(Owner and Certified Professional Dance Instructor)
Marko grew up playing soccer so his first dance lessons were something completely foreign to him. However, his eagerness and talent for dance compelled him to continue learning more. In 2004, he began to take latin and ballroom dance classes. After a few lessons, his teachers saw his potential and urged him to begin competing. Years later, he was presented with the opportunity to move to the United States and become a part of the Fred Astaire family. In 2009, he began his life changing journey at Fred Astaire Trumbull as an instructor. Soon after joining the FADS team, he became one of the region’s top teachers. He also continued his competitive career by competing in American Rhythm with his professional partner. In 2013, Marko purchased the Trumbull studio and began to infuse his passion and excitement for dance into the student body. In 2017, he made history when he traveled overseas to Blackpool, England to compete in the first international Open Smooth division at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival. Since then, he has maintained a busy teaching schedule, continuing to be a top teacher, and began a professional dance partnership with Michelle Fox competing in 9-dance. They are the current Fred Astaire New England Rhythm Champions in open and closed categories. In 2018, Marko purshased his second studio located in Canton, CT. Marko lives his dream of dancing and owning a studio and strives to make his studio welcoming and inspiring to every person that enters the door.
(Studio Manager and Certified Professional Dance Instructor)
Marko Paunovic has been in the dance world since childhood. He started competing in Latin as a teenager and quickly became an accomplished Latin dancer. As a competitive dancer, he spread his passion for dancing to students in his home studio. Marko then went on to represent his native country of Serbia in the European and World Championships after becoming Champion of the Serbian cup. In 2011, Marko was presented with a wonderful opportunity to become a part of the Fred Astaire family. He moved to the United States and continued to enrich the lives of others by teaching ballroom and Latin dance. Marko was able to translate his years of Latin and Ballroom training to American Rhythm and Smooth styles. In doing so, his students have been finalists and champions in dozens of regional and national competitions all over the country. While teaching his students to become the best they can be, Marko continues to compete professionally winning several Fred Astaire Latin Championships in the New England Region. He brings his extensive knowledge, experience and love of dancesport to his students to help them reach their personal goals.
(Dance Director and Certified Professional Dance Instructor)
Ashley was first introduced to dancing when she started taking ballet, jazz and modern lessons as a little girl. She took her dance skills to the ice skating rink at the age of 8 and became an ice dancer. As part of her training she took ballroom dance lessons and fell in love right away. After years of skating and dance lessons, she was intrigued by partner dancing. She slowly started getting more involved and by college she was competing in swing and lindy style competitions. Ashley joined the Fred Astaire team in 2009. She quickly became the top teacher at regional and national competitions. In 2012, she moved to Trumbull where she became studio manager and in 2017 accepted her new position as Dance Director. Besides being a full time teacher and manager, Ashley still follows her dream of competing professionally. Ashley and dance partner, Morten Jensen, compete all over the US in American Open Smooth; where they are recognized as rising stars in the nation. Additionally, they were named 2017 Galaxy Professional Rising Star Open Smooth Champions, 2017 Can-Am DanceSport Gala Professional Rising Star Open Smooth Champions in Toronto, and Fred Astaire CCDC National Rising Star Open Smooth Champions in Texas. In May 2017, they made history when they traveled overseas to Blackpool, England. There they were semi-finalists in the first international Open Smooth division at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival, placing 9th out of 42 couples.
(Certified Professional Dance Instructor)
Felix started dancing at the young age of seven and was trained in ballroom and latin dancing. A few years later, he expanded his dance pallet and added jazz, tap and hip hop to his repertoire. During his young years of training in ballroom, he was simultaneously performing and training in acting. Due to his extensive passion for the stage, he later decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. He also competed and won several collegiate ballroom competitions throughout his time at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). During his time at SCSU, Felix got the opportunity to train at the prestigious Circle in the Square Theatre School in NYC. After graduation, he was a part of many of the professional productions around the tri-state area. In 2013, Felix began his professional career at Fred Astaire. He brings his love of the arts and joyous energy to the studio everyday as he passes on his skill to his students who have won several regional championships. Felix is passionate about teaching dance because it offers his students a sense of pride and fulfillment. As well as being a full time teacher, Felix also competes professionally in American Rhythm.
Nevena (Jovanovic) Urosevic
(Certified Professional Dance Instructor)
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Nevena brings extensive training in contemporary & ballet to her dance career. She started to dance when she was five and even graduated from Belgrade’s National Ballet School in 2009, where she performed in the ImpulsTanz Festival, assisting renowned choreographers David Zambrano, Andrew Harwood and Joe Alegado on the performance of Earth. Since her graduation, she has taught at the National Ballet School and worked with the BITEF Dance Company on productions including Jasmin Vardimon Company’s Yesterday in 2013, as well as The Divine Comedy, Carmen in 4 Rounds and Othelo. Over time, her unique talent in dance drew the attention of film makers and several acting roles in short artistic movies and commercials followed.
With her grounding knowledge in contemporary dance and her smooth tone, Nevena teaches an impeccable ballroom dance lesson while helping her students to evolve the technique and physical boundaries in between – traits which are sure to enhance her dance instruction.
Her passion for both dancing and teaching brought her to Fred Astaire in 2015, where she made her ballroom debut at The 50th Colonial Classic, in which she won 2nd Place in Professional Closed American Smooth Bronze & Silver Division. Since then, she began traveling and competing primarily nationwide with her partner, Aleksandar in the Professional Open Smooth division. In May 2018, they made history when they traveled overseas to Blackpool, England to compete in the second international Professional Open Smooth division at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival, where they were finalists placing 5th out of 27 couples.
Nevena brings a positive attitude, welcoming smile, and enthusiasm to the dance floor – attributes which are an asset to teaching students of every age. Because of her well-rounded background, learning to dance with Nevena is an enriching experience. You will become adept at form and technique and develop an enhanced sense of rhythm and movement. You’ll also have a lot of fun.
Nevena enjoys exploring nature and working with animals, helping raise money for their support and care. In her spare time, she loves being with family and friends, and listening to good music. Through her world travel, Nevena has developed a special appreciation for fine food and wine. With such a joie de vivre, it is no surprise, she likes to laugh a lot.
(Certified Professional Dance Instructor)
Marko comes to us from Serbia where he began dancing at the age of 6. With a proficient background in Ballroom, Latin, Ballet and Musical Theater, he has made quite an impression on the dance world. He was a member of several ballet ensembles where he performed in various Serbian productions including Chicago, Mamma Mia, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and Cinderella. In 2014, Marko participated as the professional in the show Dancing with the Stars – Serbia where he and his partner were finalists.
For the past six years, Marko has been working as an instructor and choreographer with dance couples and dance formations – including summer camps where he was the chief coordinator, choreographer and dance teacher. Competitively, he has won 10 Serbian National Championships – one in Latin style, four in Standard and 5 in 10 Dance category. Recently, Marko and his dance partner were named best Serbian dance couple and they received many awards and earned hundreds of medals and diplomas. The most prominent being The World Gold Cup- Birmingham, two Gold Cups- Beodance Open, three Gold Cups- Banjaluka Open and placing in the semi-finals at Blackpool Dance Festival.