2019 All Star Staff

 

Kam Avery

Competition Coordinator

 

Kristine Bendul

Kristine Bendul is a performer, choreographer and master instructor based in New York City. As a performer Kristine has appeared in seven Broadway shows. Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella where she was the assistant choreographer and partnering consultant, two of Twyla Tharp’s shows Come Fly Away and Movin’ Out  (She was nominated for a Helen Hayes award as Outstanding Supporting Performer for her role in the 1st National Tour of Movin’ Out), Man Of La Mancha, Swing, On TheTown and The King And I. Her five Broadway productions in the prestigious City Center Encores series are Do I Hear A Waltz, On The Town, No Strings, Golden Boy and One Touch Of Venus. She has danced the Cyd Charisse role in two separate productions of Singin’ In the Rain, performed live at Lincoln Center in their televised production of Camelot and you may even recognize her from season 1 of NBC’s Smash and Baz Luhrman’s The Get Down. Other favorite TV credits of hers include being a guest performer on the David Letterman show and appearing on the both the the Academy Awards and the Tony’s.

 

Before Broadway, Kristine studied with the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet and New Jersey Ballet where she rose to a demi soloist with the company and  was selected to tour internationally along side The New York City Ballet to Taiwan and Russia with Kozlov and Friends and Stars of the American Ballet respectively. Her concert dance experience includes appearing as a principal dancer for Ron De Jesus Dance, MStuart Dance Theater and American Dance Machine in Susan Stroman’s “Simply Irresistible” from Contact.

 

Kristine comes to the world of hustle  through Arte Phillips who she met in Swing. Working with him propelled her knowledge and education in the world of partnering further than she could have imagined. Beforehand she was the adage lead with AntiGravity and on Cunard cruise line for Jean Ann Ryan Productions. She holds two 1st place titles in the ProCabaret division with the International Hustle and Salsa Congress, Liberty Swing and another 1st place with Hustle Your Game.

 

With Arte’s passing, Kristine sadly lost touch with the hustle community. Who knew that many years later she would reconnect with Beth Darchi and Louis Orlando who would bring her back into the world of hustle and eventually introduce her to incredibly talented and multifaceted Abdiel Jacobsen. They are ever grateful to Donna and Joyce for giving them the opportunity to debut their one of a kind choreography that blends their background in concert dance, jazz, musical theater style and of course hustle here at Disco America.

Ron Bess

MC

Ron resides in Southern New Jersey and has been dancing in the Hustle scene for over 35 years. He has performed on the nationally syndicated TV show "Dance Fever" and has won over 100 dance contests throughout the United States. Ron has been the Master of Ceremonies at many Hustle conventions and events for the last 20 years including the first Hustle USA, NY Hustle Congress, Disco American Dance Championships..... Currently he promotes/organizes dance socials, coaches dance couples and is the editor of the on line newsletter "DanceTalk®" - reaching over 20,000 dancers every week. In efforts to keep the history of the Hustle alive, he helped create, write biographies and design the 'Hustle Hall Of Fame' website. Ron was the recipient of the Icon Award at the 2011 'NY Hustle Congress,  Christopher M. Nardone Award, The 'World Hustle Dance Championships' Life Time Achievement Award,  and inducted into 'Disco America' Hall Of Fame in 2013. Ron has also promoted and CO-produced events including The PBS televised "Get Down Tonight - The Disco Explosion," and the annual 'Holiday Spectacular'.​

Shay Dixon

Shay has become well known throughout the dance industry for his style, exhaustive technique, and charisma on the dance floor. His 15 years of dance training spans from latin, ballroom, hustle, salsa and Swing, to ballet, hip hop, contemporary & theater arts. Under the leadership of Ralph Ramirez & Billy Fajardo, Shay has captured eight professional championship titles in hustle & salsa, 3 professional cabaret titles, many triple threat/ just dance competitions and he won the World Hustle Championship title in 2009. In 2010, he was chosen by Maria Torres (acclaimed choreographer from SYTYCD & numerous broadway shows) to be featured in her dance company. In 2012-2014, he served as the vice-president of the International Hustle Dance Association establishing a competitive syllabus and criteria for hustle dancing throughout the globe. He is currently the Director of the LA Hustle Movement, which is reigniting the growth of the hustle community in Southern California.

Brian Gallagher

PA, Brian Gallagher, the nation's long time hustle champion, is based in Philadephia, Pa, where he helps to promote and teach Hustle dancers and competitors. Brian has an ability to break down dance patterns to help you understand the four major components for a comfortable lead and follow: movement, framework, footwork, and timing. It doesn't matter whether you are a beginner learning your basics or the advanced dancer learning travel, shaping, and/or syncopations. Having been trained in Ballroom and Latin prior to coming into Hustle, Brian incorporates a variety of dynamics: travelling, shaping, syncopated rhythms, creative combinations, and let's not forget - speed. Brian is well known for travelling moves, creativity, and burning up the floor at a 130 bpms without hesitation. Being a part of one of the most celebrated Hustle teams of the decade..." Brian Gallagher is our current "2004 US Professional Theater Arts Hustle Champions" and our undefeated "Professional Just Hustle Champion". He has won every major Hustle competition over the last decade. Brian offers workshops, privates, as well as videos to help your Hustle progress.

Dawn Garrish

Head Judge

 

Deborah Hampton

Debra has been dancing, teaching, performing, choreographing and judging for over 40 years. With a strong focus on technique, Debra's teaching style is both fun and informative with an easy to grasp explanation of each movement.  She was one of the originators of Hustle USA, the countries first all Hustle Dance Weekend, paving the way for other Hustle events, such as Disco America.   Debra is the recipient of the Eddie Vega award.  She is a 2 time Champion of Disco America, has received several Top teacher awards and has been very successful with her Pro-am students over the years. 

Wingo Hom

Wingo Hom, also known as "The Dance Doctor" was born and raised in New York City.  At age 11, he was introduced to partner dancing by his classmate’s parents.  They were social dancers and demonstrated a variety of dances in their living room, which awakened his passion for all dances.  His determination and motivation has rewarded him by studying under some of the finest instructors and coaches, which has lead him to compete in an array of dances such as, Hustle, American and International styles of Ballroom, Latin, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and Salsa.  He is known for his unique technique for diagnosing and improving your dance. The dance doctor makes house calls; he will come to your home and teach you.

Wingo has over 50+ years of dance experience and multiple accomplishments, which include:
The 2015 winner of the Artie Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner of 8 Top Teacher Awards
Winner of the 2009 Dancing with the Stars Tour Version in Cha Cha and East Coast Swing competition in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania 
2006 Amateur Male Hustle Dancer of the Year
Over 600 first place titles 
33 Jack and Jill first place awards
He is one of the very few instructors that is certified (lead and follow) in Hustle, 13 different American Smooth and Rhythm Styles at the full Bronze and Silver Levels.

Certified to Judge Dance competitions in all levels
Wingo is a familiar presence in the Hustle, Swing and Salsa community and is currently teaching in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

In 2009 he joined Stardust Dance Productions and was the recipient of the 2014 Employee of the Year Award.

 

Telephone: 917-817-2020 E-mail: WingoStarDancer@aol.com Website: WingoStarDancer.com

 

Privates Available by appointments, please call 917-817-2020 (24/7)

Abdiel Jacobsen

Abdiel Jacobsen, born in Côte d’Ivoire, is former Principal Dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company where he was a member from 2011 to 2018. He has performed many major roles in Graham's ionic repertoire and has also partnered dance legends such as prima ballerina, Diana Vishneva and Étoile, Aurélie Dupont in Graham's masterworks. He has performed new original works by Nacho Duato, Robert Wilson, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sonya Tayeh, Luca Veggetti, Andonis Foniadakis, Michelle Dorrance, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, Richard Move, Lucinda Childs, and more. Last year Jacobsen was invited to be part of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company dancing the lead couple in "Legend of Ten" during Lar's 50th anniversary season at the Joyce Theater. He has also been guest artist of the Buglisi Dance Theater since 2017. He received a B.F.A. in dance from the University of Arts in Philadelphia, PA and he is also a professional champion of the competitive Professional Smooth Ballroom and Latin/Rhythm dance division acquiring over 10 years of experience as an instructor/coach certified by Arthur Murray Dance International. Jacobsen is currently a Fulbright Specialist with the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Global Learning, with a 3-year tenure. Beyond performance, he enjoys teaching and is honored to be a current rehearsal assistant and guest artist at The Juilliard School as part of the first ever setting of Martha Graham's "Rite of Spring" on a college/university. Abdiel is an avid Hustle dancer and is dedicated and committed to the cultural preservation of the roots of the Latin Hustle partner dance style while expanding its expression creatively and pushing its boundaries. His greatest passion is uniting all people through social dancing as a sharing and healing of our humanity. 

Steven James

Steven’s love of movement began on the stage. A graduate of Brock University, with an Honours BA in Theatre, he toured the world with the internationally acclaimed Canadian company Theatre Beyond Words before moving to Toronto and discovering dance. Steven has taught American style Ballroom and Rhythm at several studios across Toronto for over 10 years and he is a certified member of the Canadian Dancesport Federation. He dances and actively competes in both Hustle and West Coast Swing and supports both communities at home and on tour. He teaches private and group classes at Joy of Dance Studio where he met Annie Lebedeva and recently began performing and competing in the professional Hustle divisions of several events in Canada and the United States. They are both thrilled to be joining the staff at Disco America this yeardd Description here

Joseph Kerner

Joe comes to us from Top Hat Dance Studio in Philadelphia. A dance performer, competitor and instructor for over 15 years – Joe has studied a variety of dance styles since 1989, including a mixture of street, social and ballroom dances along with ballet, jazz and modern. He is a 3-time International Hustle & Salsa Dance Champion, 2-time Disco America Champion, and Hustle USA Champion. Under the direction of choreographer Arte Phillips, Joe was the dance captain of Philadelphia’s celebrated dance troupes “Philly Dance Connection” in 2003 and “The Hustlefactor” in 2004 and 2005.  When not performing, Joe teaches his unique blend of Hustle w/funk, along with Latin and ballroom dance at Top Hat’s Northeast Philly studio and competitions across the country.

Jameson Kilburn

(PA), is co-owner of Top Hat Dance Studios of Philadelphia and Lancaster where he can be found teaching group classes and private lessons in Ballroom, Latin, Swing, & Hustle. For the past 10 years Jameson has continued to study, teach, compete, and perform in the arena of professional partner dancing. Recently Jameson received a score of "Highly Commended" on his certification examinations in International Standard dancing with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Jameson is also a proud member of the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) and has been an active board member of the International Hustle Dance Association (IHDA) for the past 4 years. He can be seen at many different dance events throughout the country teaching, judging, performing, and competiting and is best known for the way in which he "de-mystifies" the technical side of partner dancing to make it obtainable by everyone. 

Annie Lebedeva

Originally from Estonia and having lived and trained in England, Annie has been in the dance industry for 25 years. Her training and background includes International Ballroom & Latin as well as American Smooth & Rhythm and she is a certified member of the Canadian Dancesport Federation. From competitive circuit to performing and choreographing for various projects, coaching amateur dancers and competing Pro-Am with her students, she is now settled in Toronto for the past 5 years. Since moving to Canada, Annie has been training and competing in Pro Hustle with Steven James. They regularly perform together, teach and share their passion for Hustle in the Toronto dance community.

Billy Marti

NY, teaches at stepping out studios in Manhattan. He started dancing at 18 and quickly mastered the fundamentals of dance. Within a year he realized he had found what would be his life’s passion. As his repertoire expanded to include other forms such as ballet, so did his experience with other dance studios. Billy was hired with his first dance partner, Nancy Melius, to perform in Israel as a “Fame” dancer with Robert Guillaume and Albert Hague who played Professor Shorofsky. Later Billy was inspired while watching a competition in a nightclub where he discovered his new love for Hustle Theatre Arts. He met Wanda Soto who began teaching him in the art of partnering and soon began dancing and performing with Hustle’s elite dancers of the time. He takes great pride in his ability to thoroughly prepare students for showcase and dance competitions by articulating a music and choreography mix that enhances the student’s individual style, and thus complementing their strengths.

Daniel McGee

(PA), founder and co-owner of Top Hat Dance Studios in Philadelphia and Lancaster as well as Top Hat Dance Studio School of Ballet. Since its grand opening in 1995, the strength of Top Hat Dance Studio has been attributed to his abilities, both as a dancer and an instructor. For over 15 years, Daniel has continued to teach, perform and compete in the Ballroom, Latin, and Hustle dance forms. He is currently one of the top ranked competitors in the country and undefeated in the Pro/Am Theatre Arts Hustle division. Daniel is currently on the board of the International Hustle Dance Association. In addition, Daniel received his Associate certification in International Standard with a "Highly Commended" score by the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance) in 2007. In 2008, Daniel recieved, "with Honors" his ISTD Licentiate Theatre Arts certification. Daniel is also a member of the National Dance Council of America (NDCA). 

Scott & Gayle Michielli

Scott started his dancing career by first taking Hustle group classes at Top Hat Dance Studio back in 2000. Shortly thereafter, he competed in his first Pro/Am competition at Hustle USA 2001. Since then, he has been an avid competitor on the Hustle scene for more than18 years. Scott diligently worked his way through the ranks starting out as a Novice competitor and turning professional in August 2013. He has been on staff at the New York Hustle Congress, Disco America and taught Hustle workshops at various venues in New Jersey and PA, as well as, performing showcases at the Annenberg Center for the Dancing with the Stars Tour, The Kimmel Center and the Taj-Mahal. He was part of the weekly Professional rotation at Michael’s cafe. His warm and friendly teaching style attracts dancers of all levels. Scott is skilled at breaking down lessons without allowing them to become complicated. His approach is to teach good technique that dancers can then apply. Scott has continually demonstrated a commitment and dedication to personal improvement and growth in his own dancing. For the past three years, he has competed both as a professional in the Pro/Am Strictly and Routine divisions starting out with Classic Hustle and elevating to the Theatre Arts division. More recently, he competed in the Open Professional Division at Disco America 2018. Scott continues to advance his development as a dancer through rigorous training and coaching. He has been on staff at The Atrium Studio in NJ, teaches independently in the PA/NJ areas and is on staff at Top Hat Dance Studio.

 

 

Gayle started her dancing career at the ripe old age of 4 years when she began studying ballet, tap, jazz and acrobatics for more than 30 years. At 17 years old, she became a professional jazz, tap and acrobatic dancer and spanned a career that lasted 15 years. She performed for the USO for eleven years and various foundations such as Polio and the March of Dimes. She ran three dance schools for children whom she taught ballet, tap, acrobatics and jazz for over 35 years. She has also taught adult aerobics and jazz dancing. She was the choreographer for the Spins Line Dance Team that featured Country Western line dancing which included jazz and some acrobatics. She has a broad range of dancing experience which includes Fox Trot, Waltz, Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, and Rhumba. In 2007, Gayle developed a love for Hustle and started her competitive journey. As an amateur, Gayle shined on the dance floor. Her smile is simply captivating and lights up an entire room. She transformed her Hustle dancing in 2015 when she began to study the rudiments of Cuban motion and received recognition as a result of her accomplishments on the competitive dance floor, most notably at Disco America. She performed at the Annenberg Center as the opening number for the Dancing with the Stars Tour, the Kimmel Center, the Taj-Mahal, Sesame Place, the New Jersey Aquarium and the Philadelphia Art Museum. She continues to strive for excellence through her continued efforts to learn Cuban movement and musicality in dance. She has taught Hustle at The Atrium and Disco America. She is currently on staff at Top Hat Dance Studio.

Diane Nardone

Diane K Nardone, known as the “Queen Bee” of Hustle, began dancing Hustle in the early 70’s with the Hustle Kings dance troupe.  She began teaching at the famous Dale Dance Studios in  New York, and went on to open her own dance studio.  She is known for her lead and follow skills, and ability to break down footwork and patterns to raise your level of dance.  She has appeared in the motion pictures “Saturday NightFever”, “Carlitto’s Way,” and more.  She currently teaches group and private lessons runs both a Hustle Dance Party and a Mixer every month.  Diane is also the event director of the “World Hustle Dance Championships” being since 2000  For more information, please visit her website at: www.dkndance.com email dkndance@verizon.net or call or text Diane 201 566-2222.

Steve Neeren

Steve is a 3 time NASDE Award West recipient who was named “Most Improved Male Swing Dancer” at the 1997 U.S. Open Dance Championships.  He is known nationally as an Instructor, DJ and Judge and has worked in that capacity at many national West Coast Swing events for the past 20 years as well as in England. 

Some of his competition titles include: 

-1st Place Classic Division Boogie By The Bay

-1st Place Classic Division New Year’s Dance Championships  

-1st Place Invitational Jack & Jill Jack & Jill O’Rama 

-1st Place Professional Strictly Swing Michigan Classic Dance Championships

 

As a Hustle DJ he’s played at several national Hustle events including the Hustle Congress, International Hustle & Salsa Competition, Hooray For Hollywood, Swing Dance America and Disco America.

He has DJ'd regularly at the Stepping Out Hustle Jam Party in NYC for the past several years.

Louie Orlando & Elizabeth Darchi

With many years of extensive dance repertoire and experience as Competitors, Instructors, Choreograher and Film/TV Industries, Louis and Beth’s workshops are fun and informative where they have a chemistry that will have you wanting more. They strive to introduce their innovative funky/rhythm and creative style in Hustle by utilizing not only Classic Disco music but by introducing new Hip-Hop and R&B music. Their diverse style has been the hallmark of their career.

Sharon Roberts

DJ

Bio to come.

Kelvin Roche & LoriAnn Greenhouse

Together they are 9 time World Hustle Champions. Featured in many movies together, such as Disney's Enchanted and El Cantante with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. They have traveled around the world preforming in places like Egypt, China, Japan and Hawaii. Choreographed So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Kelvin, with a Latin background, has been dancing all his life. Studied with Joffrey Ballet, trained in Latin and ballroom. Has background in jazz and modern from studying in New York City. Finalist at USBC in International Latin.. Featured in several commercials, television shows and movies as well as Life Magazine. Worked with Vanessa Williams, Rubin Blades, Conan O'Brian and more. Since the age of 4, Loriann found a love for dance. Trained in ballet for 15 years, and ballroom and Latin for 25. Studied with the Royal Academy of Dance in England. Finalist at USBC in American Rhythm and Theater Arts. Also a finalist in the Invitational Theater Arts in Blackpool, England. World Hustle Champion 9 times.

Nelson "Paradise" Roman

DJ

Nelson "Paradise" Roman was born and raised in New York City. At the age of thirteen, his brother Victor, who Nelson dubbed "Paradise," exposed Nelson to club music. In the latter part of 1978, Nelson went to his first club, Reflections, where he met disc jockey Billy Carroll. Billy Carroll's mixing and format inspired him to pursue a career in the music industry. Conceived out of this experience, Nelson established a production company, Music Lovers Productions, which consisted of dancers and DJs. As a DJ, Nelson Roman worked independently, and also with several club promoters. In New York and New Jersey, he has experience in dance studios as a DJ, specializing in hustle music and dance. Nelson deejay'd and assisted in the promotion of Hustle USA and Disco America, in dance studios throughout the United States, to promote hustle music and dance. Nelson "Paradise" Roman is one of the most respected Disc Jockeys in the New York area. His following reflects this. Currently, Nelson is actively producing and mixing for various record labels, working as a DJ, and assisting in different promotional projects.

Mary Rosa

Bio to come.

Mark Routzahn

DJ

has been a professional DJ for over 20 years. He provides DJ services for weddings, private parties, and corporate events. In addition, he has worked extensively with the dance community for several years appearing at many dance events. He has provided music for Hustle Night at Michael’s Café in Bensalem PA for well over 10 years. DJ Mark was voted “Favorite DJ” in the Dance Talk Reader’s Choice awards three times. He is honored and thankful to be invited as part of this year’s Disco America staff.

 

Jaime Serna

Jaime has been competing on the national Hustle circuit for the past 22 years holding numerous titles as an amateur and several since becoming a professional. Jaime learned by training and competing with several of the top Hustle Legends/Dancers/Instructors of years past. Since becoming a Hustle Pro, Jaime has taught Hustle classes and workshops at various dance studios in New Jersey and at Dancesport New York City. He is currently teaching independently in the tri-state area. He has been on staff at Disco America, IHSC, World Hustle Dance Championships, New York Hustle Congress, Swing Dance America, Mad Jam and Swing Fling. Jaime's passion and talent for Hustle, combined with his precise movements and smooth style has made him a prominent figure in the Hustle scene. He continues to compete in Pro/Pro and Pro/Am's with his students receiving top honors at events around the country. Jaime's goal is to inspire his students to develop their own personal style and to be the best they can be while having fun, whether it's preparing for a competition or just social dancing. Jaime believes in using traveling patterns to move around the floor to show footwork and flair.

Erica Smith

The “Hustling Attorney,” is a versatile dancer from Silver Spring, MD with extensive backgrounds in ballet, modern, salsa, hustle, hand dance and west coast swing. She was first introduced to hustle in her years at UC Berkeley School of Law, and has been adding her sparkle to the social dance world ever since. With more than 17 Advanced Amateur 1st place wins under her belt, Erica was arguably the Top Female Amateur Hustle Competitor for two years prior to her professional status. Since becoming a professional competitor, Erica has garnered 1st place in Professional Just Hustle and Invitational Jack & Jill Hustle Divisions across the country. In 2007, Erica was pictured in US Weekly alongside Shane Sparks and in TV Guide Magazine after she performed a Just Hustle that earned her a spot in Vegas on the syndicated television series “So You Think You Can Dance.” In 2010, Erica pioneered and co-choreographed the first ever Hustle Flash Mob which continues to be performed all over the world. In 2008, Erica won her first US Open Hand Dance title and in 2010 captured the World Professional Triple Threat Championship title. In addition, Erica has been at the top ranks of west coast swing for over two years and currently competes at the All-Star level. Erica is a brilliant dancer who guarantees to leave an impression on her audiences and her students.

Rainer Trubere

Rainer is a ballroom dance instructor, choreographer, and performer. He has taught around the world and for ten years was a Senior Instructor at DanceSport, New York City’s largest dance studio. He has choreographed everything from student showcases to wedding couples, professional shows, commercials, and even a special presentation of the Fox Network USA Body Building Finals! As a performer he has graced the stages of Las Vegas, waltzed across the screen in Disney’s Enchanted, and toured the world as a featured dancer with Juliet Prowse.

Tybaldt Ulrich

Bio to come.

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@ 2020 by Disco America

Donna J. Boyle - 215-740-3472 or Donnaboyledisco@aol.com

Joyce Szili - JoyceDancr@aol.com