Alison Cockrill began formal dance training at age 4, and a professional performing career in 1987. She has performed works by and toured internationally with modern dance choreographers Wade Madsen and Pat Graney. She fell in love with salsa after a trip to Guatemala in the mid-nineties and has been teaching it since 1999. One of her favorite parts of teaching is when beginning students get hooked and say what she said her first time in a salsa club, "I can't believe this was here all this time."
Cebrina Chavez began her formal dance training in Spain in 1993 after falling in love with dance during a backpacking trip across Europe. She returned to Seattle to become one of the original co-founders of Somos el Son Dance Company and has been teaching and performing Salsa ever since.
Dean Paton abandoned the baseball diamond for the dance hall in 1994, and fell so hopelessly in love with waltz that he founded the Valse Cafe Orchestra, an ensemble committed to the art of playing music for dancers. When he teaches rotary waltz, Dean stresses mastering the core of the dance - turning left, turning right, transitioning between the two -- then helps dancers use this foundation as a platform on which to build organic, graceful movement as well as a few elegant moves.
Dennis Richards is a dancer, performer, and teacher of Cuban salsa which is also known as Casino. Although he has been dancing all his life, Dennis began learning Casino in Buenos Aires Argentina in 1996. He also dances and teaches Rueda de Casino, Bachata and Body Movement for Dancers. Dennis has studied dance in Havana, Vancouver, and in Seattle for the last 10 years. His focus is on allowing each person to develop their personal feel for the music and to help his students continue to mature as dancers.
Deron Hayes-Hirschy discovered partner dancing as a teenager and immediately fell in love! She has been an integral member of the Century Ballroom team since 2000 and has been teaching & performing Salsa since 2003. In 2008, she discovered a new love: West Coast Swing. She is currently an Advanced level national West Coast Swing competitor and is looking forward to tackling many more competitions in the future. Besides challenging herself to be a better dancer through performing & competing, Deron is passionate about growing the local dance community and teaching all levels of dancer. She loves being a part of people's social dance journey and watching how it transforms their lives.
Erica Atnip, being raised in Texas, was subjected to a steady diet of church, steak, and ballet. After decades of wrestling steers in pointe shoes she decided to swap the arid Texas plains for verdant Washington mountains where she discovered a new unlikely passion: Tango. After years of honing her skills as a follower Erica traded her heels for leading shoes in pursuit of a new challenge and has ever since been encouraging the embrace of same sex, all gender, open role dancing, regardless of orientation.
Frances Tee began dancing Ballet after watching the Dance of the Hours in Walt Disney's Fantasia. She discovered partner dancing in Boston where she learned to Lindy Hop and hasn't stopped partner dancing since. Coming to Seattle in 2007, she picked up Salsa dancing and continues to explore all dance to continually improve her connection to music and her partner. She wants to share Kizomba as one way to show how wonderful it can be to dance with that connection.
Greg Rolnick's dance training and performances began with ballet and modern dance in San Francisco, touring and performing with modern dance companies throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 1997 he became totally devoted to Argentine Tango when Fabian Salas came to teach at the Century Ballroom for two months. Since then he has taught and performed in California, New York, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. Greg's most influential teachers include Sebastian Arce y Mariana Montes, Chicho Frumboli y Juana Sepulveda, and Mario Consiglieri y Anabella Diaz-Hojman. Greg's ongoing study of the Gyrotonic Expansion System is helpful to promote relaxed, centered, grounded, clear and technically correct movement for the Argentine Tango classes.
Hallie Kuperman is the owner of Century Ballroom and The Tin Table restaurant in Seattle, Washington. Since 1991 she has taught pretty much every form of social dance with the exception of Argentine Tango (for which you have to have prettier legs!). Currently she teaches Salsa and Waltz. She produces, co-choreographs and performs in Century's cabaret shows. Since 2005 she has been the co-instructor for NW School's Social Dance Program. Since 2010 she has helped produce the "Dancing With The Stars"-style fundraiser, "Seattle Dances," for Plymouth Housing Group. She has taught at Google, Microsoft, Team Survivor Northwest, EMP, University of WA, Cornish College of the Arts, Folklife and more schools and private lessons than she can remember. Her passion is Century Ballroom, her students, clients of the Ballroom and The Tin Table and creating a community that people will never forget.
Jay Senior has always enjoyed connecting with music through dance. He derived much of his early enjoyment gyrating well into the morning hours at outdoor raves such as Burning Man. But something was always missing. Discovering first Swing and Country dancing in early 2000 and then Salsa and Bachata in 2007, Jay realized what was missing was the connection one experiences with music that can only be achieved through partner dancing. Then he discovered Kizomba and the true meaning of connection. Jay teaches Kizomba with Frances Tee at workshops throughout Seattle and most recently started teaching at Century Ballroom.
Jonathan Wingard-Phillips was all but convinced that he had two left feet and no sense of rhythm, until he started experimenting with Ballroom Dancing in 2005. Immediately he fell in love with partner dancing, but when he found Salsa, he thought he had found his match. Bachata is his new love. It gives him the opportunity to express himself and be creative with the amazing music. The body-rolls, dips, and sexiness are just icing on the cake.
Josh Scribner is a Seattle-based dancer and choreographer known for his innovative and contemporary interpretation of tap dance. He recently finished a year-long tour with Cirque du Soleil, has appeared on the television show "Showtime at the Apollo" at New York's famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, toured with the Las Vegas dance company, "Iron Beats," and participated in the creation process for Cirque du Soleil's "Zaia." When not performing, he teaches and choreographs around the US and Canada, and directs the Alchemy Tap Project, a performance company for dedicated teens and young adults.
Justin Hirschy discovered his love for dance in 2006 when he started Ballroom dancing. He found Salsa in 2007 and has been a Salsaholic every since. His most recent endeavor is West Coast Swing, and he has been competing in conventions along the West Coast for the past year. Justin is passionate about the lead/follow aspect of social dancing and loves to pass on his joy of dance.
Katie McMullen has been dancing most of her life and discovered Swing as a teenager. Inspired by Swing's partnership and rhythm, Katie takes joy in both the social dance floor and the performance stage. She has been a member of multiple performance troupes including Sister Kate and Swing-a-majig. As an instructor, Katie prides herself on clear instruction that keeps classes lively and fun.
Mark Kihara loves Swing dancing. Nothing brings him more joy than sharing his passion for the dance and its music. For more than 10 years Mark has taught, performed, and competed in Lindy Hop. Additionally he has produced and emceed swing dance events all over the world. Notably he has been a featured instructor of Herräng Dance Camp, the world's largest and longest running Swing dance camp. Inspired and tireless, Mark makes believers out of anyone who ever wondered if they could dance.
Nicole Adams started dancing at the tender age of 2, in the doorway of her sister's ballet class. Her extensive training background includes Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Ballroom, Latin and Swing. Then she found Argentine Tango at the Century Ballroom. She completely fell in love with the dance's ability to take her to a brand new level of freedom and expression. For Nicole, Tango provides an opportunity to not only continually train and develop her technique, but more importantly gives her the space to communicate her own personality and emotions while having a fully connected conversation with her partner through Tango's beautiful and elegant movement. She hopes to bring her strong dance background and years as a Pilates instructor to assist in finding the right alignment and posture for each individual. Nicole has performed with "Tango en Vie" around the Northwest and most recently in Seattle's Folklife Festival and at Century Ballroom in the Tango Cabaret.
In Memoriam Susan Melee Balshor 1949-2013
Susan passed away unexpectedly on Jan 23rd from complications with the norovirus. Please take a moment to read a beautiful testament to her by her dear friend and dance partner, Dean. She will be terribly missed, and our hearts go out to her friends and family.
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