Timofey Shalnev – Fred Astaire Midtown Owner, Manager, Dance Teacher
Timofey Shalnev is a championship dancer with numerous World Dance Sport federation titles from Russia, Belarus, Romania and the Ukraine.
He has developed dancesport programs in France, Bulgaria and Poland to name a few.
Tim has an MFA in dance education from Russian State University in Voronezh.
Each year since joining Fred Astaire in 2008, he hasbeen elected to be Fred Astaire’s top Teacher in NY and received Outstanding Male Performer awards. Tim with his students participated and won many awards in competitions all over the United States and internationally.
In 2011 Tim represented the US in South American worlds dance championship in Argentina and in 2013 his students won South American Ambassador of Dance award in Buenos Aires. In 2011 Tim’s student placed first in a US DanceSport Pro Am championship in Florida.
Tim believes in dance as anartistic expression of each student’s personality and is dedicated to his students fulfilling their utmost potential in the dance.Tim is one is the most respected teachers and coach in the ballroom danceworld and has a broad spectrum and a wide range of students. He loves them all.
Mae Lozada – Fred Astaire Midtown Co-Owner, Dance Director
Mae started dancing in her native Philippines at the age of thirteen. She specialized in Jazz, Cheerleading and Philippine Traditional Dances until Ballroom Dancing has become her passion.
In 2004 Mae joined Dance Sport Team Cebu City, one of the award-winning teams in Philippines. Very soon she became one of the leading dancers, and has been representing her team at numerous National and International competitions. Mae has been representing Team Philippines in International Latin at many DanceSport tournaments held in the USA, such as Empire Sate DanceSport Championships in New York, Nevada Star Ball in Las Vegas, Emerald Ball in Los Angeles, where she was always winning or has been placed among finalists.
She was one of the dance teachers in Philippines who volunteered her teaching time in an outreach programs that benefited thousands of children, who otherwise would not be able to afford dance lessons.
In 2009, she graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering, but at that time Ballroom dancing was her only career. And in 2010 she became a semi-finalist of the Philippines National TV program “Pilipinas Got Talent”.
While competing in the USA she was noticed for her talent and shiny personality and offered a dance instructor position and a career opportunity at the Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
Kristian Sese – Fred Astaire Midtown Co-Owner, Dance Teacher
Kristian started dancing ballroom in 1996. He learned his Latin basics from Mark Lun and Gaynor Fairweather, Karen Hardy (Blackpool Champion) and Espen Salberg.
Kristian was numerously coached by Ralph Lepane (Blackpool finalist) and Paul Harris (choreographer in Harry Potter movies)
He learned his Standard from Glenn Tierney (Blackpool Champion) and moved on to be coached mainly by Kenny Welch (European Champion and One of England’s premier coaches and adjudicator)
Kristian took lessons from the world known champions, such as: William Pino, Victor Fung and Massimo Giorgiani.
He was finalist in numerous Europian, Asian and North American Championships. In 2015 Kristian moved to United States where he found his professional partner Mae Lozada, and started working in Fred Astaire Midtown, representing our Studio on all major competitions in American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Latin and International Standard.
Mandi Messina – Front Desk Manager, Dance Teacher
Mandi Messina has been performing since the age of 4! With training in Tap, ballet, jazz and a BFA in Theatre she brings a wealth of knowledge to Fred Astaire Midtown. Mandi decided to focus her talents into Social and Stage Tango in 2008. Since then Mandi has made a name for herself in the world of Tango winning the Bronze medal in Stage Tango at the New York Tango Festival in 2010. In 2012, She performed for the Ambassador of Argentina at the Argentine Embassy in Washington D.C. She was a cast member of Afro Tango at the Thalia Spanish Theatre in 2013 and in 2014 she danced at the Tango Festival in Washington D.C. with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. She has also served as the Dance Captain for the Strictly Traditional Argentine Tango Performance Team. She’s sure to Tango her way into your heart. We are so thrilled to have her as an instructor in training and as well as our front desk manager.
Jessa Mae Briones – Fred Astaire Midtown Dance Teacher
Jessa started ballroom dancing in 2007, at the age of 13, back in the Philippines. She was part of an outreach program called Dancesport Summer Workshop, through which Jessa made her way to become one of the members of “Dancesport Team Cebu City”. Since then, Jessa has been competing nationally in 10 Dance, and has won numerous awards. In 2011 she was chosen to be one of the representatives from her country to compete in the USA in such competitions as: Empire State Dancesport Championships in New York, and Nevada Star Ball Dancesport Championships, winning in both International Latin and International Ballroom. I was also an over-all champion in Show Dance.
In 2016 Jessa has been awarded such titles as Professional American Rhythm Champion at the Fred Astaire MegaDance Championships in Washington DC, as well Professional Rising Star Champion in American Rhythm at the Fred Astaire National Dance Championships in Orlando.
Anthony Soto – Fred Astaire NY Midtown Dance Teacher
Anthony grew up in a large family and spent much of his childhood in Mexico before moving to Brownsville, Texas. At the young age of 4 he began formal training in ballet, a dance distinction that served as his focus for 10 years. Anthony simultaneously studied Flamenco as well as the International Ballroom styles. He was determined to be a well-rounded dancer and added Contemporary to his dance repertoire.
Anthony continued his dance education at Michigan State University and the University of Texas, where he concentrated his studies in Flamenco/Ballet . He has won many awards for his skills in choreography at events such as the American College Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.He has been a Professional dancer for companies such as Sony Chapa classical flamenco, Fred Darsow quadro flamenco ,Edinburg Modern contemporary dance ensemble.
Anthony truly subscribes to Fred Astaire’s famous belief that “good dancers aren’t born, they’re taught!”