Staff

Courtney Duran

Position: Studio Director
Place of Birth: Denver, Colorado
Favorite Food: Breakfast food and Mexican food
Favorite Music: I listen to a lot of different types from blues and jazz to indie rock, and of course anything you can dance to!
Competition Style: American Smooth and Rhythm!
What I Love Most About Teaching: I love getting to know new people all the time! It’s wonderful to be able to share something that has brought so much joy into my life with so many people.
Who I Admire Most and Why: I admire anyone that works hard to make their dreams come true.
One Thing Most People Don’t Know About Me: I love music!! I love to sing and I even play a little guitar.
Biography: Courtney has a great love for the performing arts. As soon as she started school she has been involved in dancing and singing. She danced jazz, tap and ballet competing and performing all over Colorado for many years. During High School she was involved in Show Choir, Chamber Chorale, and Musicals. Courtney loves musicals and classic movies so, in 2004, when she had the opportunity to work for Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s, she jumped. She had attended some West Coast Swing and Cha Cha lessons earlier and she knew she would love ballroom dancing. Courtney was thrilled by the opportunities presented by Fred Astaire Dance Studios. She has gained a love of teaching and she says “sharing something so fun with others and seeing it enrich their lives is an eye opening experience.” Over the past 6 years, Courtney has had a ball traveling, competing and performing with Fred Astaire Dance Studios in cities like Memphis, Milwaukee and Las Vegas. She has had the opportunity to attend dance and business seminars in Birmingham, Milwaukee and New York, expanding her knowledge even further. Courtney was invited to perform in the Disney Christmas Parade filmed in Orlando. She says “These are just some of the opportunities this business has offered me and why I love it.”

 

 

Lyndsy Aguirre

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Position: Dance Instructor
Place of Birth: Altus, Oklahoma
Favorite Food: Salmon
Favorite Music: I enjoy all genres of music!
Favorite Dance: Rumba
Competition Style: American Smooth and Rhythm
What I Love Most About Teaching: I love helping others enjoy music, showing them how to be creative, and putting my focus on others!
Who I Admire Most and Why: My mom, because she has always supported me and helped me chase after my dreams.
One Thing Most People Don’t Know About Me: I lived in Alaska!
Biography: Lyndsy was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Minnesota. She has been dancing for several years and loves to teach. Lyndsy started ballroom dancing and training soon after her mother introduced her to it for a birthday celebration. She attended college in Oklahoma for Music Composition and continues to write music for ballets all over the country.

 

James Dolores

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James is available for lessons in our Parker location on Fridays. Monday – Thursday he is available for lessons the the Denver North-Westminster FADS.

Position: Dance Instructor

Place of Birth: Louisville, Colorado

Favorite Food: Mexican Food

Favorite Dance: The Tango

Competition Style: James loves social and competitive dance with his students. His most recent accomplishment with Partner Amanda Overmeyer – 1st place Mixed Novice WCDC 2017

What I Love Most About Teaching: I love being able to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s a great feeling to know that I’ve influenced someone in a positive way and that I will be remembered for that.

Who I Admire Most and Why: My Grandmother. She has sacrificed so much to provide a better life for her children and grandchildren here in America.

One Thing Most People Don’t Know About Me: I like to go out and sing Karaoke!

Biography: I grew up a very shy kid and kept to myself most of the time only really being involved in my schoolwork. It wasn’t until high school that I took the initiative to get involved with dancing. Once So You Think You Can Dance premiered on TB, it soon became my favorite show. I loved watching the energetic, playful Latin and Swing routines. No dance captivated me more than the Tango, however. Its passion and dramatic mustical style is what really drew me in. I then decided to step foot into a local dance studio called Fred Astaire. I briefly took lessons here until I enrolled in college and unfortunately had to put dancing on the back burner. I dabbled with Jazz and Lyrical Dancing in between now and then and participated with a non-profit organization called the Imagine Dance Foundation to put on a showcase. After some time, and transitioning between the college world and the working world, I realized that dancing is my true passion. Although Jazz and Lyrical are great forms of dancing, partnership dancing is what initially drew me into the dancing world and that’s where my true passion lies. I’m thankful that dance has not only provided me with a purpose in life, but it has also majorly transformed me from a quiet, shy, and timid kid into a bright, energetic, and outgoing individual.

Justin Carter

Position: Dance Instructor

Place of Birth: Seattle WA.

Favorite Food: Greek

Favorite Music: 1940’s

Competition style: Square, Round Dancing and soon Ballroom Dancing

Favorite dance: Foxtrot and Salsa

What I love most about teaching: Helping others find the same joy I Get from Dancing.

Who I admire the most: My Wife. She is the bravest and most honest person I know.

One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I look horrible in yellow.

Biography:
When Justin was first introduced to Square dancing and Round dancing at age 11, he did not think much of it. As he was leaving his first day, 2 girls his age asked him if he would be coming back next week to dance with them. At that moment, he was hooked. Once he got more into dancing he found that not only was it fun but challenging as well. For the next 10 years, he competed in Square dance and Round dance earning several championships and awards in all categories.
At the age of 22 he found an ad in the newspaper about teaching ballroom and knew this was the job for him! His plan was to grow more in his dancing, however he soon found that sharing this wonderful world of dance only increased his desire to bring dance into more people’s lives. He looks forward to bringing the joy he himself found in dancing into more people’s lives

Mary Jo Hansen

Position: Studio Director/Owner
Place of Birth: Fort Smith Arkansas
Favorite Food: I like all kinds of food except oysters. (Truthfully, a Big Mac!)
Favorite Music: Jazz
Favorite Dance: I like every dance but prefer rhythm dances.
Competition Style: Rhythm and Smooth!!
What I Love Most About Teaching: I loved teaching because of the joy on someone’s face from feeling the accomplishment’s they’re working so hard on. I still get that warm and fuzzy feeling when a teacher has that look of pride from seeing that joy on their student’s face. I appreciate what they’re feeling when they teach.
Who I Admire Most and Why: My mother, because of her dedication to helping animals. She’s the director of the Sebastian County Humane Society and spends her time trying to educate people to care for pets. She provides care and a nice place until they’re in their forever homes. She’s the strongest person I know.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About Me: I can’t sing but everyone thinks I can because I do it all the time. They just think I am trying to be funny!
Biography:  The Denver North & Parker Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Colorado  are owned by Mary Jo Hansen who joined the Fred Astaire Studios in 1991. She remembers many evenings with her family watching Fred Astaire movie re-runs. Having danced since age 8, belonging to this organization is a dream come true. Mary Jo’s favorite aspect of the business is helping people to develop their talents, no matter their dancing level. “Seeing the excitement on their faces, whether it’s because they just learned the box step or placed first in a National Competition, is a wonderful experience for a teacher. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.” Mary Jo is one of the Top Female Instructors to win the coveted Freddy Award all but 2 years of her 15 years as an Instructor with FADS. She also holds the record as the only female instructor to win the Top Teacher Overall in a National Competition. She has received many awards for her schools achievement.  Mary Jo loves being in the Fred Astaire Organization where her goals are to provide an environment for students and staff to freely express themselves through the beauty of ballroom dance, and to provide a dance studio that Fred Astaire himself would be proud of.