We honor the Professional Instructors listed on this page who taught USA Dance group classes (more than 10 years) on Sunday evenings; some of whom have retired but are still active and some who most recently instructed. All have graciously consented to entertain with showcases at USA Dance, as we continue to hold monthly dances on the second Saturday of each month. We thank the Studios and their Instructors as well as the Independent Instructors for their support for the past 20 plus years.
Jorja began her dancing career at the age of four. Four years prior to teaching for one of Germantown’s most renowned studios, she taught Adult Tap, Youth Ballet, and Jazz dancing. She has received the Gold medal in Closed Smooth, Top Overall Female in 2010, and the prestigious “Freddy Award” for Top Female in the Southeast Region in 2012. Jorja has trained under some of the most respected coaches in the U.S. and just returned in 2013 from a comp/workshop in Costa Rica. She is certified to teach all styles and levels of American Smooth and Rhythm. Jorja has trained under some of the most respected coaches in the U.S. and continues her training with top Dancesport Coaches. She is now with Ultimate Ballroom Studio and is certified to teach all styles and levels of American Smooth and Rhythm.
Awarded a scholarship to Alvin Alley Dance Center in New York, Desiree began her career training in all disciplines of dance; receiving three top amateur rankings in the US at age 17; appeared on Saturday Night Live and presented choreographed works on “Off Broadway.” Within a few years, she established the Desoto Ballroom Co., with focus on dance education, coaching, choreography, and developed a West Coast Swing platform. She trained the current number one ranked female amateur in the US. She now instructs all levels of ballroom dance at Blue Suede Studio. Desiree states, “I have realized many dreams in my life and hope that I have inspired many more.”
Viktor, a native of Zagreb, Croatia comes to Memphis by invitation of Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Germantown. He began dancing at the age of 12, later traveling to Italy, Germany, and Switzerland to compete in Latin and Standard. Some of his titles include: Swiss Latin Champion, 2017; Finalist in Croatian Championships, as well as receiving Finalist in many International Competitions throughout Europe. Viktor has trained under Peter Maxwell and Nina Langalla. And he is always willing to share his knowledge and love of dancing with everyone. When asked what he likes best about Fred Astaire, Viktor says, “The teaching methods and the family atmosphere”.
Now the owner of Prestige Ballroom of Memphis, as a youth in Texas, Anthony was encouraged in sports but dancing was not a family activity. Honorably discharged as a decorated combat Marine Veteran of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, he became interested in ballroom dancing at age 23 for it’s value as a ‘ life sport.’ For 13 years, Anthony has devoted his passion, energy and athletic ability to ballroom dance, Instructing in American Smooth and Rhythm, Specialty Performances, and Dance Competitions, Anthony is the only instructor in the Memphis area with a ‘Triple Crown Championship.’ A Memphian for the past eleven years, Anthony says: “Ballroom dancing is unlike anything out there, it can change you and how you see yourself forever“.
Born in Armenia, Arman began training at the “Culture Palace” graduating in 1995. His family moved to Moscow in 1998 and he continued his studies in the arts and dance, notably competing in more than 150 national competitions. He then began instructing in the methodology of dance. Opening his own studio in 2007, he instructed Ballroom and Latin as Pro/Am training for instructors. His love of all the arts led him to pursue ethnic dances, traveling to Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. In 2009, he came to Memphis by way of invitation from a studio and is now instructing in all levels of International and American style ballroom, and Argentine Tango; choreography; coaching; and traveling.
Evan began dancing at the age of 15, taking ballroom and Latin classes regularly until he was hired at age 20 as an instructor. He then began competing professionally, winning regional titles, placing as a finalist in larger national and Dance Sport competitions, and placing as a Top Ten finalist (6 of 65) in Pro/Am Bronze to Open at the Manhattan Amateur Pro/Am Competition and Ball. Evan took over as the manager of FADS, Glastonbury in 2008, raising the studio to the top ballroom studio in the New England area. Evan says, “I focus on creating a very high standard for the quality of dancing with the professionals and their students. It’s not about the money and winning competitions; it’s about the dancing and all it has to offer and individual and with Memphis-dream of Blackpool!”
Joseph is a dual fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and certified in all levels of Ballroom and Latin American dancing (International style). He worked for years at one of the most renowned studios in Memphis, which gave him experience with the American style of dancing. He teaches all levels of both styles and Theater Arts.
Frank has been dancing since the age of six and taught for USA Dance for many years until semi-retirement. He studied with the Arthur Murray studios as well as the Fred Astaire Studios in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and Memphis. Performing Arts training includes Eugene Loring’s American School of Dance, Hollywood, Ca; and Gene Marinacio Ballet Co of Hollywood, among others. Frank holds many Pro-Am and professional Ballroom Championships. He is an energetic dancer teaching all American Smooth and Latin Ballroom Dances.
Stephanie taught for USA Dance for 10+ years and instructing for more than 30 years for Fred Astaire Dance Studios including some years as an independent and at Arthur Murray Studios, she is also a ‘three time’ Professional Fred Astaire U.S., American Style Ten Dance Champion, winning titles at the Ohio Star Ball and the “Texas Challenge Open”; awarded Top Teacher Trainer from the South Central Region; and author of training manuals and videos on successful teaching methods. She is a well-known choreographer and coach who still enjoys Dancing.