Monday, November 27, 2006

New Studios

Jose Rivera and Dr. Constance Mosher have opened a new studio in Delaware, Ohio.

Tom Korpitz and Michael Hosale have opened a studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

Out On DVD - Astaire and Rogers

The last 5 selections in their 10-movie partnership is now out on DVD: “Astaire & Rogers Ultimate Collector’s Edition.” This comprehensive box set ($99.98) includes all 10 of their films, including extras like the documentary "Astaire and Rogers: Partners in Rhythm."

Ratings For Dancing With The Stars Sky Rocket

With an average of 20 million viewers, "Dancing With the Stars" is the No. 1 reality series and the 4th most-watched show. In its third season, "Dancing" grew 8% in total viewers and 10% in the desirable 18-to-49-year-old demographic and ranks No. 9 among 18- to 49-year-olds who earn more than $100,000.

Top Teachers Awarded At 2006 NDC

The following teachers were awarded Top Teaching awards at the 2006 NDC in Orlando:

Andrei Abrashin, Buffalo
Brian Oaks, Naples
Jeff Hajko, Naples
Stefan Dobrev, St. Petersburg
AJ Molter, Boca Raton

Instructor At Buffalo Studio Teaches Non-Stop!

Tommy Radon, staff member at the Buffalo, New York studio, taught 114 1/2 lessons one week in November - a record in the Fred Astaire system and probably in the world.

During one week period, Tommy taught from 9AM to 1AM, Monday through Friday, from 8:30AM to 2AM on Saturday, and from 7:30AM to 3AM on Sunday, only to go back to work at 1PM on Monday.

Congratulations Tommy! We admire and appreciate your dedication.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Emmitt Smith Wins Dancing With The Stars!

The votes have been counted, America has weighed in, and Emmitt Smith was crowned the champion, along with his partner Cheryl Burke! Congratulations to all the participants of this exciting season, including Fred Astaire champion dancers Tony Dovolani and Jesse DeSoto! Nearly 28 million people watched the finale, the show's biggest audience ever. Stay tuned for more information on the next Dancing With The Stars season (rumored to be starting in March of 2007).

Rochester Studio In The News

The Fred Astaire Studio in Rochester, MN was recently highlighted on a local ABC show where the sports newscaster, in his weekly profile on offbeat sports, came to the studio for lessons. Check out the video clip here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Variety Orlando Helps Children With Our Donations

By Erica Lopez

As many of you know, the partnership between Fred Astaire Dance Studios and Variety – The Children’s Charity has continued to grow. At this year’s national competition in Florida, Variety of Orlando was able to share its mobility story about helping children at a local elementary school thanks to donations made by Fred Astaire owners, teachers and students at last year’s Mix and Match competition.

Variety of Orlando received a letter from Andrea Cushman, a young mother of four girls. Two of them, twins named Abigail and Emily, have severe cases of cerebral palsy. Abigail and Emily are two of about thirty children who attend Winter Springs Elementary School, Seminole County’s only elementary school that caters to physically impaired children. Despite funding from the county, the school was unable to collect the total amount needed to put in an automatic door opener that would allow handicapped children to come in and out of the school’s front door unassisted.

Variety of Orlando used the money donated by Fred Astaire Dance Studios to purchase the automatic door opener for Winter Springs Elementary. Abigail, Emily, their grandparents, sisters and mother came to this year’s competition and presented Jack Rothweiler with a thank you card from all the children at the school.

After the presentation, an anonymous dancer generously donated $10,000 to Variety of Orlando to help more children in need!

Variety of Orlando and Variety of the U.S. are incredibly grateful to Jack Rothweiler, Pahjmon Lipsey and all the students and dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios who helped make this wish a reality for Emily and Abigail. The generosity of everyone associated with Fred Astaire Dance Studios humbles and overwhelms us. Thank you!

The Winner’s Circle!

Congratulations to all the competitors at Fred Astaire's 2006 National Dance Competition!

Professional Divisions Winners
American Closed Novice/Mixed
1. Aaron DeSoto & Jackie Josephs, Chicago North
2. Ben Seifert & SabineHeydecker, Woodlands
3. Victor Luna & Diedre Williams, Fort Walton Beach
4. Enrique Curi & Michelle Mols, Sarasota
5. Jeff Woraratanaoharm & Elena Ivanchenko, Charleston
6. Pierre Bush & Jaime Bristol, Atlanta Downtown
7. David Chancellor & Stephanie Peacock, Tallahassee
American Closed Novice
1. Ben Seifert & SabineHeydecker, Woodlands
2. Guillermo Rubio & Erica Brown, Boca Raton
3. Chris Schultz & Diedre Williams, Fort Walton Beach
4. Kevin Prothro & Dinorah Gonzales, Sugarland
5. Robert Porch & Brittney Cole, Ft. Myers
6. Samuel Mann & Jessica Rice, Atlanta
American Closed Pre-Championship
1. Pierre Bush & Michelle Rigo, Atlanta
2. Ben Seifert & Sabine Heydecker, Woodlands
3. Guillermo Rubio & Erica Brown, Boca Raton
4. Chris Schultz & Diedre Williams, Fort Walton Beach
5. Shawn Hafer & Stephanie Peacock, Tallahassee
6. Kevin Prothro & Dinorah Gonzales, Sugarland
International Open Standard 5-Dance
1. Randy Dias & Viktoriya Dias, Fort Walton Beach
2. Warren Brown & Babette Brown, Jupiter
American Closed Bronze/Silver Smooth
1. Darian Chancellor & Tiffany Chancellor, Tallahassee
2. Viktor Luna & Gabriela Ocipova, Fort Walton Beach
3. John Money & Michelle Rigo, Atlanta North
4. Dustin Jones & Alexandra Ahern, Youngstown
5. Tommy Alejandro & Nicole Harford, Kingwood
6. Glen Gandelman & Tiffany Sims, Charleston and Palm Harbor
American Rising Star Smooth
1. Darian Chancellor & Tiffany Chancellor, Tallahassee
2. Dustin Jones & Alexandra Ahern, Youngstown
American Open Smooth 4-Dance
1. Kostadin Bidjourov & Carrie Babcock, Upper Montclair
2. Randy Dias & Viktoriya Dias, Ft. Walton Beach
3. Victor Luna & Dawn Westberry, Ft. Walton Beach
4. Tony Scheppler & Tonja Martin, West Side
5. Darian Chancellor & Tiffany Chancellor, Tallahassee
6. Dustin Jones & Alexandra Ahern, Youngstown
American Closed Bronze/Silver Rhythm
1. Christov Schuster & Andrea Bergbauer, Glastonbury
2. Nedko Petrov & Marieta Nedialkova, Phoenix
3. Josh Ortiz & Lacey Bramblett, Charleston
4. Paul Millington & Caroline Pendland, Greensboro
5. Viktor Luna & Gabriela Ocipova, Ft. Walton Beach
6. Christopher Uy & Kimalee Piedad, Ft. Walton Beach
American Open Rhythm 5-Dance
1. Hayk Arshakian & Albina Bashirian, Brookfield
2. Jesse DeSoto & Jackie Josephs, Chicago North
3. Andriy Gergel & Elena Ivanchenko, Charleston
4. Ben Castellano & Diane Velonskis, Sarasota
5. Paul Millington & Caroline Pendland, Greensboro
6. Christopher Uy & Kimalee Piedad, Ft. Walton Beach
American Rising Star Rhythm
1. Anderson Sylvestre & Jessica Downing, Willoughby
2. Christopher Uy & Kimalee Piedad, Ft. Walton Beach
3. Thomas Radon & Caitlin Doldan, Buffalo
International Open Latin 5-Dance
1. Vladimir Velev & Gabriella Bodoc, Jupiter
2. Krystian Grabowski & Irina Grabowski, Vernon Hills
3. Sergh Aliev & Stephanie Frey, Hamden
4. Oscar Garcia & Erika Koberlein, Daytona
Top Teacher
1. Stefan Dobrev, St. Petersburg
2. Andrei Abrashin, Buffalo
3. Slavic Bularga, New York West
4. Brian Oakes, Naples
5. Jim Carter, Palm Coast
6. Jeff Hajko, Naples
7. Darius Mosteika, New York West
8. A.J. Molter, Boca Raton
9. Dawn Westberry, Ft. Walton Beach
10. Erika Koberlein, Daytona Beach
Top Studio
1. New York West
2. Ft. Walton Beach
Amateur Couple
1. Bill & Jennifer Stogner, Daytona Beach
Top Student
Results for gentlemen:
1. Jerry Ehrlich, New York West
Results for ladies:
1. Sharman Olshan, Buffalo
Top Newcomer
Andrea Flink, New York West
Top Bronze Student
Sharman Olshan, Buffalo
Top Silver Student
Mary Mitchem, Houston Memorial
Top Gold Student
Prudence Opperman, New York West
1. Sarah Haworth, Milwaukee Central
2. Cecelia Gilchriest, New York West
3. Kathy Hoffman, New York West
All had top scores of 97
1. Prudence Opperman, New York West
2. Sandra Gottwald, Milwaukee North
Both had top scores of 97.2
Pro/Am Scholarship Divisions
Closed International Standard B

1. Lindsey Willis and Dimitriy Saykovskyy, Tarrytown
2. Sharman Olsen, Andrei Abrashin, Buffalo
Open International Standard Amateur Couple A
1. Luis and Lynne Mijangos, NY West
American Smooth Bronze Closed A
1. Amanda Conner and Nicholas Plante, Milwaukee Central
2. Jen Crossen and Edgar Walker, Atlanta Downtown
3. Victoria Ritter and Oleg Skrypnyk, Tarrytown
American Smooth Bronze Closed B
1. Vivian Ehrlich and Darius Mosteika, NY West
2. Sharman Olsen and Andrei Abrashin, Buffalo
3. Penelope Rostad and Rick Soppa, Milwaukee North
American Smooth Bronze Open A
1. Nicole Powers and Stefan Dobrev, St. Petersburg
2. Amanda Conner and Nicholas Plante, Milwaukee Central
3. Jen Crossen and Christjohn Batters, Atlanta Downtown
American Smooth Bronze Open B
1. Susan Miller and Stephen Knight, Milwaukee Central
2. Cecelia Gilchriest and Darius Mosteika, NY West
3. Robert McComsey and Olga Bylim, Tarrytown
Open Smooth Champion Junior
Sarah Haworth and Nicholas Plante, Milwaukee Central
American Closed Smooth Rhythm A
1. Patrick Alonsagay and Lindsey Rutherford, Indianapolis
2. Giovanni Fortezza and Jolanta Mosteika, NY West
3. Jen Crossen and Edgar Walker, Atlanta Downtown
American Closed Smooth Rhythm B
1. Sharman Olsen and Andrei Abrashin, Buffalo
2. Heidi Lewis and Jeff Lewis, Columbus East
3. Janet Bruttell and AJ Molter, Boca Raton
American Open Smooth Rhythm A
1. Danielle Beriault and Ben Castellano, Sarasota
2. Philip Widlanski and Jolanta Mosteika, NY West
3. Nicole Powers and Stefan Dobrev, St. Petersburg
American Open Smooth Rhythm B
1. Philip Widlanski and Jolanta Mosteika, NY West
2. Melanie Gerber and Stefan Dobrev, St Petersburg
3. Robert McComsey and Olga Bylim, Tarrytown

Dancing With The Stars On Tour

The hit reality TV show Dancing With The Stars is hitting the road, bringing a select team of professional dancers and celebrities from the first three seasons to 38 cities through the US.Participating celebrities and dancers include Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska (Season 3); Harry Hamlin and Ashly DelGrosso (Season 3); Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel (Season 2); Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Season 2); Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke (Season 2); Joey McIntyre (Season 1) and Kym Johnson (Season 3).

Scheduled Dates are:
12/19/2006 ipayOne Center at the Sports Arena - San Diego
12/20/2006 Save Mart Center - Fresno
12/22/2006 KeyArena - Seattle
12/23/2006 Rose Garden - Portland
12/27/2006 HP Pavilion - San Jose
12/28/2006 Staples Center - Los Angeles
12/29/2006 Glendale Arena - Glendale
12/30/2006 Thomas and Mack Center - Las Vegas
01/02/2007 Qwest Center - Omaha
01/03/2007 Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul
01/05/2007 Allstate Arena - Rosemont
01/06/2007 Palace of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills
01/07/2007 Nationwide Arena - Columbus
01/09/2007 Wolstein Center - Cleveland
01/10/2007 Air Canada Centre - Toronto
01/12/2007 Bradley Center - Milwaukee
01/13/2007 Mark of the Quad Cities - Moline
01/14/2007 Scottrade Center (formerly Savvis Center) - St. Louis
01/16/2007 Roberts Stadium - Evansville
01/17/2007 US Bank Arena - Cincinnati
01/18/2007 Conseco Fieldhouse - Indianapolis
01/19/2007 Rupp Arena - Lexington
01/21/2007 Gaylord Entertainment Center - Nashville
01/23/2007 St. Pete Times Forum - Tampa
01/24/2007 BankAtlantic Center - Sunrise
01/26/2007 Gwinnett Center - Duluth
01/27/2007 Greensboro Coliseum - Greensboro
01/28/2007 Verizon Center (formerly MCI Center) - Washington
01/30/2007 Richmond Coliseum - Richmond
02/01/2007 Continental Airlines Arena - East Rutherford
02/02/2007 Nassau Veterans Memorial Colliseum - Uniondale
02/03/2007 Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville
02/05/2007 DCU Center (formerly Centrum Center) - Worcester
02/06/2007 Wachovia Center - Philadelphia
02/07/2007 Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester
02/08/2007 Arena at Harbor Yard - Bridgeport
02/10/2007 Dunkin Donuts Center - Providence
02/11/2007 Boardwalk Hall - Atlantic City

Children Shine At The West Reading Studio

Inspired by the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, Jerry and Linda Topez, studio owners of the West Reading studio, looked around their local community to see what they could do.
They found a partnership with an elementary school about five blocks from the studio. Every Thursday, after school, students walk over to the studio for lessons in ballroom dancing.

When the program first started, the children showed up in sloppy clothes, more appropriate for the playground than the ballroom. That changed once Jerry, (jokingly nicknamed “The Sergeant” by some of his instructors) stressed the importance of appearances. Now the boys wear neck ties, black pants, and white shirts when they come to dance.

Starting out with the waltz and then the rumba, to give them a feel for both styles of dancing, the children seemed to enjoy the rhythmic dances the most. The cha-cha and merengue were some of their favorites!

About 60 children are enrolled in this program, giving them the opportunity to gain a renewed sense of self-confidence, discipline, and personal achievement. As a testimony to the powers of dancing, one student told his pediatrician (who happened to be another student at the studio) that his after-school lessons were “the most wonderful experience” he’d ever had, “affecting his whole life.”

Even with so many children at the studio, Jerry and Linda were able to maintain discipline. And, along with learning how to dance the cha-cha, the children all gained a respect for women and lessons in the importance in courtesy and manners.

Fred Astaire Dance Studios, An Inspiration, Part II

By Stanley McCalla

Back in the 80’s and through the same Fred Astaire Dance Studio, I met my new dance partner and wife, Jennifer Mc Calla.

What followed was a series of events that took us on the path of winning both the Latin and Standard US Amateur title. Jennifer and I were going to Blackpool, England one year when Vicky Regan, one of our New York friends and teachers, contacted some World Title holders and renowned coaches from England and scheduled some lessons for us.

For the next few years, traveling back and forth to England 3 times annually, we were fortunate to take lessons with Peter Eggleton, the late Benny Tolmeyer, the Laxholms, Kenny and Marion Welsh, the late Sonny Binick, Stephen and Jennifer Hillier (our main standard coaches for the last 20 years), Peter Maxwell, the late Walter Laird, June Mc Murdough, Robert & Helene Ritchie.

Back in the States during the same period of time, I noticed a new couple on the scene while attending the US Championships at Madison Square Garden. They were mesmerizing. It so happened that they represented the Fred Astaire Dance Studios in New York City. The young lady dancer was statuesque and majestic at best with lengthy legs and a fabulous figure. She was partnered with this Cuban-macho looking man, almost like a Mario Dancing with the Stars - type. I remember this vividly. They were dancing Theater Art and he was wearing a white and pink cat – suit; white definitely… pink not quite sure. I don’t recall how they fared but this pair did not pursue their Theater Art career. But during the ensuing year, they took the country by storm -winning just about all the Rising Stars competition there was in Latin and Standard and became United States 10 dance Champions. At just about the same period, Jennifer and I won the US amateur title in both Latin and Standard and became very good friends with—you guessed it—Laura and Armando Martin. Continuing on the success trail, they became owners of a Fred Astaire Dance Studio grossing $ 1 million a year. Wow! What an example of leadership! And they did all that while competing; so you can imagine what was going through our mind:

“Fred Astaire Dance Studios?”

Tune in for the continuation of this article in the next issue.

Stanley McCalla is a FADS Dance Board Member and Coach, former FADS undefeated National Champion, 4 times United States Amateur Standard, Latin and 10 dance Champion, 4 times US representative to World Championships, 7 years principal Dancer of American Ballroom Theater Co (Pierre Dulaine).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Congratulations to Upper Montclair resident Deborah “Gina” Gianelli

Congratulations to Upper Montclair resident Deborah “Gina” Gianelli. Gina traveled to Jacksonville to compete in the United States pro-am Theatrical Championships in October of 2006, where she placed 3rd in the country. Gina dances Theatrical Ballroom with her professional partner, Kostadin Bidjourov.

Theatrical ballroom is characterized by 50% floor dancing and 50% aerial dancing, lifts and tricks. Gina takes lessons with Kostadin, who himself is a 5 Time U.S. National Professional Theatrical Champion, at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Upper Montclair. For more information contact Carrie at the Upper Montclair NJ Dance Studio or 973-783-8999.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who Do You Think Will Win Dancing With The Stars?

According to one online poll (, fans are rooting for Emmitt Smith:

Joey (101) 12%
Mario(316) 39%
Emmitt (383) 47%
(out of a total 800 votes)

Who do you think should be the next Dancing With The Stars champion? We want to hear from you!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Last Dance In Chicago

4 Chicago area dance students pair off with Fred Astaire Dance Studio instructors on ABC7's "Last Dance" competition. The dancers will perform on ABC7 News This Morning Monday through Friday of this week. The winners will be determined by three sets of scores from ABC7 anchors, an expert judge and the audience! Participating Fred Astaire studios include Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Mt. Prospect, Tinley Park, and Chicago Downtown. For more information, click here.