruise lines and Princess Cruises. Along with his dance partner Jessa Mae Briones , their most recent results are 15 times Professional Rising Star American Rhythm Champions across the States, 3 times Fred Astaire National Rising Star American Rhythm Champions and  the 2017 United States Professional Rising Star American Rhythm champions.

 

 

 

 

Boris Khenzykhenov – Instructor

Boris hails from Siberia, Russia where he took his first steps in Ballroom and Latin dancing at age of 7. He was a finalist at numerous regional dance championships in Russia.

Most people look surprised when they hear him speak Russian or when they learn that he is Russian. This is because his ethnicity is Buryat – the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia, mainly concentrated around the lake Baikal.

Boris graduated from The University of Irkutsk, Siberia, with honors and holds a degree in World Economics. He speaks Russian, German, Chinese and English.

Boris joined our team in 2011 and won his first competition in the United States – the Fred Astaire Northeast DanceSport Championships Mixed-Novice Division in November of the same year.

Bozhidar Elkin – Instructor

Bozhidar joined the team of Fred Astaire New York East Side in June 2017. As the reigning Bulgarian Latin American Champion with his professional partner Elena Dumanova

Bozhidar (Bobby) started dancing when he was 9 and soon realized that ballroom dancing was his destiny. Right away he started winning the Junior Latin American Championships in Bulgaria and abroad. In 2012 he met his current dance partner – Elena Dumanova with whom he achieved some remarkable results like:

  • Europian Cup Latin American Championships finalist (Athens, Greece 2016)
  • Grand Slam finalist (Kishinev, Moldova 2015)
  • World Cup Series Grand finalists ( Yinchuan, China 2016)

Bozhidar is exited to continue his carrier as a Professional dancer representing Fred Astaire Dance Studios and as a Pro-Am teacher in the team of the Fred Astaire New York East Side.

Calin Panainte – Instructor

Calin joined our Fred Astaire family from Moldova in 2014. Calin started his professional dance career at the age of 10. He won his first national champion title by the age of 14 and held the prestigious World and European Champion title in Standard Ballroom dancing from 2001-2007. Calin has performed numerous formation, solo and exhibition shows around the globe in exotic places such as China, Azerbaijan, Holland, Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, Belgium just to name a few. At the age of 25 he moved to Romania where he continued his performance career as well started to mentor aspiring young dance couples many of whom reached the podium at National and International competitions!

Calin loves to share the experience he has gained from his own career with his students. He is thrilled to have joined the Fred Astaire Studio in East side and he and his wife Victoria are looking forward to many more successful years with us.

Elena Dumanova – Instructor

The newest addition of the New York East Side Studio, Elena Dumanova comes from the picturesque town of Bansko in the Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria. She has graduated the University of World and National Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, majoring in Journalism and Public Relations. She started dancing when she was 6 years old in her hometown doing Modern and Ballroom. When she was 11 years old she was discovered by one of the biggest dance clubs in Bulgaria in the nearby city and she started traveling every weekend to pursue her dancing career. 10 years later Elena has some amazing achievements under her belt:

10 Dance Youth National Champion, representing Bulgaria at the World Championships in Canada. Winner of many competitions in Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine, China. She also ranked Number 1 in Bulgaria in the years 2013-2016.

Elena’s unique style and attention to the details makes her one of the most sought after instructors at Fred Astaire East Side Studio.

Elena is happy to continue her competitive career with her professional partner Bozhidar Elkin as a Professional, representing Fred Astaire Dance Studio and the United States of America.

Jennifer McCalla – Coach

Jennifer McCalla is a licentiate of the Imperial society of teachers of dancing (ISTD) in International Latin, International Standard, and Theater arts. She is a licentiate of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios organization in American Smooth and Rhythm. Her dance accomplishments include being a US Ten dance finalist, Finalist in Major Competition in the USA including the Yankee Classic and the Heritage Classic, Four times undefeated United States Amateur Latin, Standard and Ten dances Champion, and a US representative at four World championships. She also was Fred Astaire National Smooth Champion undefeated 95 to 97, US Rising Star finalist in Standard, Latin and Smooth, Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Champion (Smooth), Breakers Rising Star Champion (Smooth), Texas Challenge Rising Star Champion (Smooth), and Eastern United States Rising Star Champion in Latin, Standard and Smooth.

Sasha and Olga Bylim – Coaches

Sasha and Olga Bylim moved to the United States from the Ukraine in 1996. During their early dance career, they were Ukrainian Amateur Champions in Standard, Latin, and 10-Dance categories for three consecutive years. They turned professional in 1991 and following the birth of their daughter, Olesya in 1993, they won the Ukrainian Professional Standard Championship later that same year, which they continued to win in ’94 and ’95. During their reign as champions, they represented the Ukraine in European and World Championships. While in the United States, they won a U.S. Rising Star title and went on to become finalists in U.S. Championships.

Both Sasha and Olga have Bachelor Degrees in Education. In 1999 they opened their own Fred Astaire Dance Studio overlooking the Hudson River in Sleepy Hollow, New York. While still in their com­petitive role, they were the Fred Astaire National Professional Standard Champions and currently are members of the Fred Astaire National Dance Council.

Marianne Nicole – Coach

Former United States Rising Star American Style Champion, undefeated United States Theatre Arts Champion, North American International Latin Champion, Canadian Theatre Arts Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire American Style Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire Theatrical Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire International Latin Champion and World Latin Representative.
She is a World Class Adjudicator & Coach, and Co Organizer of the Capital Dancesport Championships and a National Examiner for the DVIDA Organization and former examiner for the Fred Astaire Dance Studio organization.

Rufus Dustin – Coach

World Dance and DanceSport Council professional, coaching, choreographing and judging throughout the world. He has been certified as an adjudicator by the WD&DSC and Fred Astaire Dance Studios Inc. in international standard and latin, American smooth and rhythm, and theater arts. As a professional dancer, Rufus competed nationally and internationally, holding national titles in international latin, American rhythm and theater arts. He currently choreographs for the top professionals and amateurs. He has performed all over the world, including special presentations at Blackpool.

Linda Dean – Coach

Former U.S. American Style Champion and U.S. Theater Arts Champion. She was the U.S. International Latin Champion for four years and was four times a finalist in the World Championship in International Latin. Ms. Dean has been a member of the Fred Astaire Dance Board 25 years. She currently serves an adjudicator at major United States and world championships.