Staff

Morten & Mira Jensen

Owners & Professional Dance Instructors

Morten grew up in Denmark where he began dancing at age 5, while Mira started dancing at age 8 in her home country of Bulgaria. A love of dancing brought both Morten and Mira to the United States, where they met while working for Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. Together they took over ownership of the Ridgefield studio in 2013 so they may continue to share their knowledge, passion and love of dance in a greater way.

“Dancing is a joy, it is life affirming, and it is one of the healthiest and best ways to exercise. We feel that by owning our own dance studio, we get an opportunity to create an atmosphere for people where they can escape the busy life for a little while and put their watches to dance time”.

While growing up in Bulgaria, Mira trained in the International Ballroom and Latin styles of dance. In 2005, she solidified her name by ranking third among all dancers in her home country of Bulgaria. Continuing her professional dance career in the United States, Mira competed in both International Standard and American Smooth divisions, winning multiple regional titles. “Teaching allows me to give to my students what the dancing world gave to me”.

Morten wanted to focus on his own professional dance career and then found great joy in sharing his love of dance through teaching. “When I started at Fred Astaire, I was introduced to social dancing and I saw my own feelings about dancing in other people. That was very inspirational and motivational for me.” During his time in the states, Morten has already won multiple regional and national titles, including a world championship, in the International Standard Division. In 2011 he also earned the Danish National Title in International Standard. Now competing in Open American Smooth, Morten have won multiple regional and national competitions.

Chris Whitten

Professional Dance Instructor

During his senior year of high school in Simsbury, CT, Chris discovered ballroom dance through a friend. He immediately became hooked, trying out his first competition two weeks later after a crash course in a handful of dances. He spent all of his free time that year practicing and competing, and when he moved on to the University of Connecticut to study Veterinary Medicine, he continued studying dance with the school’s team.

Chris’ time in Ridgefield began early 2015 after meeting Morten during a training session in New York City. Chris & his partner Kristyn were amateur finalists at many competitive events, including the Ohio Star Ball, before competing professionally.

Chris is able to teach dancers of any age, across the four styles of ballroom dance, as well as fun club dances like Hustle, Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, and Argentine Tango.

Elyse Rosenberg

Professional Dance Instructor

Elyse began dancing when she was five years old. She studied many styles including ballet, tap and jazz for many years both as a performer and also as an assistant teacher and stage manager. By nineteen, Elyse had discovered her love for teaching and became a licensed Zumba® instructor, which she still continues to teach. Formerly a Fred Astaire student, Elyse danced competitively for seven years as an amateur winning many awards. Elyse made the transition from amateur to professional after graduating college in 2015.

She graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts in “Movement and Mind,” a degree that she designed to help prepare herself for a career as a ballroom dance instructor. Elyse loves bringing the joy and passion to every lesson she teaches that the dancing world has given to her.

Samanta Rico

Studio Manager

Originally from Argentina, Samanta’s dancing experience began when she was 5 years old studying ballet, tap and traditional Spanish dances. Later, she dedicated more than 10 years to dancing Flamenco with many of the most renowned teachers of the style.

Samanta discovered ballroom dancing in 2010 when she moved to the United States and was invited to attend one of the Fred Astaire Friday night dance parties. Immediately after that, Samanta took part in several dance competitions in the Pro/Am world with Morten as her instructor/partner, including Blackpool in 2017. During the summer of 2018, she danced her first competition as a Professional.

As studio manager, she is committed to bringing people the same incredible experience she has had as part of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s family.